A NATURE reserve near Oswestry has been listed as part of a new guide to help inspire people in Shropshire, Telford, and Wrekin to connect with natural environments.

Aston Nature Reserve near Queen's Head is one of nine locations featured in the guide, which offers maps, photos, and waymarked trails, each accompanied by free downloadable routes, accessibility information, and points of interest.

An Ellesmere to Llangollen canal walk also features.

The guides are the result of the Green Social Prescribing project, a two-year initiative led by a collaboration between Energize STW and Shropshire Wildlife Trust, with support from local authorities.

Designed for everyone, from nature novices to social prescribers based in GP surgeries, the guides offer diverse opportunities to access free local green spaces.


Sharon Smith, green social prescribing officer, highlighted the project's focus on the "3 Ls" - low cost, low level, and local.

She said: We wanted to showcase short routes that were accessible and not intimidating to beginners in nature, so nothing involving steep, long hikes.

“We selected walks that required very little to no financial cost to visit and that were local, or on bus routes, so that car travel wouldn’t be a necessity.”

Many have also utilised outdoor spaces for weight loss, building confidence, and achieving positive life changes.

Abi Lowe-Werrell, Healthy Lives Advisor in Shropshire and a #TogetherWeMove Champion with Energize STW said, added: “Through my role as a Healthy Lives advisor, I have supported patients to make use of their local outdoor spaces, be it sitting on a bench down their street to watch the world go by, walking to the park with their children or taking an active role in a community project. 

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"I have seen people improve their mental health through mindfulness and making connections with nature and other people. Others have used outdoor space to support weight loss and have gained confidence in their body and ability for change. 

"Being in the outdoors can energise and inspire us.” 

To access the guides and embark on a rejuvenating journey, visit the Shropshire Wildlife Trust website.

For additional information about the Green Social Prescribing project, reach out to Sharon Smith at Sharon.Smith@energizestw.org.uk or call 07903 018035.