New walking route in North Wales aims to restore local meadows and boost wellbeing of locals

A new wellbeing walk that aims to restore and reconnect people to local meadows has launched in Bangor, North Wales.

The Meadows Health Route – created by Plantlife in partnership with the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare, Ysbyty Gwynedd hospital and North Wales Wildlife Trust – runs between the general hospital to nearby Eithinog Meadows, a semi-urban oasis owned and managed by the North Wales Wildlife Trust which is protected for its rare, colourful grassland fungi.

The new walk, which was launched in May during Mental Health Awareness Week, is by the sea and boasts views of the Menai Straights. Swaying orchids, darting orange tip butterflies, buzzing buff-tailed bumblebees and globally important waxcap fungi are just some of the diverse meadow species that can be experienced on the new health walking route.

Dr Tom Downs, Junior Doctor at Ysbyty Gwynedd, said “I am very excited for the launch of the Health Walk from Ysbyty Gwynedd – Thanks to the Magnificent Meadows project partners, this route will be more accessible to my colleagues and have knock on effects for the well-being of staff and the care that we give to our patients.

“Having greenspace at hospitals is so important, particularly as we learnt during the pandemic that our own well-being is central to the care we are able to give patients. Spending time in nature and having access to green space at our hospital is a simple and effective way to boost our well-being. I am proud to work at a hospital where the health benefits of nature is recognised. The walk sets an example at our hospital, that spending time in nature and green space is good for our health and hopefully will have knock on effects for our patients and community.”

Plantlife’s meadow health routes are part of a three-year project to increase the extent and resilience of Wales’ meadows and species-rich grassland across both the rural and urban landscape.

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. 

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