A Walk in the Park #HealthAndWellbeing

This month our Manchester studio Health & Wellbeing Committee organised Sunday walks introducing our Brown Baggers to different parks across the city!

Our aim was to show how easy it can be to find green spaces and enjoy the outdoors together. Everybody was invited to come along and learn a few interesting facts about the area and nature.

Here some of our favourite nature spots we explored together:

Mersey River:

The Mersey River flows 113km from Stockport, through the South of Manchester, all the way to Liverpool. Most parts have walking paths on either side which are easy to access.

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It's a pleasant and convenient way to move between different parks and neighbourhoods around Streford, Chorlton, and Didsbury.

Bridgewater Canal: 

The Bridgewater Canal is sometimes described as England's first canal, as it's the first one built without following an existing watercourse.

Today it offers a 65km leisure route for walkers and cyclists, as well as welcoming boating. Many people might know it from visiting the bars by the canal in Deansgate.

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Did you know you can follow those canal paths all the way to Altrincham? (Just beware of the cheeky Canada geese).

Chorlton Water Park:

Chorlton Water Park is a Local Nature Reserve. Its lake is surrounded by walking paths through grasslands and woodlands and offers many great spots for picnics.

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An ice-cream truck is almost always guaranteed, so don't forget to bring a few coins!

Sale Water Park:

Located next to the Mersey River, the Sale Water Park is an area of countryside containing a lake, cafe, restaurant and watersports centre.

In the summer, the lake might be busy with everything from sailboats to jet skis, but the paths through the meadows and woodlands offer peace and quiet.

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Keep an eye out for the bird watching hide and you'll get to see a variety of waterfowl!

Fletcher Moss Park:

If you're in search of unusual flora and fauna, then visit Fletcher Moss Park: the famous rock and heather gardens are home to many beautiful plants, flowers, and birds.

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The Croft was the birthplace of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) and it's very  likely you'll see, or at least hear, the ring-necked parakeets flying in a green flash.

Heaton Park: 

Heaton Park has plenty of historic landmarks, a garden centre, farm stables, forest areas, and a boating lake.

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It’s home to many groups such as the beekeeping association and astronomy club. Once a year it turns into the festival grounds of Park Life and holds many other events.

Our final walk was planned to be in Altrincham, but unfortunately it had to be postponed due to the unpredictable British summer weather.

Altrincham is a lovely town only 30 minutes away by bus or tram from the City Centre. Besides the many cozy cafes, eateries and bars, what makes Altrincham unique is their market. Here you'll find local food, arts, and craft, and on some weekends they host events and live music.

Once you've eaten your own weight, take a walk to Dunham Massey Park through the quaint neighbourhoods, a golf course, and fields. Dunham Massey is a lovely park with loads of space and free-roaming deer!

One of the easiest ways to find nature around you is to open Google Maps, zoom out and look out for big green areas.

It's always worth checking them out and familiarising yourself with your own neighbourhood: maybe it's a community garden you'd like to join, or it might be a park too small for a walk, but ideal for a picnic or reading your book? Go out, bring a friend and explore!

Rachael Rothwell

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