Everton Park is unique in Liverpool as a Park built on a hill, but you don’t have to climb the hill to get to the top. From Heyworth Street * you can drive to the top and look down on our great city of Liverpool, across the Mersey to the Wirral and on to the Welsh Hills. On a really clear day you can see Snowdonia. As you stand at the top of the Park, the sense of amazement will do you good.
I am a GP working a few hundred metres from the Park. If I am feeling stressed (often) and I have a half hour break (rarely) I will walk up to the Park to enjoy the view and the green space. On the way there is a gentle hill so I am bit breathless by the time I arrive. I can look around at the trees and greenery all year round. In Spring, Summer, and Autumn there are thousands of flowers to enjoy. In Winter a crisp frost can turn it into a fantasy landscape. Often I bump into a patient or someone else I know and we have a short chat. I usually return to work refreshed ready for afternoon surgery.
The evidence that going to the Park will do you good is well known. Any park would do, but I am biased toward Everton Park. If you want to check out the evidence go to WWW.THEPARKSALLIANCE.COM and look at their page “Why Parks Matter – An evidence Base”. They have listed it all.
I am going to give you four good reasons:
1. There is lots of evidence that spending time in a park is good for your mental health – see above for my own de-stressing method.
2. Specifically, in the Five Ways to Wellbeing – Taking Note, Being Active, Connecting, Learning, Giving, - it is easy to achieve the first two by just going. If you are walking, cycling or running, you are already Being Active. Look around you at the trees and flowers, smell the fresh air, listen to the sounds; you are Taking Note, chat to people in the Park, dog walkers are the friendliest people, always happy to talk about their pet; you’re Connecting. I will leave it to you to work out how to do the Learning and Giving but one way to learn is to follow the Heritage Trail notice boards around the Park.
3. It is becoming much clearer that taking regular exercise is hugely effective in keeping you healthy. Everton Park is the way to do it. You may see some of the boxing crowd running up and down the steps in the Park. Park Run is an activity you can join. Run the park by yourself. There are markers that will let you know how far you have run. Or just walk around. An hour of walking in the Park, at a pace you prefer is enough.
4. Escape to the Park. We all have problems, with our finances, our relationships, our health. The Park is an escape. Get away from it all, for free! Go to the Park and leave your problems behind for an hour. Refresh yourself by breathing clearer air in a tranquil setting. Recharge ready to go back home with a clearer mind, better able to calmly deal with your problems with your inner strength built up by the experience of Everton Park.
*If you use the App what3words, the turn off on Heyworth Street is at punch.vine.even