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Coastal volunteer care helps improve health and environment

Opportunities to help care for coastal areas are helping support better health for communities, volunteers and are also improving local environments.

Denbighshire County Council’s Countryside Service is working alongside Nature for Health to help people enjoy the outdoors for physical and mental wellbeing and to become more physically active.

Nature for Health is a collaborative project that engages with individuals and communities to promote the role access to nature can play in improving health and wellbeing.

The Nature for Health Programme has received £703,854 from the UK Government through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

Countryside rangers together with Nature for Health Volunteers recently helped with repairs around Rhyl Harbour including the replacement of timber on the boardwalk and maintenance to the benches.

The group also installed new Wales Coast Path discs and waymarkers with their correct colour schemes around the harbour and Horton’s Nose.

Scrub clearance has been a priority during the winter months, with work carried out at the dunes at Barkby and Gronant. Volunteers guided by the rangers have also carried out important maintenance to the solitary bee boxes (at location) , giving them a good clean out and ensuring they are ready to go back out in the spring.

North Denbighshire Coastal Ranger Claudia Smith said: “It has been really good to have the volunteers looking after their own wellbeing by helping with this important outdoor work to improve the areas both for the surrounding nature and the people who come to visit them for their own health needs.

“Countryside volunteering is a great way to boost your health, gain experience and also care for the environment you live in as well.

“The important maintenance they have helped us carry out on the solitary bee boxes will provide spaces for red mason and leafcutter bees to lay their eggs, which then emerge as fully grown bees in the spring.”

Councillor Win Mullen James, Denbighshire Cabinet Lead Member for Local Development and Planning, said: “Getting outdoors is so important for boosting physical and mental health and we are grateful for this work carried out by the rangers and volunteers who I hope have enjoyed it for their own well-being.

“It’s also important work to protect the nature in these amazing environments we have on our coastline, and this will help preserve these areas and habitats for people to visit and enjoy.

Upcoming coastal work includes transplanting marram grass at Rhyl Harbour and helping out at the little tern colony. Anyone interested in helping can contact Claudia on 07785517398 or email Claudia.Smith@denbighshire.gov.uk

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