Residents are being given the opportunity to improve their mental and physical wellbeing by joining a guided walk during the ReBalance Bath festival.
Bathscape will be running a handful of walks during the three-week festival, offering residents and visitors the chance to be physically active while connecting with other people – two of the five key steps to improving mental wellbeing according to the NHS.
Bath Urban Treescape will partner with Bathscape to lead two tree walks as part of the festival: the Winter Tree Identification Walk in the Botanical Gardens on 26 January from 11am to 12.30pm and Winter Trees in Victoria Park on 31 January from 10.30am to 12pm. Walkers will be given tips on using branch structure, shape and bark to identify a tree, requiring them to pay attention to the present moment while learning a new skill – both of which are also key steps.
Bathscape will also be running its regular Monday evening Wellbeing Walks around the city centre during the festival. The group meets at Laura Place for 6pm for an hour-long stroll around one of the local parks. Details of all the Bathscape walks and the full festival programme is on the ReBalance Bath website.
The ReBalance Bath festival, which is organised by Bath Business Improvement District (BID), takes place at venues across the city between 25 January and 18 February 2024 and includes events focused on physical and mental wellbeing as well as talks, workshops and taster sessions, many of which are free.
Councillor Tim Ball, cabinet member for Neighbourhood Services, said: “The health benefits of walking are numerous and joining one of these Bathscape guided walks is a wonderful way to improve your mood, increase your energy levels and meet new people, all while enjoying the beautiful parks and open spaces in our city.”
Evidence suggests a fifth step to improve your mental health is by giving to others and Bathscape is looking for additional volunteers to help lead a walk a couple of times a month, all year round. Walks take place every day of the week, regardless of the weather and everyone who volunteers as a walk leader will be given free training.
The Bathscape podcast, Footprints, explores aspects of social history, nature and heritage in the Bath area. Monthly episodes feature local people talking about their experience alongside an expert giving the historical viewpoint. Previous episodes have focused on the swimmers in the newly restored Cleveland Pools, Radical Bath, the city’s owls and bats and the alpacas on Prior Park Road. You can listen to the podcast on the Footprints website.
Bathscape’s work is largely funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund with match funding from partners. To find out more visit the Bathscape website.