Go Jauntly for Lanarkshire walks

People across Lanarkshire are being urged to explore their local greenspace this week to boost their mental health and well-being.

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Thanks to the team, there are now a number of walks across Lanarkshire to choose from.
Thanks to the team, there are now a number of walks across Lanarkshire to choose from.

As organisations across the country get set to mark Green Health Week, from May 14 to 22, NHS Lanarkshire and Get Outdoors Lanarkshire have joined forces with walking app Go Jauntly to make spending time outdoors that little bit easier.

By downloading the app on iPhones or Androids, people can explore some of their favourite local walks. The free, community-based walking app promotes walking for leisure and nature connection and is a fabulous way to discover local walks created by the people who know and love them.

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The app also highlights the greenest routes for local walking journeys or a place to note down the positive things seen in everyday nature, which research shows can help alleviate anxiety.

Vicki Trim, NHS Lanarkshire senior health improvement manager, said: “Green Health Week is a fantastic opportunity to explore the outdoors and the Go Jauntly app provides over ten Lanarkshire walking routes recommended by walkers.

“We have also been reviewing local walks beside our hospitals to support able patients, hospital visitors and our staff to experience a boost to their physical, emotional and mental health, if they have the opportunity to spend time in nature.

“The health benefits are known to help relieve stress, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression and improve sleep. We’re thrilled to be able to offer a free resource which can connect people to nature more easily.”

Coinciding with Green Health Week, May is also National Walking Month – also backed by NHS Lanarkshire and the Lanarkshire Green Health Partnership.

The aim is to encourage residents to embrace the health benefits of spending time outdoors. Activities can include walking, gardening, cycling, volunteering, outdoor learning and play as well as just enjoying being out in green spaces or looking out the window at nature.

Sarah Burgess, Get Outdoors Lanarkshire green health development officer, said: “During the winter lockdown, our team started using the app and became aware there were very few routes in the Lanarkshire area.

“We knew from our work that not only were a lot of people out there discovering new routes, there were also people who were desperate to walk somewhere different.

“Additionally there are people who aren’t able to get out at all, but the app enables people to connect to nature wherever they are, sending prompts to encourage people to notice nature, even if it’s through a window.

“In recent months, our volunteers have been out and about mapping walks across Lanarkshire and getting them uploaded onto the app.

“However, it doesn’t have to stop there; if you have a favourite walk then you can become part of the fun and record it on the app yourself.”

Hana Sutch, Go Jauntly CEO, added: “We’ve made it our mission to launch new walks across Scotland.

“As a result of our partnership with Get Outdoors Lanarkshire, we’ve got an incredible selection of walks across Lanarkshire now.”