Bernard Kennedy, our Walking Coordinator in Blackpool, is enjoying his daily walks with Border Collie Pippa even more now that he’s working – and walking – from home.


The UK lockdown has changed everyone’s daily routines, but we’re still allowed to leave the house to exercise, and walking is an easy way to feel happier and healthier. This National Walking Month we’re encouraging people to #Try20 by doing 20 minutes or more of walking every day – and if you have a dog, they can take part too!

As well as being faithful friends, dogs are good for our mental health and can help us form bonds – with them and other people – which can help us feel connected, happy and healthy. Having a dog is also a great way to keep fit as daily walks outdoors boost physical and emotional wellbeing and can provide an all-round workout when you factor in throwing sticks and balls – and even picking up poo! 

With an estimated 11.5 million dogs (30 per cent of households with one or more dog) kept as pets in the UK, we’re sure that a few of them are going for walkies for National Walking Month.


Pippa the dog

"If physical activity were a drug, we would refer to it as a miracle cure, due to the great many illnesses it can prevent and treat."

UK Chief Medical Officers

Walking can help improve mental and physical wellbeing, tackle depression and anxiety, and connect us with our world and those around us.

Bernard and Pippa are quickly ticking off the list of Try 20 tips on their daily walks. Here’s how Pippa’s been getting on so far.

4 May – Try a walking (phone) meeting

Today we went on a lunchtime walk to the beach, and I loved every minute. My human used his phone to talk to someone. He told me he was talking to his manager, Sam, while she was on her lunchtime walk to her allotment, but all I could hear was laughing… I walked in front so that he could have some privacy – I’m considerate like that. He was talking a lot and seemed to be having a good time. I suppose walking helps you have a clearer head and more time to think. Oh, by the way…I dug a big hole on the beach.

5 May – Let nature guide you

Today we went to the beach again, this time via the sand dunes paths. My human tells me it’s good for us to connect with nature and my fellow animals. Maybe he’s right –  I certainly enjoyed chasing some little lizards, even if they do move too fast for me. It was a fun challenge, anyway, and in the end I settled for diving into a few rabbit holes. I never manage to catch any but it’s nice to have a look (and a good sniff) down the holes. I enjoyed the walk on the beach more than the dunes – more space to run and bark freely. 

6 May – Walk before work

Another day, another walk. We were up early this morning as the boss wanted to head out before he started work. I call him the boss but really I’m in charge. I chose the route (I always do!) and it was one we both know well, which has some really good sniffing points – I like sniffing as you have probably gathered. It also has some great views of Blackpool in the distance. You might just be able to see Blackpool Tower but you can also see The Big One – the blue rollercoaster on the famous Pleasure Beach. It was a beautiful day so when we got home, I sat in the garden to bask in the sun. The boss said he felt refreshed and was looking forward to work, a bit annoying as I wanted to play!

Pippa on the beach

More from our blog

#WalkingFromHome: Dame Sarah Storey

Dame Sarah Storey tells us what opportunities the lockdown has created for her family.

#WalkingFromHome: Susan Claris

The brief moments when we're able to get out and go for a walk are shining a light on why this simple act is so valuable.

Coronavirus - walking the right way

UK lockdown rules still allow for us to leave the house once a day for exercise.