Stairs leading down to the River Dee on the Garthdee Campus.
Image by: The Gatehouse

RGUvenate: Boosting the community's wellbeing with natural health walks

By Clara Maurillon - 30 September 2022

RGU Scott Sutherland MRES student Joyce Watt is supporting the university’s Vibrant Campus initiative with the launch of her “RGUvenate” natural health walks, in collaboration with RGU SPORT. Running through autumn to winter, these campus walks aim to encourage environment-friendly activities to promote a healthy lifestyle, Joyce explains.

“RGUvenate is a weekly activity based on walking, foraging and exploring what products we can make from the natural diversity on our campus and alongside the riverbank. During the walks, we will explore the benefits of using the fruit, flowers and branches from our trees and plants by exploring our biodiversity. We will research the abundance of wildlife we have on our doorstep and get to know which native plants and foliage that can be picked, and document our findings to add to ongoing research.

"This simple walking programme has the potential to boost participants’ fitness and wellbeing, which can benefit their overall health for the up-and-coming winter. The main project for the upcoming autumnal walks will be to collect willow whips and foliage from the grounds to make Christmas wreaths.”

The first RGUvenate walk will take place on Monday 10 October at 12:30 to mark World Mental Health Day. The launch will aim to see staff and students take a break from their screens and come together to connect with nature on our campus, in an attempt to boost mental wellbeing within our community. The meet-up point for this first walk will be at the RGU SPORT entrance.

After the launch, Joyce will be looking to provide online Walk Leader training, with 15 spaces available to staff and students through RGU SPORT towards the end of October. Trained Walk Leaders will then be able to plan and supervise their own walks, on a date and time that suits them best. Joyce hopes that this will allow a wide number of walks to be organised in the next few months and bring the community together.

“If the natural health walks are successful, I hope to make them more regular and bring the peer connections outdoors, with different activities being promoted throughout the year. The walks are easily accessible, and I am looking forward to seeing how they boost both the physical and mental health of our students and staff.”

Express your interest and preferences for the upcoming walks:


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