System level guidance to setting up Green Walking

I’d like there to be Green Walking groups across my ICB/Trust/Health Board. How do I get started?

Liaise with the clinical teams on the wards to ascertain what Green Walking groups already exist, or which wards are most ready to start a Green Walking Group.  The information needed to set this group up can be found within the Guide to Green Walking in Mental Health Recovery, which can be downloaded for free here  

Green walking is a low-cost intervention which uses available time and human resources efficiently.  Some groups have hospital volunteers co-facilitating to support staff numbers.  You may want to access funds for certain items, but these may also be available for free.  For example, some wards have set up donation schemes for wet weather gear.

Once the efficacy of the first green walking group is apparent, other wards often want to replicate this. Use the knowledge, learning and resources from the first groups to facilitate integration of green walking into the group programmes across your hospitals and into community services. 

How do I get support for Green Walking groups

The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare hosts a monthly Green Walking Networking Group meeting.  This provides peer support for people running or wanting to set up a Green Walking group on their ward.  You can find more information and free registration here

You can ask questions about Green Walking in Mental Health Susnet and/or the Green Space for Health networks here

I have funding options and need help to implement Green Walking across my organisation

The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare offers project management of the development and implementation of Green Walking across health services.  If you would like Green Walking to be integrated across your Trust/Health Board, throughout in-patient services and across other mental health settings, then CSH can provide oversight of this initiative.  For example:

  • Supporting staff programme delivery, including via training based on CSH’s existing Green Walking Guide
  • Development of routes, risk assessments around S17 leave and discharge plans, and sharing of group resources.
  • Oversee programme monitoring and evaluation by collecting, collating and reporting feedback against agreed criteria
  • Project promotion and liaison with NHS communication teams
  • Supporting the liaison with NHS volunteer services about possible volunteer involvement in Green Walking groups
  • Supporting signposting of inpatients to community walking groups after discharge and/or supporting the development of these community groups if they don’t exist yet
  • Producing and sharing Green Walking case studies
  • Development of CSH Green Walking Toolkit, a folder of further resources containing templates (e.g. risk assessments and checklists), case studies of existing groups and FAQ
  • Promotion of the Green Walking initiative to support the NHS’s net zero targets
  • Guiding engagement with CSH online networks and external networks

Email with any queries about your Green Walking programme.