How to enjoy the beauty of the coast from your own home
- Credit: Nick Butcher
With thousands of people shielding in Suffolk, a new virtual walking programme has launched to help everyone enjoy walks around the coast, without leaving their homes.
Funded by the Lowestoft and Northern Parish Community Partnership, the Lowestoft Mile walks have been filmed using 360o virtual reality and drone footage.
The walks currently available include Nicholas Everitt Park, a circular walk around Lound, the Claremont Pier and Kensington Gardens, and Lowestoft Lighthouse to Ness Point.
Danny Steel, vice chair of the partnership, said: "Many people, especially those who live alone, have struggled with the lack of social contact caused by the coronavirus restrictions.
"Social isolation and loneliness can be detrimental to people's mental and physical health and it is hoped these virtual walks will be enjoyed by people who are unable to go outside, such as those living in residential care.
"The walks will enable them to experience the outside world and 'visit' local places even while they are unable to leave home and to get more active if possible."
Developed by the East Suffolk Communities Team, the walks are approximately one mile long and are aimed at everyone, including those unable to leave their homes, with the walks including a voiceover explaining local facts and information.
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The videos can also be used with virtual reality goggles, with viewers encouraged, if able, to walk on the spot, take seated steps, or just move their arms during the walk.
Two further walks will be added shortly following additional funding from the Carlton Colville and Kessingland Community Partnership, while other towns and villages can discuss adding walks in their areas by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see the walks, which can be viewed on any device with a Wi-Fi connection, go to: www.thelowestoftmile.co.uk.
Eight community partnerships have been set up across East Suffolk, including Beccles, Bungay and Halesworth, as a way for the district council, partners and communities to work together to focus on local priorities.