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The inaugural Viridor Wild Walk at Blackbrook Business Park.

Three Wild Walks based in Taunton, launched during Mental Health Awareness Week by Viridor, in partnership with Somerset Wildlife Trust, tempted office workers to abandon their desks for a lunchtime outing last week.

The inaugural walk started at Blackbrook and was expected to attract around 12-15 people from the local business park. On the day, however, 38 people took advantage of the chance to enjoy a sunny guided walk.

Staff from businesses including Ashfords, Francis Clark, WPA, Viridor and Somerset Waste Partnership were given an insight into the local area and ecology and had the chance to connect with colleagues and recharge their batteries naturally before heading back to their offices.

Viridor Head of Sustainability, Health and Wellbeing Melanie Huggins said: “The overwhelming response to the walk just goes to show that we do recognise that looking after our own health and wellbeing is important.

“It also indicates that the work environment is just as important when it comes to ensuring that we manage mental stress effectively.

“The feedback from the launch walk has demonstrated that even a short time taken out of our day spent in the natural world can help us feel refreshed and enhance our mood in a really positive way.”

Here’s what a few lunchtime walkers had to say about the experience:

“A thoroughly enjoyable stroll, in which I learned more about the local geography and ecology from the knowledgeable guide. It was nice to meet with new people, and to have a laugh, I certainly felt less stressed on return to the office”.

“It was a chance to leave the computer screen and refresh one’s mind and recharge the brain’s battery whilst taking in some fresh air. “

“A beautiful wildlife walk in the country only a minute from the office – Bliss!”

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