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21 May 20

Affinity Water employees support Mental Health Awareness Week with top countryside walks

Affinity Water employees are putting their best foot forward to support Mental Health Awareness week from 18th to 24th May 2020 by providing advice on their top countryside walks within the supply area.

They are blogging and showing each other the best routes to take across the region in order to improve their mental wellbeing during the Coronavirus pandemic and have invited Affinity Water customers to join in the fun.

Max Gamrat, a Programme Manager in Asset Strategy said he started a blog about walking after discovering he actually enjoyed it during the coronavirus lock-down as part of his daily exercise.

Mr Gamrat said: “Hiking and trailing is something I enjoy very much as long as its high up in the mountains, but I never felt that going for a walk near home would be as therapeutic as my recent late afternoon stroll through Scratchwood park, on the Barnet/Hertfordshire border. I initially planned for a quick walk ‘around the block’ until I literally lost myself in the woods, somewhere behind Mill Hill Golf Course, and ended up in the forest.”

He continued: “What certainly became apparent to me is that, through these difficult coronavirus times, there are simple pleasures and experiences that can help to make our days brighter. Walking for an hour might not be for you, perhaps you hate venturing out and getting lost in the forest - but you can always discover something new, right outside your doorstep. I didn’t know these beautiful walks existed before. If you enjoy walking please let me know and I can share your stories during Mental Health Awareness Week.”

Kevin Barton, Head of External Communication for Affinity Water said: “We thought Max Gamrat had hit on something really important and want to encourage others to read his blog and share their love of walking during the coronavirus pandemic. It’s so important for us all in Mental Health Awareness Week to exchange our stories and to tell others how we overcome the challenges in our lives.

“We want to recommend these walks in our Central, South East and East Region to others. Affinity Water cares about the environment and each year we undertake many improvement projects to ensure wildlife can breed and thrive once more. During Mental Health Awareness Week we’re encouraging our customers, who we know care about the environment too, to put on their walking shoes and stride out into the open spaces, that we help to maintain.”

The suggested routes cover six counties, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Surrey, and four Northern London Boroughs.

It is recommended that walkers check online to see if they are open before setting off. Coronavirus social distancing is essential.

Central:

Chess Valley walk.

Colne Valley Lakes and Stockers Lake.

The Ver Valley Trail which follows the river Ver starting in Beds and trailing through Herts.

South East:

The River Dour Trail through Dover which follows the river from source to sea. There’s also a walk from Folkestone to Dover.

East:

Dedham Classic Walk follows the River Stour.

East of Central area: The Saffron Trail.

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