Nature Prescriptions for Improved Health, Wellbeing and Mindfulness

Tips and ideas for embracing the outdoors in Ards and North Down.

The importance of nature and being outdoors is proven to help people maintain positive mental health and build resilience while also improving physical health and increasing social interactions.

Sport NI, National Trust, Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership and Ards and North Down Borough Council have been working via the borough's Community Planning Partnership to consider what opportunities exist for people to benefit from outdoor learning activities within their local environment.

In 2019, an outdoor learning seminar was held at the Ed Shed at Mount Stewart with a full attendance from a significant range of outdoor recreation providers. The audience were stimulated by presentations from speakers from across the island of Ireland (north and south), Wales and Finland that focused on the overwhelming evidence of the importance of exposing children to physical activity in nature at an early stage of their development. One of the outcomes of the seminar was the development of this interactive calendar detailing the activities people can undertake outside throughout the year.

Community Planning's Outdoor Learning Workstream, works collectively to identify opportunities to improve how individuals and communities connect to nature.

How this calendar works

Each month of this interactive calendar contains information on things to do, places to explore, ideas for slowing things down and lots of links to other useful online content. The calendar focuses on the Ards and North Down area, but a few activities and places to explore from outside the boundary have been included too.

The document can be printed, but it is best viewed on a digital device due to the interactive content and quick access to additional resources.

Download the Moved By Nature Ards and North Down Big Calendar 2021

An initiative of the Big Plan for Ards and North Down. Read more about The Big Plan on the Ards and North Down Borough Council website.

Burr Point
Public Park
Drone image of Burr Point the most easterly point in Ireland

Burr Point, the most easterly point in Ireland.

Ballyquintin Point
Nature and Wildlife
arial photo of part of the lough

Ballyquintin Nature Reserve includes Ballyquintin Point at the tip of the Ards Peninsula, County Down where the Irish Sea enters Strangford Lough.

Mount Stewart
Garden
Photo of the formal gardens in colourful bloom at Mount Stewart with the Estate House in the background

Mount Stewart is a stunning estate in the beautiful scenic area of Strangford Lough. The Formal Gardens are ranked as one of the top ten in the world and the within the house there are collections of national and international significance.