A Spring in Your Step Outdoor Volunteering and Activities

Being outdoors brings with it a wide range of benefits to mental and physical wellbeing, many of which have helped people to cope with the lockdowns and social isolation that we’ve had to endure during the pandemic. Our local countryside has never seen so many people walking and cycling and hopefully once the pandemic isn’t at the forefront of everyone’s minds, local people will have established being outdoors as part of their routine and will continue to take part in outdoor recreation.

Calderdale’s Countryside Service have lots to contribute to the health and wellbeing agenda. We manage some wonderful places that are very dear to the residents of Calderdale including Ogden Water, Jerusalem Farm and Cromwell Bottom. These places have proved invaluable to many visitors during the lockdowns and visitor numbers have shown a significant rise. Just being outdoors in a wood or walking on the moors helps with feelings of wellbeing and reduces stress.

To help look after our sites and maintain the rights of way network, we are heavily reliant on the assistance of volunteers to be able to build stiles, cut back vegetation, plant trees and a myriad of other things. We benefit hugely from the support we get but at the same time, we offer our volunteers support, friendship and a chance to exercise outdoors, so it is a two way relationship from which everyone benefits.  Volunteer work parties are hoped to start in the next few weeks, so please email countryside@calderdale.gov.uk if you want to know more.

Another aspect of the Countryside Service’s work which has benefits for people’s wellbeing is the events we ran pre-COVID. These include family events such as bird box building, mini beast hunts and kite making, and those aimed at adults such as our gardening events, where we focus on basic gardening skills such as planting up containers and baskets. The Countryside Team are hoping to start running events again as soon as it is safe to do so.

Here are some ideas from Active Calderdale you can do while out and about this week.

Better Living is Back!

Calderdale Better Living Service is now taking referrals for people who would like support with weight management, healthy eating, physical activity or cutting down on alcohol. The service is now back open, after having had to suspend services last year at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.  New referrals are being received and can be made by a  health professional or by self referring.

The service is using new ways to engage with clients like phone/WhatsApp/internet conference calling and other computer platforms until it is safe for us to resume our face to face service again.

For more details visit www.calderdale.gov.uk/betterliving or phone 01422 230230

Calderdale Council Local Parks Survey

Calderdale Council, as part of the Vision 2024 project want your views on your local parks.

The purpose of this survey is to help us understand how our work is impacting residents’ ability, opportunity, and motivation to be physically active, and how best to focus efforts going forwards.

Completion of this survey/sharing your information with us constitutes explicit consent from you for us to process your data for this purpose. The information you provide to us will not be used for any other purpose. You can find more information about Calderdale Council’s Privacy Policy here.

Follow this link to the survey

Running Aunties blog

I don’t look like a runner, I’m middle-aged, black and overweight. But I run, so I’m a runner.”


The Running Aunties is a running and walking group aimed at women of colour. Bernadette, Tahreen, and Shanaz share their stories of getting started and creating a group to support other women. Find out more


If you’d like to move more and need some help to get started why not try the Park Walk 8 week plan.

Active Calderdale February Walking Workshop – still time to join

During Lockdown #1, almost half of the people in Calderdale said that they were getting out for a walk more than usual, mainly to keep moving and help feel better mentally. This isn’t just trudging up big hills but it’s  a wander to the shop, round the park or just a few laps of the garden.

With your help we want to make it easier and create a better environment to take a stroll from your doorstep, so we held a virtual get together to talk about what’s already happening,  what would help and how you can support this. Have a look and drop us a line if you’d like to get involved…

Read our finds of the benefits of walking…

Join Active Calderdale on our Family and Friends February Challenge!

“Two-fifths of people say they are being less active in this lockdown than during the first one in spring 2020”

Have you seen this in the news recently? Are you feeling the tougher effects of this lockdown on your physical activity levels? Moving more is one of the best tools we have to boost our physical and mental health – and we’re more likely to do it if we have encouragement from people that we know and trust.

That’s why need your help to spread the word about our latest social media challenge: #FamAndFriendsFeb.

The challenge to everyone in Calderdale is simple; can you encourage as many of your family and friends as possible to be physically active in February?

We all want to find new ways to support our family and friends during this lockdown. Reminding them to keep active is a brilliant way to help the people that we love to stay physically and mentally healthy, to stay connected with them, and have some fun!

Active Calderdale have put together some handy tips and ideas for different ways to keep active with your family and friends whilst sticking to the lockdown restrictions, which will be posted daily on our social media channels using #FamAndFriendsFeb.

We’d love it if your organisation could help us to spread the word on social media, and if you could take part yourself!

Visit our website for more information on the challenge, and download our social media pack for some suggested posts for your organisation. If you need any help with this drop us a line at  ActiveCalderdale@calderdale.gov.uk


First Steps – Walking Workshop in Calderdale February 1st

Getting out for a stroll is one of the few ways we can all move more at the moment. We’d like your help to understand what groups, routes and resources are out there so together we can make it easier for everyone to find a way to walk. For further details and to register on to the event, please visit

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/835878963623591/

Actual Eventbrite link to register: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/walking-in-calderdale-first-steps-workshop-tickets-135679682583

Active Calderdale walking workshop full