BLENHEIM Estate is aiming to tackle some of the problems caused by lockdown.

By piloting its ‘social prescription’ programme, Blenheim is hoping to address social isolation and physical inactivity.

The six-week programme will see volunteers take part in walks and mindfulness activities at the estate.

Questionnaires will gather data and assess effectiveness.

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“The pandemic has highlighted the urgent need to address issues of mental health and wellbeing as a matter of urgency,” said Blenheim’s Estate director Roy Cox.

“Increasingly people are looking at the benefits of ongoing interaction with nature and the natural world as an alternative to traditional medical interventions.

“By joining the natural resources of our land with the health service, our woodlands, green spaces and fresh air can begin to be prescribed as the most natural of health solutions.

“Society is living longer and developing long-term health conditions, which include mental health issues and loneliness.

“GP surgeries are struggling to cope and 20 per cent of consultations are for matters of housing, employment and relationship breakdowns.

“Social prescribing is increasingly a Government priority and as a landed estate, we are uniquely placed to respond.”