Nordic walking a fun way to get fit while enjoying nature at Strumpshaw Fen

Charles Allen who leads the Nordic walking groups around Strumpshaw Fen. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Charles Allen who leads the Nordic walking groups around Strumpshaw Fen. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

A fun and exhilarating activity that allows participants to improve their fitness levels while enjoying nature has been introduced at Strumpshaw Fen.

Nordic walking allows participants to get fit while enjoying the beauty of Strumpshaw Fen. Picture:

Nordic walking allows participants to get fit while enjoying the beauty of Strumpshaw Fen. Picture: Mike Richards / RSPB - Credit: Mike Richards (rspb-images.com)

Performed with specially designed walking poles similar to ski poles, Nordic walking is a more physical version of walking that uses your entire body.

Having developed from a project run by Active in Nature, Sport England and RSPB the new course takes place in Strumpshaw Fen and is made up of six sessions held over six weeks.

An activity that can be enjoyed by both young and old, instructor Charles Allen said Nordic walking promoted a healthy lifestyle.

He said: 'A variety of people at different levels of fitness can benefit from it but you should be able to walk at least 800m unaided before taking part.'

The Nordic walking poles, which have a comfortable harness which fits round the hand. Picture: DENIS

The Nordic walking poles, which have a comfortable harness which fits round the hand. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018


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Using the poles to push yourself forward instead of pulling yourself, he said Nordic walking had even helped rehabilitate injured sportsmen. 'It has many benefits. Your body burns more energy and uses more muscle fibre and it's very good for your spine and helping out with posture issues.

'It also develops and improves coordination and promotes being out in nature.'

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He said the course taught people the correct way to walk with the poles.

'Once you're done with the course and got your own poles you're free to do it in your own time.'

A stoat hunting in the frosty grass at Strumpshaw Fen. Picture: David Brooker

A stoat hunting in the frosty grass at Strumpshaw Fen. Picture: David Brooker - Credit: David Brooker

Hannah Dryland, visitor experience manager at Strumpshaw Fen, said the course was part of a series of wildlife themed events at the reserve.

She said the course fee included tuition with certified Nordic walking instructors and equipment hire is included.

Describing Nordic walking as a social activity that allowed people to spend time out in nature, she said feedback from participants had been positive.

'Our involvement is providing the environment. It's an activity that merges sport and nature and has introduced new people to our reserve.

Charles Allen who leads the Nordic walking groups around Strumpshaw Fen. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Charles Allen who leads the Nordic walking groups around Strumpshaw Fen. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

'We use the opportunity to tell people about the reserve, the habitat and species that they may come across on the walks.'

A second course is being planned for March, however anyone wanting to join the current course from January 15 can still do so.

Booking is essential and can be done at: Learn to Nordic Walk at Strumpshaw Fen

A Muntjac beside the old pumphouse path at Strumpshaw Fen. Picture: David Brooker

A Muntjac beside the old pumphouse path at Strumpshaw Fen. Picture: David Brooker - Credit: David Brooker

Nordic walking allows participants to get fit while enjoying the beauty of Strumpshaw Fen. Picture:

Nordic walking allows participants to get fit while enjoying the beauty of Strumpshaw Fen. Picture: David Brooker - Credit: David Brooker

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