Health, Wellbeing & Nature

Ways to connect with nature
Opportunities near you
Other Activities

Getting out and about in Nature is great for your physical and mental health and wellbeing. Many of us have heard of or have experienced the benefits of getting our daily dose of "blue - green" (especially during lockdown). Have a look through some of our local options for connecting with nature and if you have any ideas you think we should know about, please let us know.

This section was created in partnership with Oxfordshire's Local Nature Partnership, Health and Nature Group.

Social Prescribing and Community Support

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of being outdoors to people’s mental and physical health, as well as the inequality of access to green space. 

Social prescribing and community-based support enable GPs and other health and care practitioners and local agencies to refer people to a range of local, non-clinical community activities to support their health and wellbeing. 

For some people, green social prescribing is a good option - it links people to nature-based interventions and activities, such as local walking for health schemes, community gardening and food-growing projects.

Nature based activities can:

  • Improve mental health
  • Reduce health inequalities
  • Reduce demand on the health and social care system
  • Develop best practice in making green social activities more resilient and accessible

Oxfordshire's Local Nature Partnership

Members of the Local Nature Partnership have developed a directory of nature-based activities and opportunities in Oxfordshire. It is designed to be used by social prescribers and healthcare workers who want to find activities for their clients, as well as individuals who are looking for an activity to get involved in. Explore "Opportunities near you" to find groups and more.

Joining a Nature Group or volunteering is a great way to help Nature's recovery but it can also give you the emotional boost of being a part of something bigger, knowing you're not alone, and all the benefits of being in a social group out and about in the natural world. Find your Local group and green spaces on our communities map.

This section was created in partnership with Oxfordshire's Local Nature Partnership, Health and Nature Group.

Find your local group, green spaces
& green gyms

Use our map to find what's local to you

1) Start by opening the full map

  • Click the full screen button (in the black bar) at the top right corner of the map to the right- this will make the interactive map open in another tab as shown in the image below
2) Once the map is open in the new tab:
  • To search by postcode: once in the new tab, click the search icon in the top left corner and type in your postcode.
  • Choose the type of groups you want to see on the map by clicking the tick boxes on and off
  • Zoom in and out using the + and - buttons
  • View the details of each pin on the map (representing a group or green space) by clicking the pin you want to view

Local Organisations for more support

FarmAbility is an outdoor, farm-based programme for adults with learning disabilities and autism who become our co-farmers.
"We believe in a society where people with a learning disability and those with a learning disability on the autistic spectrum are independent, active, and connected members of society, where they have a meaningful occupation, and where their contribution is recognised and valued."
Many people assume that community gardens and city or care farms are just nice places to visit where plants are grown and animals kept. But that is far from the whole picture.

Many of them also offer an amazing array of benefits and opportunities, which can include education programmes, play schemes, healthy living initiatives, work and skills training, social enterprises, volunteer opportunities, environmental schemes, horticultural therapy groups, facilities for people with disabilities…the list goes on and on!

Find your local social farm or garden by clicking 'learn more'

Have a look at the different rambling and wellbeing walks that have been set up by a number of our partners from the Health and Nature Group. Whether you go alone or in a group, there's a path out there just for you! 

This section was created in partnership with Oxfordshire's Local Nature Partnership, Health and Nature Group.

Find walking routes and groups near you

Some of us are more than happy to grab an OS map or walking book and hit the footpaths and that's great! But for those of us who would like some company, or maybe just a bit of confidence knowing the route has been planned for us, then here are some options to help you explore, meet like-minded people and get out in nature.

Getting active with Ramblers' wellbeing walks

Almost all of us can manage a stroll, and Ramblers Wellbeing Walks make it easier to start walking and stay active. And you’ll certainly never be short of good company.
It’s almost impossible not to feel good when we’re walking outdoors – it’s a natural mood-booster! And the great news is we don’t need to walk far or fast to feel its effects on our health and wellbeing. Simply getting out is a tonic for our minds and bodies, and it can be sociable too. Sign up here or learn more

Countryside walks and health routes

Go Jauntly Walks

Several walks are available now in and around Banbury and more are being added all the time. View Go Jauntly walks. Download the free, easy to use Go Jauntly app to help you find local walks. Simple photo guides help you navigate and the app will tell you about interesting places and what you can see in nature along the way.

Use the green routes feature to find circular nature-filled walking routes – and connect with nature every day using the nature notes feature.

Cherwell Circular walks

Cherwell District Council have put together a series of countryside walks and historic village trails. You can download the trail and read the latest advice on their website.

Health Routes - Banbury, Kidlington & Bicester

The Health Routes fare part of the Healthy New Town Programme as part of the district council’s commitment to improving physical and mental wellbeing in urban areas. You can now explore the three new walking routes in Banbury, or the zoo-themed walking trails and 'explorer' routes in and around Kidlington, as well as the original health walks in Bicester.

Banbury parkrun

A free, fun, and friendly weekly 5k community event. Walk, jog, run, volunteer or spectate – it's up to you!

Every Saturday at 9:00am.
At Spiceball park, Banbury, Oxfordshire, OX16 2AY / OX16 3JJ. See Course page for more details.

it's free! but please register before you first come along. Only ever register with parkrun once and don't forget to bring a scannable copy of your barcode (request a reminder).
If you forget it, you won't get a time.

We're friendly!
Every week we grab a post parkrun coffee in a local café which we will announce in the run brief - please come and join us!

Gardening encompasses a broad variety of activities, all of which strengthen our connection to nature, ground us and can bring a great sense of achievement. Take a look at the different types of gardening known to improve our wellbeing below.

This section was created in partnership with Oxfordshire's Local Nature Partnership, Health and Nature Group.

Simply being in nature brings us huge benefits. However, even when we are in nature, we sometimes forget to stop and take a moment for ourselves, even to simply look - really look - at the beauty around us. In our busy lives it can be tempting to check that email alert or look up the latest news on our mobiles. Below are some ways to immerse yourself within the natural world and to soak up the benefits of being truly connected with it.

This section was created in partnership with Oxfordshire's Local Nature Partnership, Health and Nature Group.

The Science: Here is a list of evidence and reports showing the benefits of nature for our mental and physical health and wellbeing.

This section was created in partnership with Oxfordshire's Local Nature Partnership, Health and Nature Group.

Helping Wildlife on your Patch

Advice Tailored to You


Copyright © 2022 Wild Oxfordshire. All rights reserved. | Our Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | site by im23