Natural England’s Walking for Health scheme is the largest national body promoting and setting the standards for led health walks. WfH aims to encourage people to take regular short health walks in their local communities, particularly sedentary people and those in relatively poor health.
We are currently developing an initiative to enable WfH participants who have moved through starter and intermediate walks to progress onto more vigorous activity, including longer walks and other activities in the natural environment such as volunteering. The programme will offer a structured pathway for sustainable behaviour change, leading to continuing contact between participants and the natural environment. Over the next 3 years (2009 – 2012) we will also be working in partnership with the Department of Health to achieve a four-fold expansion of participation in WfH. The main aims are to help tackle health problems associated with modern lifestyles where people often take too little exercise and to help people develop an appreciation of their local natural environment.