Working Togeth Her for Wildlife; Natural England, the Government's Wildlife and Conservation Advisor, Has Been Busy Working with Schools in the North East, Campaigning for the Preservation of the Natural Environment and Launching Initiatives Such as Healthy Walking and Encouraging Wildlife Gardens. Here's a Round-Up of What They've Been Doing across the Region

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Walking for health NATURAL England's healthy walking initiative which encourages everyone to get out and about is picking up pace. The Walking for Health scheme - which is part of Natural England's 'Natural' Health Service - encourages individuals and groups that wouldn't normally get out walking to take advantage of the parks, woodlands and leafy streets near to where they live and to improve their health and have fun. The North East has a wealth of open spaces and a rich diversity of wildlife and it is hoped that by taking advantage of the natural world, modern diseases such as diabetes, obesity and depression can be improved.

So far, Natural England's Walking for Health initiative has enabled thousands of people to take advantage of the walking scheme running in the North East. As well as improving the health of those taking part, the walks provide an excellent way of meeting other people and finding out more about the green spaces around us.

To find out more about the local Walking for Health schemes log on to www.whi.org.uk/walkfinder.

No charge? A new report from Natural England argues that investment in the natural environment is essential to the North East's future economic prosperity. The report - No Charge? Valuing the Natural Environment - shows how the natural environment provides cost-effective solutions to growing problems like flood and coastal defence, carbon emissions and the protection of soil, water and air quality.

Natural England says that the vital role the natural world plays in contributing to a thriving economy continues to be undervalued and the report brings together the latest research to show that the economic value of nature now runs to billions of pounds in the UK. The report explains how having a healthy natural environment is indispensable to current and future economic regional prosperity.

In the North East of England the natural environment is already helping to deliver natural solutions to 21st century problems. Rob Aubrook, Natural England regional director for the North East, said: "The evidence is overwhelming; we need to recognise that the ecological solutions provided by the natural environment are amongst the most highly effective and cost-effective ways of tackling a range of environmental, social and economic problems."

Copies of No Charge? Valuing the Natural Environment can be found at http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/our-work/securefuture/default.aspx.

Natural England North East signs up to 10:10 NATURAL England has announced that it has joined the 10:10 campaign, which encourages individuals, businesses and organisations to reduce their carbon emissions by 10% during the year 2010.

By signing up to the 10:10 initiative, Natural England North East joins with hundreds of individuals and organisations, from councils and hospitals to faith groups and scout troops, who are leading the way on the journey to a low-carbon society. Rob Aubrook, Natural England's regional director for the North East, said: "It's essential that we take steps to reduce the impacts of climate change in the North East and ensure that the environment can continue to provide the range of services that are fundamental to our society, our wildlife and the health of our countryside. By signing up to the 10:10 campaign Natural England is building on the substantial progress we have already made as an organisation.

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