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The Forestry Commission is working with Cumbria Primary Care Trust and Cumbria Sport Partnership to encourage everyone to get active in woodland in Cumbria.
Cumbria has a major target to increase activity with an aim of three lots of 30 minutes of physical activity a week. That could mean going for a walk in your local woods or park in your lunch hour or at the weekend.
The Forestry Commission estate, especially Grizedale Forest near Hawkshead and Whinlatter Forest near Keswick, with their miles of walking and cycling trails and the hugely popular GoApe high wire adventures, are the perfect places to indulge in healthy green outdoor activity amongst some stunning scenery.
Estimates for the annual cost to the NHS of physical inactivity range from £1 billion to £1.8 billion, with Cumbria’s contribution put at over £8 million, higher than the £5 million Primary Care Trust average across the country.
Penny Oliver, from the Forestry Commission in Cumbria, says:
“The network of forests and woodlands across Cumbria mean that ideal clean green spaces to get out and enjoy physical activity are never far away.
“Whether it’s walking, cycling or just enjoying the great outdoors, every little helps!”
During the period leading up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympics Games, the Cumbria Sports Partnership are working closely with local authorities and the Primary Care Trust to provide and encourage more physical activity amongst adults and children.
In Cumbria, as a result of Physical Inactivity, the total cost as to the NHS has been calculated as £8,277,950 per annum. The 2012 Legacy Action Plan target is based upon 3x30 minutes of sport or wider physical activity a week and is a key staging point to a healthy and active Cumbria.
Emma Martin, from Cumbria Sport Partnership, says:
“The people of Cumbria are blessed with an amazing natural environment. Forests like Whinlatter and Grizedale offer a vast amount of activities for families and individuals at various levels of fitness.
“There is more and more evidence to prove that recreational activities in forests account for significant reductions in illness and obesity.”
More information about Grizedale and Whinlatter Forests, as well as the Forestry Commission’s other woodland areas in Cumbria, can be found at www.forestry.gov.uk/northwestengland
NOTES TO EDITOR
1. Images of people being active in Cumbria’s are available by calling 01524-782086.
2. Forestry Commission England is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Forestry makes a real contribution to sustainable development, providing social and environmental benefits arising from planting and managing attractive, as well as productive, woodlands. For further information visit http://www.forestry.gov.uk/northwestengland
3. The Forestry Commission (FC) North West England (NEW) is a regional arm of the Forestry Commission. It supports the delivery of wide-spread public benefits across the region, using woodland management and creation as the basis for change. The FC NWE region has a diverse remit; as a grant giving body to the woodland sector; the region's forestry regulatory body; helping the region to address climate change by developing wood fuel supply; supporting and developing the region's forest and woodland industries; actively promoting and protecting the Northwest's natural heritage (especially ancient trees and woodlands) and enabling communities across the region to live healthier lives.
4. The Forestry Commission is the largest provider of countryside recreation in Britain, with responsibility for more than one million hectares (2.4 million acres) of forest, woodlands and open countryside. The North West England Forest District covers the Lake District in Cumbria, the Forest of Bowland in Lancashire, Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Cheshire. The forests are managed for conservation, wildlife, landscape and recreation as well as providing a valuable source of timber.
Penny Oliver (Policy & Development Officer) on 017687 76616 or 07786 171654.