Maintaining and improving our health and mental wellbeing is an important factor of our lives. Whether we pay more attention to the outdoors, take up a new hobby or volunteer our time, there are numerous things we can do to brighten our spirit and improve our health. This section aims to give a few ideas, information on local initiatives and useful links that can help you do this.
The Great Outdoors
Exercise does not have to be arduous. We are fortunate that within walking distance of the village there are numerous open spaces, meadows, and a nature reserve that we can all enjoy. Walking improves cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and helps with mental stress. A regular 30 minutes’ walk every day is not only good exercise but can lift your mood.
King George V and Stanlake Meadow
These areas are well known to most of us, but have you checked out the fitness trail at Stanlake Meadow or the wildflower area and grass labyrinth in King George V recreation ground.
Charvil Meadows and Charvil Country Park
Charvil Meadows bordering the River Loddon can be found just past Prince Brothers on the Old Bath Road or accessible via Edwards Road, Charvil. Check out the wildflowers, birds – you may see herons, swans, geese, and red kites swooping overhead – and the occasional muntjac. There are several paths to follow but if you keep on the main path over a charming little bridge and straight ahead you will end up on the not so charming A4, but turn right, cross the road and maybe visit Riverways farm for fresh eggs and reindeer spotting.
Charvil Country Park
Charvil Country Park covers 75 hectares and can be found in the lower Loddon Valley between Twyford and Charvil accessible via Park Lane, Old Bath Road, Vale View and East Park Farm Drive. Walk through grassland, around the lakes and watch out for swans, coots, geese, herons, egrets, cormorants, and wild bunnies hopping through the grass. It is also the home for two rare plants – the Loddon Lily and the Loddon Pondweed.
Angling (membership only) is also available here. Pike, Bream, Tench and Carp can be found in the lake or in the river, Barbel, Chub and Perch. For more information on what Charvil Country Park can offer, view their nature trail booklet.
Loddon Nature Reserve
Accessed from the Wagon and Horses car park or Silk Lane, it takes approximately 30 minutes to walk round the lake – or longer depending on how often you stop and stare. You can also take the path under the railway bridge towards Dinton Pastures. As well as the usual suspects, crested grebe and cormorants are sometimes seen here and there is a handy bird spotting information board by the lake.
The Joys of Gardening
Gardening has a hugely powerful and positive impact on both physical and mental health but allotment gardening can also provide the additional benefits of social contact which helps combat isolation and loneliness and encourages you to feel part of a community by sharing experiences and advice.
There are many aspects of gardening from simply growing cress on a kitchen windowsill, to cultivating artichokes to zucchinis and asters to zinnias in an allotment or garden setting. All require patience and various degrees of nurturing and conservation. The journey from the planning stages to reaping the rewards can generate excitement, a sense of ownership and achievement and help to raise self-esteem and boost confidence whilst lowering stress and anxiety. And even better you get to eat the fruits of your labour!
Gardening can promote inspiration and imagination, connecting and contributing to nature and wildlife. Important life skills can be learnt regardless of age, ability, and background.
As plants grow, thrive, and succeed, so can people whether you have a window box, garden or allotment make the most of it.
For further information on allotments visit the Twyford Allotments website.
If you are interested in joining our gardening for good health group contact [email protected]
Dinton Pastures Country Park
A long walk from Twyford maybe but get on your bike or take the car and enjoy the numerous lakes and walks around this lovely park where you can enjoy the scenery and check out the walking trails on offer at Dinton Pastures Country Park.
Twyford Tennis Club
Twyford Tennis Club is in King George V recreation ground. The club caters for all ages and abilities and there are three floodlit tennis courts. For more information and membership details go to the Twyford Tennis Club’s website. even if you’ve never played tennis before now could be the chance to learn a new sport and get fit.
Twyford Comets Football Club
Founded in 1972, Twyford Comets Football Club provides a safe and friendly footballing environment to the local community. The club, has around 20 teams playing most weekends in various local leagues, from under 7 all the way up through the junior age groups to adult football. They also cater for younger children with the Saturday morning Mini-Comets soccer school which meets at King George V recreation ground, providing a fun and excellent start to the game before moving into organised league football. For more information about the club and volunteer opportunities go to the Twyford Comets website.
Watch Twyford Comets fun lockdown 2020 feel good video (Keeping it Up!)
Twyford and Ruscombe Cricket Club
Twyford and Ruscombe Cricket Club welcomes cricketers of all ages and abilities. They have a full programme of adult friendlies and run youth teams for boys and girls from under 7 (Year 1) to under 15 level (up to and including Year 10) as well as coaching and indoor and outdoor practice and net sessions. For further information visit the Twyford and Ruscombe Cricket Club website.
And don’t forget to check out the Snooker Hall in Wargrave Road or the Bowling Club opposite.
Twyford Together is a group of volunteers who want to make the village even better than it is. They put on events, such as the Fun Run, and aim to bring businesses and community together.
A diverse range of people volunteer from commuters to business owners, students, and retired people. They are involved in a wide range of initiatives including the Easter Egg Hunt, Christmas Fayre, and the Village Awards. They also produce leaflets of walks around the village. Twyford Together always welcome new volunteers who are willing to give up their time to help manage or organise village events or help people who need it. For more information and for a comprehensive list of clubs and other local organizations visit the Twyford Together website.