With over 140 council-owned parks and open spaces in Hertfordshire - how many have you visited?

Throughout July ParksHerts is encouraging people to explore one of the many parks in the borough, with daily inspiration about where you can visit using the hashtag #TryANewParksHerts.

So, whether it's to let the kids run about, to walk the dog, relax in nature or to exercise, ParksHerts will help you find your perfect park.

Councillor Caroline Clapper, Portfolio Holder for Culture, Leisure and Health, said:

"We have lots of beautiful parks and open spaces across the borough. We want to encourage people to explore wider and find out what our borough has to offer.

"Across the ParksHerts social media sites throughout July we are offering daily inspiration of council-owned parks and open spaces for you to visit across Hertfordshire. So, for free, fun days out during the summer holidays, visit ParksHerts for new ideas of places to visit."

ParksHerts contains information on Hertfordshire’s parks and open spaces to help residents make more of the county’s greenspaces by providing information about walking, cycling and running routes; historical and wildlife guides; activity trails; local events; maps and more.

“ParksHerts is so easy to use and a great website for local people. You can search for the perfect day out based on who is going, what they want to do and see, as well as the really important things like whether you can get a cup of tea! It also includes useful information about park facilities and accessibility, so you know what to expect before you set off,” adds Cllr Clapper.

ParksHerts was developed to provide consistent, accessible and good quality online information about the county’s parks and open spaces, as well as address the challenges of rising obesity levels and reduced physical activity within Hertfordshire.

Hertfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health, Richard Roberts, said:

“The minute we step in to a park we reap enormous benefits. Natural surroundings help reduce stress and tension and in just three minutes our heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension reduces. It also makes us feel happier, amps up our vitamin D intake, which is needed for healthy bodies, and can even help us age gracefully. Physical activity is a nature’s prescription; what better tonic is there to help us feel vibrant and healthy during Hertfordshire’s Year of Physical Activity than exploring a new park?”

As part of the programme, the Foundation are supporting the Stevenage Borough Council Active Parks projects with three weekly Active Tots sessions in parks across Stevenage. Active Tots is a fun and engaging session for 18 months and above to be introduced to physical activity and sports using animals, colours, numbers and more.

The sessions are available for 10 weeks until 30th August 2018, taking place from 9:30am - 10:30am at Ridlins Park (Monday), Hampson Park (Tuesday) and St Nicholas Park (Friday).

Stevenage FC Foundation's Community Engagement Manager, Ozzie Willis, said:

"We're delighted to be supporting the ParksHerts and Year of Physical Activity by taking our Active Tots programme out to local parks around the town. We're fortunate that Stevenage has some great green spaces and using that as a venue for our hugely popular Active Tots sessions, allows those youngsters to get active and get outdoors."

The ParksHerts website is compatible with mobile devices and tablets, so users can find out more about the parks whilst out and about. It can track users’ location, so people can find the nearest toilet, discover more about the history of the area or find a new route to explore on the move.

Visit ParksHerts today - www.parksherts.co.uk – and find your perfect park!

You can also like on Facebook/ParksHerts, or follow on twitter: @ParksHerts and Instagram: ParksHerts.

The initiative supports Hertfordshire's Year of Physical Activity, which is about getting people out and active, and coincides with Love Parks Week.

For more information about Hertfordshire's Year of Physical Activity please click here