Dementia friendly walks;
a year in pictures

As part of our Creative Spaces project we have been running a series of dementia-friendly walks since 2015. We have set up these weekly walks for people with dementia and their carers to get outside, meet like minded people and take some photos. Each week we go to a different area to explore the landscape, chat and get some fresh air. We know that walking and exercise in general really helps improve circulation, promotes restful sleep and can enhance moods. We also believe that spending time outdoors and connecting with nature can enhance general feelings of well-being.

These walks have been so successful we'd like to share some of the highlights from our first year of walking 2015.

Goss Moor 15th January

people walking on goss moor walking on goss moor

We braved the wind and sideways rain to enjoy a walk along Goss Moor with Stephen.

St Dennis 22nd January

walking group in st dennis dementia friendly walking group in st dennis

Stephen, Teresa and their dog Tessa took us on a walking tour of their village St Dennis.  Stephen declared he wanted “to get everyone in St Dennis out for a walk!”  We explored the countryside and enjoyed sweeping views over Goss Moor and the surrounding Clay area.

St Dennis 29th January

walking in St Dennis View of countryside in St Dennis

Another walk around St Dennis, this time we sheltered from the rain inside the beautiful church situated on an Iron Age fort.

Roche 4th February

Dementia friendly walk in Roche Dementia friendly walkers in Roche

This week we were joined by a BBC film crew who ran a radio and TV piece about the walks – our five minutes of fame at last! What should have been a peaceful walk down a quiet country lane coincided with bin day, a sensory rich walk but perhaps not in the way we intended!

Goss Moor 11th February

Dementia friendly walking group walking Goss Moor trailDementia friendly walking group on Goss Moor

Great to welcome some new members this week, the group now seems to be really bonding. Some members have started bringing their binoculars for us all to have a look at the views. Teresa and Wendy spotted some beautiful snowdrops.

Wheal Martyn 18th February

Dementia friendly walk along clay trailsDementia friendly walk along Cornwall Clay trail

Wow, one of our biggest groups yet and possibly the furthest we’ve walked. The unique landscape of the clay trails provided an interesting sensory rich walk. We stopped halfway to listen to bird song and some of the experts in the group helped us identify the birds.

Bodmin Beacon 4th March

Walking group at Bodmin BeaconDementia walking group at Bodmin Beacon

New members Christine and John joined us for a very windy walk up to Bodmin Beacon. We were afforded great views of the surrounding landscape and met plenty of friendly dogs along the way.

Luxulyan Valley 11th March

dementia friendly walk in LuxulyanEnjoying a rest on a walk in Luxulyan

Christine and John arrived in style this week – with police escort! We had a gentle relaxing walk through the woodlands of Luxulyan valley, encountering some gigantic moss covered boulders and great views of the river and valley below. We all enjoyed a game pooh sticks on a bridge over a stream on the way back.

St Dennis 18th March

Dementia friendly walk in St DennisGroup gather at St Denys Church

This week we were pleased to welcome Ron along the group on a beautiful sunny day in St Dennis. Stephen and Teresa led the walk this week and we ambled up to the beautiful St Denys church. Some wandered through the bluebell strewn church yard whilst others simply soaked up the sun in the grounds outside. 

Pentewan Valley Trail 25th March

Dementia friendly group on the Pentewan Valley TrailWalking along the Pentewan Valley Trail

The sun shone for us to enjoy a glorious morning along the Pentewan valley trail. At the end of the walk we spent some quiet time listening to the birds and then, with the help of the bird spotting book we did some identification. Wendy wowed the group with her crow and jackdaw impressions!

Innis Lake 1st April

Dementia friendly walking group on the clay trails around InnisGroup gather for a cup of tea on the dementia friendly walk

This week we walked along the tranquil clay trails around Innis Lake. We enjoyed great views over the lake from the viewing point and admired the unique landscape of the trails.

Lostwithiel 8th April 

Walking group enjoy the sunshine in Lostwithiel by the river FoweyWalkers taking a well deserved tea break in Lostwithiel at 2 Quay Street

A gloriously sunny walk along the river Fowey in Lostwithiel, stopping to feed the ducks, smell the blossom on the trees and admire the views.  At the end of the walk we enjoyed a cuppa overlooking the river thanks to 2 Quay Street cafe and were spoilt with homemade cakes from two of our walkers. 

Wheal Martyn Museum 22nd April

Dementia friendly walking group explore the outdoor grounds of Wheal Martyn museumWalking group enjoy looking at the atefacts from clay mining

This week we strolled around the outside museum area of Wheal Martyn looking at Water Wheels, wagons, trucks and pumps amongst other clay mining related artefacts. The machines and imagery bought back lots of memories for our walkers who had grown up in the area.

Bugle Clay Trail 29th April

Dementia friendly walk in BugleDementia friendly walkers along the Bugle Clay Trail

We managed to just about avoid some April showers as we ambled along the clay trail at Bugle. Tony pointed out some trees that he planted on the clay tips many years ago to help regenerate the area and we marvelled at how big they had grown disguising the former clay tip. 

Luxulyan Valley 13th May

Dementia friendly walkers in LuxulyanWalking group taking a break by the river in Luxulyan

This week we walked down by the river in the Luxulyan valley. We stopped in a small clearing right by the river to enjoy a really peaceful moment with only the sound of the river rushing by. The bluebells carpeted the banks and we spent some time identifying wild flowers.

Par duck pond 27th May

walkers enjoy the sunshine walking around Par bunny fieldfeeding the ducks at Par duck pond

We had a real taste of summer this week as we strolled around Par duck pond and the adjoining bunny field.  We found a lovely bench to soak up the sun during our tea break and had a lot of fun trying to feed the (disinterested) ducks.

Luxulyan 24th June

walking group gather for Cornish PastiesNature Palettes from flowers in the garden

This week we had a mini garden party at a cottage in Luxulyan. As well as going on a walk, we looked for flowers to make nature palettes and were treated to cups of tea and homemade Cornish pasties. Bliss!

Eden Project 1st July

Dementia friendly walking group walks down the slopes to Eden ProjectDementia friendly walking group in Eden Project's Med biome

We enjoyed a fantastic morning strolling around Eden project which included a popular trip on the tractor pulled land train. We walked around the Mediterranean biome enjoying all the different sights and smells that the wealth of plants had to offer. Big thanks to Karen and Tony for organising this walk.

Bodmin Beacon 20th July - NEW GROUP

dementia friendly walking group at Bodmin BeaconDementia friendly walking group at Bodmin Beacon

This week we launched our new walking group for the Bodmin area. The group will run once a fortnight on a Monday afternoon.  The weather at Bodmin beacon was pretty wild but we enjoyed a circular route with plenty of stops to take in the views and enjoy some impromptu poetry!

Par duck pond 22nd July

Dementia friendly walking group at Par duck pondDementia frienfdly walking group at par duck pond

A lovely sunny stroll around the duck pond and adjacent fields with plenty of time to feed the ducks.

Lostwithiel 29th July

Dementia friendly walk and picnic in lostwithielDementia friendly walking group in Lostwithiel

This week we tried something different and arranged a fishing trip and picnic along the river Fowey.  Some shared their fishing knowhow whilst others shared home baking.  It was a great morning of chatting and relaxing in the sunshine (plus a bit of scooter racing!)

Respryn 3rd August

dementia friendly walking group at Respryn woodsdementia friendly walkers at Respryn woods

Great to see lots of new faces for our second Bodmin area walking group including two dogs! We all enjoyed a peaceful amble amongst the shady trees of Respryn woods which gave us great views of the valley and river.

Cardinham Woods 7th September

Dementia friendly walk in BodminDementia friendly walk in Bodmin

A bit more of a challenging walk this week as we did a circular walk at Cardinham Woods. The sun shone down on us as we strolled alongside the river and up through the woods. Afterwards we all enjoyed a well deserved cuppa at the Woods cafe and strangers soon turned into new friends.

Carluddon Clay Trails 9th September

Dementia friendly walkers along the Clay TrailWalkers meet up at the bridge in Carluddon

This week we strolled around Baal pit and used the new footbridge over the A391. Great to see some new faces this week and some old friends returning to the group. Whilst the weather was a bit dreary there were still plenty of laughs and chatter to be heard.

Lostwithiel 16th September

dementia friendly walking group gathers in Lostwithieldementia friendly walking group walk along the river fowey

This week we were joined by some new friends from the Lostwithiel memory matters club.We strolled through the town and along the river stopping for a cup of tea half way along.It was great to meet new people and feel like a big walking gang!

Luxulyan 21st October

walkers meet Llamas as they walk in Luxulyan Walkers meet cows as they walk in Luxulyan

We enjoyed a stroll along the country lanes of Luxulyan this week, stopping to admire the views and say hello to the local wildlife!

Cardinham Woods 2nd November

dementia friendly walkers in the woods dementia friendly walking group enjoying a cup of tea

We enjoyed some beautiful dappled sunlight in the woodlands of Cardinham this week.  We walked down to a small stream and enjoyed being outside in the unseasonable mild weather.

 

Big Lottery Fund

I'm not the only one

Find out the story behind the St Austell based walking group.

Links

Dementia walks monthly programme - find out how to join us

Creative Carers Network blog - latest news about what has been happening

Activities and factsheets - to help you plan dementia-friendly spaces and activities

Sensory Trust needs you!

People fishing as part of a dementia friendly walk

We are looking for volunteers to help us on our walks. No experience necessary just a willingness to carry a rucksack, chat and have fun! Find out more about our current volunteer opportunities.

Mindfulness for dementia

Take it all in mindfulness for dementia activity

Did you know that there are proven links between practicing mindfulness meditation and easing some of the symptoms of dementia? 

Our mindfulness activity is based on the principles of mindfulness meditation and helps people to focus on the here and now rather than worrying about the future and what they can or can’t remember.