COPD walking group

Hear from COPD sufferers how the walking has helped them.

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Since 2005 a group of people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), have been meeting at Eden each week to walk between half and one and a half miles around the site.

'When I went to my last hospital appointment, my lungs had improved by 20%. The consultant put it down to the fact that I come every week and do the walk.'
Beryl, participating walker 

The individuals suffer from a range of lung diseases which cause shortness of breath and limit their ability to exercise, including chronic bronchitis, emphysema and chronic obstructive airways disease. Some of them were unable to take more than a few steps without oxygen when they began, but have made great improvements, and are spending less time in hospital.

'I'm afraid to say if I didn’t have something like this then I would be very much closed up. It just makes life easier by actually doing something physical.'

Tim Noble, participating walker 

The initial programme was put together by Eden, the Met Office, the NHS and the Core Fitness Studio in Falmouth. Since then, around hundreds of group members have benefited from taking part, along with their partners or carers.

Why the Eden Project?

Eden was chosen as a venue for the group because it offers a challenging yet protected environment. The paths are of varying gradients, yet they are accessible by wheelchair and scooter, and the group can call on an onsite paramedic and minibus if they need to. There are lots of points of interest along the way to keep the exercise fun, too, such as wildlife, different flowers in bloom, storytelling and exhibits on site, and Eden staff to chat to…

'When someone says ‘I really didn’t feel like coming in to walk today [due to their symptoms] but I’m so glad I did,’ you know that you’re part of something special.'

Karen Dawkins, Project Coordinator and Walk Leader at the Eden Project

Get involved in the walks

When: Every Tuesday ready to walk at 10.30 am. The walks usually last between 30-60 minutes and follow various routes to cater for different abilities, which takes in a mixture of our Outdoor Gardens and our Mediterranean Biome. We walk rain or shine. At the end of the walk, everyone meets up for some well deserved refreshments. 

Where: The Eden Project Visitor Centre café.

How: Come along for a free taster session – and if you want to join us again, you’ll then need a Locals’ Pass, Eden Project Membership or a health passport (£12) to come along. 

To find out more contact the Group Coordinator at Eden, Karen Dawkins, on 01726 818881 or or contact the walk leader Jim on 01726 252211.

'When I started walking at Eden, I had a walking stick in one hand and a puffer in the other. The walking stick has now gone and my puffer's in my pocket!'
Eunice, participating walker

About social prescribing at the Eden Project 

At the Eden Project we believe in the power of connecting people with each other and their environment – the power of people collectively doing things to improve their lives and the lives of others around them.

The walking group is part of Eden on Prescription, our social prescribing programme. 

Social prescribing enables GPs to refer patients to a range of local, non-clinical services such as exercise programmes, social clubs and nature-based activities – in the same way they would prescribe a drug, or refer a patient to a hospital.