Westmeath residents encouraged to visit Coillte Forests for National Walking Day on September 27

• Annual celebration as part of the European Week of Sport encourages people to get out walking to benefit their physical and mental health and wellbeing

• Research shows that outdoor walking has been important for wellbeing during the COVID19 pandemic

Coillte is encouraging people in County Westmeath to participate in National Walking Day on Sunday, September 27, by visiting a Coillte forest.

National Walking Day aims to inspire people to get out and walk in their local areas due to the great physical and mental wellbeing benefits of walking.

It is an initiative by Get Ireland Walking, supported by Sport Ireland and takes place as part of the European Week of Sport.

Coillte is supporting this annual event by encouraging the public, regardless of age or ability, to get active and stay local.

Westmeath and neighbouring countries have a number of Coillte recreation forests which are open to the public.

To find out more about Coillte’s recreation offering visit www.coillte.ie/our-forests/recreation-map/

Charlie Burke, recreation officer with Coillte and co-ordinator of Coillte’s Woodlands for Health campaign, said: “Coillte is proud to be Ireland’s leading provider of outdoor recreation activities, with more than 3,000 kilometers of trails, 260 recreation sites and 12 forest parks across the country.

“We know about the importance of walking in nature to members of the public and the benefits for both physical and mental health.

"Our forests offer a space where people can walk safely while maintaining social distancing and abiding by COVID19 guidelines.

"Coillte wants to encourage local residents in County Westmeath to take some time out of their day and enjoy their local landscape by participating in National Walking Day on 27 September and visiting one of your local Coillte forests, like Mullaghmeen Forest in County Westmeath."

Coillte’s Woodlands for Health campaign encourages the public to engage with nature through outdoor activities to promote better mental and physical health.

Research shows that walking in natural environments such as forests and woodlands can help to reduce stress and improve wellbeing.

Share a photo or video of your walk on social media and tag @GetIreWalking on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, using the hashtags #BeActive #NationalWalkingDay #WalkYourTown #WalkYourArea and #HiddenGems.

To find out more National Walking Day 2020 visit www.getirelandwalking.ie/nationalwalkingday2020

For more information on Coillte’s Woodlands for Health campaign visit