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Visiting the canal is just what the doctor ordered

It’s official – visiting the Wey & Arun Canal can reduce your stress levels. Scientists have discovered that spending between 20 and 30 minutes among nature could cut levels of the stress hormone cortisol by about 10%.

An American study led by Dr MaryCarol Hunter released last week found that taking at least 20 minutes out of your day to stroll or sit in a place that makes you feel in contact with nature will significantly lower your stress hormone levels.

"We know that spending time in nature reduces stress, but until now it was unclear how much is enough, how often to do it, or even what kind of nature experience will benefit us," Dr Hunter said. "Our study shows that for the greatest payoff, in terms of efficiently lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol, you should spend 20 to 30 minutes sitting or walking in a place that provides you with a sense of nature."

The Wey & Arun Canal provides miles of tranquil towpath for visitors to explore. A series of free downloadable short walks can be found at, or head to Hunt Nature Park in Shalford and make use of the viewing platform which provides the perfect opportunity to sit and watch wildlife in its natural habitat.  

For the ultimate in relaxation, boat trips run from the visitor centre in Loxwood, West Sussex, every weekend, with special trips operating during the school holidays, including the upcoming Easter Bunny cruises for all the family. To book, click on the link

Gill Davies
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
  • A stroll along the towpath is good for your health.
  • Stress levels fall when you get out among nature.
  • The viewing platform at Hunt Nature Park provides an easy way to watch wildlife.