The past twelve months have seen families around the country embracing walks with their kids (let’s face it – there’s not been a lot else to do), and there’s no reason why really little ones should miss out on the fun. There’s a new parent and baby group in York that helps parents of little ones get out for walks around York, make friends, get some fresh air and explore nature together.
Blaze Trails parent and baby walking groups is a community of parents around the country who meet up for sling, pushchair and toddler friendly walks. The first group was set up in 2020 to bring parents together for moral support and exercise during lockdown, and groups have since sprung up around the country. The York and North Yorkshire group was set up in November 2020 by new mum Erin Outram who found herself with a premature baby in the middle of a pandemic. In spite (or perhaps because) of all that was going on around her, Erin still wanted to get out of the house each day and meet other parents when the usual baby groups were on hold, so Blaze Trails York and North Yorkshire was born.
Blaze Trails gives parents and carers of babies and toddlers, as well as pregnant women, the opportunity to get together in pairs or as a group in the fresh air. It’s a chance to meet like minded parents, find reassurance and moral support, get your fresh air fix and get those steps in.
There are usually two group walks per week, one within the City of York and another within an hour of York, with a mix of baby carrying, pushchair and toddler friendly walks – dogs are always welcome too! The group also has an active Facebook page, with members sharing their favourite local walks, tips and photos. Each week there is also the opportunity to meet up in pairs or smaller groups if the larger group walks don’t work for you. The group is completely free and aims to be accessible to all. They understand that some days it’s hard enough to even make it out of the house, so even if you haven’t brushed your teeth or washed your hair, or have weetabix mashed into your jeans, you’ll find friends. There’s no lower age limit on babies – they’ve had everything from 5 week-olds to toddlers. They understand that you might need to feed your baby every hour, that your toddler might refuse to stay in his/her pram and want to stop and jump in every puddle along the way! The walks are about getting out, getting some peer support and having some fun.
Sadly, with the current lockdown restrictions, group walks are currently suspended. That said, they are still running ‘Blaze dates’ each week to pair up parents to get out with their little people, and the group continues to share their walks to inspire each other.