Health and wellbeing

Funding level: Up to £1,000


The ‘Fishwick Woodland Wanders’ project aims to make more people aware of the Fishwick Local Nature Reserve and its network of footpath. The walks provide a marvellous setting for healthy exercise close to the built environment of Preston - but with a distinctly countryside feel. The walks include trails through woodlands in the nature reserve, including 'Oliver's', 'Common Bank' & 'Throslock' Woods and also pass through wildflower meadows and other wildlife habitats. The everchanging inspirational setting will hopefully promote a feeling wellbeing beyond the physical benefit of exercise.

An Aviva Community Grant would allow us to buy waymarker signs for 4 short circular walks and to design and print a leaflet about the walks for distribution both within the local community and the wider Preston area. We would particularly like to target the leaflet toward users of local surgeries and health care providers. The leaflet would aim to promote both 1/ the many benefits of walking as a form of exercise and 2/ a pleasant, accessible place to walk.

The proposed four circular walking routes comprise three walks of around half a mile, all traffic free and within the nature reserve and a fourth walk (1 ½ miles) which would include a short stretch on a quiet lane. The walks include one route with no steps and that has access features and slopes which are all surfaced and DDA compliant. Other routes include steps of varying numbers and therefore the four routes offer walking opportunities for various abilities, with scope to take on new challenges.
The three half-mile walks are at either end and the middle of the nature reserve, with multiple access points and so potentially serve residents living in different areas of the community. The longer walk incorporates much the three others but adds new stretches.
The same routes may also be used in reverse, which because of steps and slopes would give a different level of exercise and could also be used for jogging - potentially 16 different exercise regimes. The marked walks also have connectivity with other walking routes in the vicinity, including 'The Guild Wheel', Brockholes nature reserve, 'Preston Junction' 'the Ribble Way' - all hidden gems close to urban centres.

The nature reserve is bordered on its north side by the residential area of Fishwick and is within walking distance of three Local Authority Wards with a combined population of over 18,000. The wards of Fishwick and St.Matthew’s have been identified as being areas of social and economic deprivation and, consequently, have associated health and wellbeing issues.

The Friends of Fishwick & St.Matthew’s (FoFS) formed in 2011 and our constitution may be viewed on our website. The ‘Health and Wellbeing’ of the community is one of our priorities.
FoFS have been involved with a number of projects based at the nature reserve over the years and have worked with partners such as Preston City Council and the Wildlife Trust for Lancashire. In this project we would work closely with the reserve Park Ranger, who has agreed to help plan the routes and positioning of the signs and would help to ‘kick-start’ the project by leading guided walks using the routes. We would then aim to sustain the momentum by ensuring the leaflets are available at doctors and health centres and on-line through FoFS and Preston Council websites.

Project Video

Friends of Fishwick & St.Matthew's (FoFS)

Moment of Pride

This project offers a relatively low cost, long term way of benefitting the health and well being of a great number of people. It may also introduce people to wildlife and volunteering opportunities at the nature reserve and attract new visitors to the area. It satisfies several of FoFS priorities.

Location: Fishwick View, Preston, United Kingdom