TCV The Conservation Volunteers
This project was set up by TCV, a national conservation charity that supports people and communities to connect with and improve green spaces.
It was made possible by a grant from Mind as part of a package of Coronavirus response projects using the outdoors to help people to improve mental health resilience during these difficult times.
For more: www.tcv.org.uk
My name is Lorna, and ordinarily my role is the Coordinator of the East Sussex Health Walk scheme. Not leading the walks (there are too many!), but supporting and training the amazing teams of volunteers who show up week after week, rain or shine, to don their hi-vis and create the opportunity for organised, friendly, regular walking.
Health Walks are free one hour walks, helping people to improve fitness and wellbeing in a manageable and sociable way. Before Coronavirus, we had 120 volunteers leading about 100 walks a month, an average group size of 17 and more than 20,000 hours of walking a year between them!
In March 2020, all group walking was suspended and I had to go on furlough. Luckily for me, TCV received a grant from Mind and I was brought back part-time to develop a self-led walking project that would help people to support their mental health during lockdown and Covid restrictions.
It was a one year grant, and in that time I walked, checked, mapped and snapped over 100 walks… and I wore out two pairs of boots!
I hope you enjoy these walks as much as I did. We are hoping to produce some booklets before long, and with any luck, I’ll be able to add more walks at some point.
– Lorna Neville
These maps were shared on the 123 Facebook page while the collection was being developed (July 2020-July 2021). Here is a selection of comments from some of the people who did the walks during this time:
- Thank you so much for posting these walks – I’ve been trying to get out more in nature to ease my symptoms and these have given me new places to explore which aren’t overwhelming.
- We intend to do two of your walks each week and they are the highlight of my life at the moment as not going anywhere else. Thank you so much for posting these really make a difference.
- I’m going to try this one today love your pics and so much easier when someone else has tried them and I know we’ll get round ok.
- These are lovely. We have thoroughly enjoyed many of them. We talk and walk which has been such a tonic during this odd crazy time. Safely and carefully. It been lovely to nod and smile as those walking by. Thank you for your hard work x
- What a fabulous fb page. Look forward to trying out more! We will def be exploring. Thank you for giving such detail about where to park, rough idea on muddy ness, types of flooring etc and images. This will 100% encourage me more. Knowing a bit about what it’s going to be like, how long it will take, difficulty.
- We have enjoyed many of these walks, at times on our own, but as lockdown has eased we have enjoyed them with friends and family. Have recommended this page to other people as well, so they can also enjoy. We have lived here for years but didn’t even know lots of these walks, so it’s so nice to explore such lovely walks that are close to us. Thank you.
- We have enjoyed these walks so much since the start of the year. We’ve found ones we didn’t even know were around our local area. I’ve recommended your page so many times when people have asked about places from photos. They are perfect for kids of all ages (mine are 3years – 8years) and plenty of beautiful spots for future picnics when the weather picks up.
- Love this FB page, I’ve done at least four of the walks on the page and can’t wait to do more.
- Definitely a WOW from us – you’re the best thing on FB!
- Thank you for these, it is great to have a few more “manageable” shorter-length walks.
- This is a fab fb page. It’s really helped us to get out more which has been much needed.
- Lots of enjoyment had from doing these walks, thank you.
- Really enjoy these walks and cannot wait to do more, thank you!
- This project has been amazing. When I was out of work these walks gave me space to think away from home. Easy to follow guides, great pictures, and fabulous for family walks too.
All photos: Lorna Neville
Website designed and managed: Lorna Neville