Primary - Adding to quality of life - social value: 2010 Khush Dil ('happy hearts')

This initiative was set up to encourage black and ethnic minority families and community groups in Glasgow to enjoy the health benefits of nearby woodland. The Khush Dil Active Woods initiative targets all South Asians to secure higher awareness of cardiovascular (CHD) risk factors and reap these local woodland health benefits.

The project was initiated by the Forestry Commission, Central Scotland Conservancy in order to:

  • Engage with the South Asian population in Glasgow
  • Facilitate first-time woodland visits
  • Raise the profile of the Forestry Commission Scotland and what they do

Open spaces and woodland provide free and natural venues for regular exercise and physical activity to stay healthy and keep a 'happy heart'. Supported by Awaz FM, Khush Dil Active Woods is working closely through community groups across Mandirs, Gurudwaras and Mosques. A promotional leaflet was distributed in community venues to advertise ranger-led woodland visits. Five presentations were given to a variety of South Asians, including Muslim, Sikh and Hindu groups.

To date there have been excellent outcomes. There were three first-time visits to urban woodland in Glasgow and 1 first-time visit to a national estate, David Marshall Lodge. The initiative had a presence at the Glasgow Mela. Publicity was also extensive - there was a radio programme, plus radio commercials, leaflets, posters, and three articles in the monthly Awaz FM newsletter, along with press coverage in the Glasgow Herald and Eastern Eye Scotland, as well as video footage of the visits to urban woodland and national estate.

Other Khush Dil schemes tackling CHD and Type 2 diabetes have been instigated elsewhere in the UK, including Edinburgh and Gloucester.

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