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Moved by Nature - Ards and North Down’s Big Calendar 2021

Front cover of the moved by nature calendar, close up of three birds in flight.

Ards and North Down's Big Calendar 2021 - Nature Prescriptions for Improved Health, Wellbeing and Mindfulness

Valuing nature and the outdoor environment

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.

Pause and Connect Inspiration

This calendar has some lovely ideas to help you pause and connect with the nature around you.

Here are a few to get you started:

- Step outside, be still for 3 minutes and listen to your surroundings,
- Build your own bird box with help from the National Trust website
- Listen to stories of coastal life around Strangford Lough from the people who live and work there, part of the legacy of the Turn O' The Tide Programme by Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership. Listen now on YouTube

Please follow the latest NI Executive guidance. For up to date information on restrictions go to the NI Executive Website.

Download the calendar below for more inspiration.

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.