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The Mind Walk - walking safely

No matter where you will be doing The Mind Walk, we want to ensure you and your loved ones stay alert and remain safe when planning and walking your chosen route. We’ve put together some tips for how to plan your route in your own area whilst ensuring you are adhering to the current government guidelines during your walk.

Planning your route

When planning and walking your route, please first and foremost adhere to the current UK government guidelines for social distancing in your chosen area. You can find the most up to date guidelines for your area by referring to restrictions both in England and Wales. Also remember to check if there are any additional local restrictions in your area. This includes local lockdowns and restrictions imposed by the local authority for their places and spaces such as parks. (Please click here for local lockdown updates).

Choose a walking distance that feels suitable to you and your walking ability. We suggest for this to be up to the distance of a 10k walking route.

Find route inspiration

Walk4Life have a fantastic library of walks as well as ways to create your own route from your postcode.

National Trails also have a library of suggested walking routes and trails up and down the country ranging from gentle to moderate difficulty levels.

For London based walkers, TfL have some useful information about walking and a number of mapped out walking routes in London.

Forest Trails also offer a range of walking routes that are perfect for all ages with some particularly engaging routes for families with young children.

Staying safe whilst walking

Be safe

Maintain good hygiene and social distancing. If you begin to show COVID-19 symptoms or have been in contact with anyone who has COVID-19, you must not take part in the walk and self-isolate.

Stick to public, well-lit areas where you can be seen and stay aware of your surroundings. Keep any valuables hidden and if you are doing the Mind Walk by yourself, let someone know where you will be walking and what time you expect to arrive back home.

Be considerate

Be sensitive to rural communities if considering travelling further from home to walk. Make sure to follow the Countryside Code – COVID-19 version (England and Wales) or Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

Social distance

According to the roadmap out of lockdown, the government hopes to be in a position to remove all legal limits on social contact no earlier than 21 June 2021, but this is subject to review. Carrying on with "hands, face, space" and regularly testing for coronavirus continues to be recommended.

Always keep a 2m distance where possible between you and other walkers. Be mindful of any areas in your walk where paths or routes could become narrow and keep social distancing measures in mind when navigating your route (e.g. walking single file down a narrow country lane or a short pavement).

Being prepared for your walk

Wear shoes that are comfortable to walk in that provide adequate support and do not cause blisters such as trainers or walking boots.

Pack a bag/small backpack with the essential items you may need whilst on your walk such as a bottle of water, energy snacks, sunscreen and/or light waterproof coat depending on the weather forecast for the day. Wearing layers that you can easily remove or put on to regulate your body temperature is important for staying comfortable.

Take photos during your walk and share them with the Mind Walk community by using the hastag #TheMindWalk and tagging Mind in your posts using the following handles:

Facebook: @mindforbettermentalhealth

Twitter: @mindcharity

Instagram: @mindforbettermentalhealth

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