NEXT week marks the start of Naturally Healthy May, an opportunity to get out and about, to be more active, and to enjoy the county we live in.

At this time of year, Devon County Council buddy-up with Active Devon and the Devon Local Nature Partnership (Devon LNP) to celebrate connecting with nature.

From getting outside for a bike ride, to bird watching and listening to bird song, to swimming in the sea and gardening – by increasing the time you spend outside in nature by just 10 per cent every day, you can significantly improve your health and wellbeing.

Throughout May, events and activities have been arranged across Devon to offer everyone the chance to join in and try something new.

Active Devon and Devon LNP will also be sharing ideas and information on their social media channels, about how to be naturally healthy and how to best enjoy the benefits it can bring.

Dr Sarah Wollaston, Chair of NHS Devon, said: 'We know that being more active is really good for our health, but it isn’t always easy to get started and to find the activity that suits us best.

'We are so fortunate in Devon to have wonderful natural spaces across coast and countryside.

'So, whatever your current level of activity, it is worth joining in for Naturally Healthy May to get outside in groups together or on your own. It will make a difference.

Active Devon’s Tom Mack said: 'Connecting to nature is all about using your senses to notice what is around you, be it hearing the dawn chorus, the feel of wind against your face, or seeing new flowers emerging from the ground.

'By valuing these experiences nature becomes more important to you and your feeling of belonging and wanting to conserve them. By being active in nature you are getting the benefits of being physically active and connecting to nature, a double whammy to your overall health!

'This year, as part of the campaign, we will be celebrating the Connecting Actively to Nature programme by showcasing examples of inspiring projects and stories from around the county, and sharing some of the impact and learning so far from this innovative initiative.'

► For further information about Naturally Healthy May and how to get involved, visit its website here.