Case Study

The ‘natural health service’


Public Health England National Parks England


SO41 9ZG


A joint accord launched in 2017 to encourage more people to experience the many health benefits of getting out and active in National Parks.


Six million people in England are not even managing to take a 10-minute brisk walk once a month. The Accord helps preserve our beautiful national parks, and encourages people to get active, adding years to our lives and saving billions of pounds for our NHS. Physical activity helps to prevent and manage over 20 chronic conditions, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, mental health problems and musculoskeletal conditions.


Examples of initiatives to improve people’s physical and mental wellbeing in the New Forest National Park include:

  • An annual walking festival, where more than 2,000 people join 80 guided walks to find out more about caring for the Forest while on healthy walks of all lengths and difficulties.
  • Walking for Health groups that run weekly short and easy walks to help people become more active.
  • An inclusive cycling charity, PEDALL, which takes people with disabilities out for cycle rides using a fleet of specially adapted bikes.



More information

Quotes of note

“This accord… shows how we can harness our natural environment to keep our communities well and healthy.”

Lord Gardiner
National Parks Minister

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