New Year, new you! Free ‘gym’ membership!

After having enjoyed all the wonderful edible delights of Christmas, you might be considering getting fit for the new year ahead. You don’t need to worry about spending money on gym membership, all you need to do is get outside for a walk or run – for free! Fresh air and fantastic scenery often included – you definitely won’t find those in a gym! All you need are wellies, hiking boots or trainers, and perhaps a raincoat and warm clothes. Why not set yourself a goal of tackling one of the long distance walks  to complete over the year by taking on a small section each week. Or see how many of our short walks you can get under your belt – you could go for a different walk for every week of the year!  If you prefer to join an organised activity, why not try one of the following for getting active outdoors and re-energise the soul?


  • Wassailing walk, and general noise-making, at Cranbrook on Saturday 6th January to wake up the apple trees for a bumper crop in 2018. Free and no booking necessary.


  • New Year Health Walk and Swim on the Sunday 7th January, at Fernworthy Reservoir. £12.50 booking required.


  • Conservation Work Party at Swanpool Marsh Devon Wildlife Trust Reserve, near Braunton,  on Sunday 14th January to manage the fen type habitat by cutting sallow and brambles.  Free! Wear old tough clothes & wellingtons, bring packed lunch.  Contact Tel: 01271 817349 or email


  • Stover Volunteer Day on Sunday 28th January.  Why not join a growing army of Conservation Volunteers. Tasks are varied and all tools are provided. No special skills are needed – just bring along lunch and old clothes. Contact Stover Country Park for more information 01626 835 236 or by emailing


  • Walking for Health walks – type in your postcode to find an organised walk near you.  These walks are short and over easy terrain; various local routes that go through countryside, parks and/or towns.  These walks are open to everyone but are especially aimed at those who are least active. Free!


Copyright Malcolm Oakley

Copyright Malcolm Oakley Sunset at Leeden Tor