This week (from 26th September) has been Scotland's Climate Week, and I'm going to start by quoting a very wise man, Dr William Bird, founder of the health walk movement and Intelligent Health, the company behind Beat the Street. On twitter this week he said:
"Play your part in supporting #ScotClimateWeek by switching off engines & being active across Scotland’s diverse landscapes. Our connection to nature has the ability to heal both ourselves and our environment."
Getting your steps in doesn't just improve your own health, if you're walking (or cycling, wheeling or scooting) rather than using the car, then you're doing your bit to improve air quality. Plus I always find that if I'm out on foot then I am much more likely to notice the nature around me. Things that I have noticed today include FIVE moorhens in a tree (I feel the start of a song coming on, and no I didn't just mention the dreaded winter festival that occurs in December), a whole load of shaggy inkcap mushrooms and the reddest of red trees. Those trees were spotted when I was dashing about in my lunch break trying to find beat boxes in East Kilbride. If you're from EK then I hope you're signed up to Beat the Street, collecting points for your team and if you need a team to join then get in touch. Not only is it helping me get some steps in when I'm in EK for meetings, but it's also really improving my map reading as I try and find my way from box to box. I have to admit to being a bit guilty of hopping in the car when I am heading somewhere for a meeting, not for short journeys, but for those slightly longer ones that can be done by public transport with a bit of thought. Last week I needed to get to Cuningar Loop Park for Healthy n Happy's AGM and I was going to just take the car. Then I discovered it was World Car Free Day and I knew I had to change my plans. Instead of the car I had to walk to a Next Bike station, then cycle to the East End and then walk over the bridge from Dalmarnock into the park. It's a walk that provides a great view of the Hope Sculpture and on my way to the Bothy for the meeting I got very excited about finding the entrance to The Tur, which is a viewing platform, soon to be opened. It's a great park, nature walks, a storytelling chair, bouldering and play equipment, plus a pumptrack for the kids. I felt very virtuous (if a little hot and sweaty) to have got there with only two wheels.
Talking of walking, Walktober starts tomorrow! It's a month-long campaign by our Go Jauntly pals to encourage people to walk at least 10 minutes every day in October. With autumn upon us and the nights drawing in, it’s essential to treat yourself to a daily walk. Whether it’s a short walk to school, a jaunt to your local pub or a lengthier hike, they all make a difference. We want everyone to enjoy the associated mental and physical benefits of being outside. Finding time to walk is sometimes tricky, but if you join the challenge you'll quickly see how the short walks add up, and that carbon saving adds up too. So do yourself and the planet a favour and do a bit more walking in October. Find out more here. For those of you in the Blantyre area we're meeting up with the South Lanarkshire Countryside Rangers at Greenhall Park to go a walk and record it for Go Jauntly and you're welcome to join us and learn more about one of your local nature reserves. You can sign up here. Let's get walking this Walktober.