FORGET expensive gym fees – Sheffield forest rangers have come up with the perfect way to shed pounds, save the pennies and give Mother Nature a helping hand!
The Forestry Commission is to launch a first ever woodland workout project in 1,200-acre Wharncliffe Wood, near Sheffield, to help folk stay in trim and improve wildlife habitats.
Free sessions take place on the second Wednesday of each month starting on February 9 from 10am to 3pm. Now a recruitment drive is under way to get adults to go green and sign up.
Hannah Darcel, health and wellbeing ranger with the Forestry Commission, said: “There are loads of tasks that need doing in the woods, from removing trees like birch to let oak saplings thrive, creating a hedge around the grazing cattle enclosure, and planting oaks and other deciduous trees.
“These are also great ways of staying active and meeting new friends, and it can have a really positive impact on your sense of wellbeing.”
Volunteers will be taught how to use a range of tools safely and each session will start with a 15-minute walk through the wood.
Hannah said: “People can work at their own pace and there’s a real sense of satisfaction in doing something positive for the environment. We believe this project will benefit a wide range of people of all fitness levels, especially those with a passion for the great outdoors.”
Wharncliffe Wood – South Yorkshire’s biggest public woodland – is being restored with native trees like oak and rowan replacing most of the conifers.
For more information and a registration pack call Hannah on 07789 942599.
n A state-of-the-art ‘outdoor gym’ has been installed at Mapplewell Park, Barnsley.
Equipment is aimed at everyone but is especially suitable for older people. Coun Roy Miller said: “Visitors can work out free in pleasant surroundings.”