Health and Wellbeing

Experiencing and enjoying Exmoor National Park is good for both your mental and physical health and wellbeing.

Exmoor provides a place for exploration, adventure and discovery whether you are walking, riding, stargazing or just for dreaming, reflection and inspiration.

Indeed The 15 National Parks in the UK are a significant part of the nation’s ‘natural health service’. Over 50 per cent of the population live within one hour’s travel of a National Park where there are numerous activities to suit all interests to help improve health and well-being.

National Parks England is working closely with Public Health England nationally on this agenda via a partnership launched in September 2017.

Poor mental health accounts for 23 per cent of all ill-health in England and affects more than one in four of the UK population at any time. The Government estimates that obesity costs the NHS £5 billion every year. Getting active outdoors can help reduce the likelihood of a number of health conditions.  The Government Chief Medical Officer’s recommendations for activity can be found here

At a local level, Exmoor National Park Authority has completed a three-year partnership health and wellbeing project, Moor to Enjoy, with the public health teams at Somerset and Devon County Councils.

We are now running the FUN project, Families United through Nature.  This project will engage with families to give children the best start in life possible. FUN will do this, by developing in partnership with parents, nature based activities that will improve the physical and mental health and well-being of children and young people in West Somerset. More information on the FUN project can be found here.

Based on the Five Ways to Wellbeing (developed by the New Economics Foundation), we aim to empower people to make the changes in their lives that will help them become more resilient to life's stresses.

Exmoor provides opportunities for all five. Here are some examples of what you can do to enjoy and enhance your Wellbeing! :

1: Connect There are many activities available via our events page. If you are visiting alone, there are lots of opportunities to connect with other people.

2: Be Active Although some activities on Exmoor are not overtly physical, statistics show that when people are in green space they tend to be more physically active. Walking, cycling, water sports and conservation activities are examples of the many that are available.  Find out some of the ways to enjoy Exmoor National Park. 

3: Take Notice Being more aware of ourselves and our surroundings can help us to relax and help address our mental and emotional needs. The fantastic landscape that Exmoor has is the perfect place to do this!  Find out what’s special about Exmoor National Park.

4: Keep Learning Many of the activities available on Exmoor provide opportunities for learning including talks, workshops and self- led nature walks with resources from our National Park Centres.

5: Give For those who would like to give something back, there are plenty of opportunities on Exmoor for volunteering, take a look at our Get Involved project for more information on this. And link to Exmoor Wildwatch.

For more information contact one of our three National Park Centres.