Wellington Shire Council is encouraging its residents to lace up their walking shoes, pop the dog on the lead and explore some local tracks and trails during this latest Covid-19 lockdown.
With immeasurable wellbeing and mental health benefits, going for a walk within 5km of home is a great way to abide by the Covid-19 restrictions but still maintain fitness, get the endorphins pumping and get some fresh air.
Acknowledging this has been a difficult lockdown for many, Council has curated a list and map that includes wetlands, arts and beach trails, all within easy reach of Wellington’s main urban areas.
Wellington Shire Council Mayor Garry Stephens said issues around mental health and wellbeing had come to the fore particularly in this latest lockdown, with many struggling with the restrictions and being isolated from family, friends and work.
“We know a lot of people are doing it really tough at the moment and getting out to exercise might be the only time they can step away from what’s happening at home,” Cr Stephens said.
“In times when restrictions are in place limiting our movement, exercising in the outdoors close to home is just so important for our physical and mental health and wellbeing.
“There are many options for exploring the surrounding environment. That might be our neighbouring streets or it might be parks and walking trails both within and outside the town limits.”
In addition, residents can visit The Middle of Everywhere website or download the app to seek out other exercise options near their homes.
“At some point when restrictions ease, we will be able to use the website to go even further and explore more of The Middle of Everywhere, but for now we must do what we can to keep each other safe, and that means staying within the five kilometre rule,” Cr Stephens said.
“There are wetlands walks within five kilometres of urban centres in Maffra, Heyfield, Sale and Yarram, with some of those places linking up to accessible rail trails.
“If you live along the coast you can explore small stretches of the 90 Mile Beach, or those in Stratford have the Arts Trail to admire while exercising.”
Town walks and trails to explore, with links to more information on The Middle of Everywhere website, are available at www.wellington.vic.gov.au/wellnessmap.
Trails highlighted by Council to enjoy include:
Lake Guthridge Playground, Sale Common Wetlands and River Heritage Trail, Herb Guyatt Sanctuary Reserve
Maffra Wetlands Walk, Macalister River Regional Park Playground
Stratford Arts Trail, Knob Reserve Loop
Heyfield Wetlands Walk, Heyfield Apex Park and Gippsland Plains Rail Trail
Yarram Wetlands Park, Tarra Trail
Walk along the 90 Mile Beach