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In Green Living in Issue 02...

A celebration of cycling by Nick O'Brien

Get Fit with Go Ape by Vanessa, Charlie and Ben

Health and Nutrition by Roger Oliver

River Valley Walks and Talks by Steve Carter

The Road to Dar Papillon by Salva Malik

Rare Breed Farm by Liz Bateman

A celebration of cycling

By Nick O'Brien

Cycling enthusiasts of all types will be converging on the historic town of Amersham in July for the inaugural Chiltern Cycling Festival. A series of races and events celebrating the bicycle in all its glory will be taking place, set against the backdrop of the Chilterns' legendary climbs. Supported by British Cycling, the various sportives and head-to-head hill climb will be the focus for the more competitive riders, whilst a more leisurely pace will be set on the vintage club run with its Concours d'Elegance competition.

The Amersham – Brill – Amersham sportive riders will start the day off. Leaving from beautiful Old Amersham High Street, they make their way on a fully signposted route through stunning countryside. The town of Brill on the Hill, with its famous windmill, is the turning point for both longer rides.

With a free food station perched at the top of challenging Muswell Hill, wise riders will stock up before heading back into the Chilterns for the ascent of Whiteleaf Hill. This peak has taken on near-mythical status since featuring in Simon Warren's 100 Greatest UK Climbs. Once crested, riders head back to Amersham along beech-canopied lanes to finish in front of the waiting crowds and festival goers.

Chiltern Cycling Festival

In response to a growing demand for L'Eroica inspired events, an easier 30-mile Amersham Classic route is on offer. With a vintage theme running alongside the main sportives, riders who wish to compete on classic (pre-1989) bicycles and wear relevant retro kit will get their own start time. This very British version of the vintage rides that take place all over Europe will have the added bonus of a Concours d'Elegance ride later in the day.

Following their earlier exertions riders will be able to join forces with other entrants and vintage team cars in a leisurely parade around Old Amersham. An informal judging of the bicycles, deportment and style that best reflects cycling's golden eras will take place, followed by podium presentations for all winners.

Younger cyclists can take part in British Cycling's Go Ride races and skills events and the Baby Velodrome will put on a series of scooter and balance bike races for toddlers and under-6s.

Stalls selling local produce and beers, cycle servicing, live music and even a cycling-inspired art exhibition will all feature and are within easy reach of the start and finish lines. With a river running past the church, gardens and lots of green space, don't forget your picnic rug!

The grand finale of the Festival will be the Rectory Hill Climb. This will be a traditional hill climb with a modern twist. Competitors will get two chances – individually in timed qualifiers, then the fastest riders will be paired head-to-head on the gradient to compete for the 'King of the Chilterns' jersey.

There's a full prize list across all the categories, youth to veterans. For competitors and spectators alike this is going to be one to watch, so bring your cowbells. The Festival promises to be a fantastic summer's day out and an annual date for your diary. Whether you enjoy crunching gears or sampling beers, disc brakes or cupcakes, there will be something for everyone at the Chiltern Cycling Festival. Come along and soak up the atmosphere of this unique, free new event.

For further information visit www.chilterncyclingfestival.com
All rider events can be entered online: www.britishcycling.org.uk/events/details/97191/Chiltern-Cycling-Festival

Be part of the Festival
- Vendors should contact: 01494 432984 or nick.obrien@o-zone.co.uk
- Bike Expo & Stalls: robin@envirosenseltd.co.uk
- Vintage Village: jim@there-cycling.co.uk

Rare breed farm

By Liz Bateman

Hazeldene Farm embraces traditional rearing methods. The animals are
chosen for their suitability and excellent taste. They are allowed to walk the fields and feed on fresh grass. They are not fed any fattening supplements but allowed to mature at their own pace.

Sheep at Hazeldene FarmIn line with traditional methods, the beef is maturated for 21 days before being butchered; this makes it tender and flavoursome. The farm shop is open from Thursday to Sunday every week.

Our website has full details of farm events including lambing weekend and shearing day. Also tasting days, craft markets, and special open days.

So take the opportunity to visit the farm, meet the animals and see how a farm can be run on sustainable lines. Lambing weekend in May will give you the chance to see the young lambs, as well as piglets and chicks!

Hazeldene Farm, Asheridge Road, Chesham, HP5 2XD
Tel: 01494 783501

Get fit with Go Ape

By Vanessa Shead Bsc (Hons), Charlie Coward, Ben Boulter

With the promise of warmer weather to come, it's the perfect time to get fit, tone up and have fun, whether it be on your own or with family or friends. If you're not a gym goer, why not make the most of the outdoors and try something completely different? For most people, working for an hour in the gym is a chore, but not on a Go Ape course!

Get Fit with Go Ape

The fun way to work out

Go Ape, the forest adventure company, has just conducted a study to establish the health and fitness benefits of embarking on a tree-top adventure. Go Ape includes a variety of pleasurable yet challenging activities that include swinging through the forest on zip wires, crossing wooden walkways and bridges and climbing tree-top ladders whilst safely attached to a harness.

Based on an average of 100-120 minutes of 'Go Ape' time, excluding the safety training, the average amount of calories burned are:
- males: 660 calories
- females: 510 calories.

Interestingly, those doing Go Ape are working at 50-60 per cent of their maximum heart rate. A workout in this zone is less intense than extreme cardio-respiratory training, but studies have shown that it works to help decrease body fat, blood pressure and cholesterol. In this zone, the body derives it energy by burning 10% carbohydrates, 5% protein and 85% fat.

The exhilarating Go Ape experience strengthens the following muscles: rhomboids, lower trapezius, rectus abdominis, obliques, erector spinae, latissimus, dorsi gluteals, quadriceps.

It also stretches the following: upper trapezius, pectorals, erector spinae, latissimus dorsi, hamstrings, gastrocnemius and soleus.

Maintaining an active lifestyle improves core stability and balance, helps in managing type II diabetes and in preventing osteoporosis. Exercise through activities such as Go Ape is ideal for weight management. The breakdown of fat occurs when the heart and muscles work to a certain intensity and that level is sustained.

Endorphins released during exercise have a mood-boosting effect and can be used to combat depression and anxiety. Research suggests that being active outdoors can have a powerful effect on gaining confidence and trust. Go Ape can be used as a team building activity to promote group cohesion, improve social skills and develop teamwork.

Go Ape forest options

At the Go Ape Tree Top Adventure you'll be briefed for safety before you fly down a zip wire, leap off the Tarzan Swing and tackle the high ropes crossings whilst enjoying some breathtaking scenery. The adventure doesn't need to stop there. Get off the beaten track and enjoy the latest forest adventure with Go Ape Forest Segway – an epic new experience with a down to earth twist. Or extend your day and get on a bike, booked on site. Go Ape Forest Biking is a great way to make the most of your time after you've been swinging in the trees!

Going Ape Near You

The nearest Go Ape locations are Wendover Woods, Aylesbury and
Black Park Country Park, near Uxbridge. Plus there's 29 adventures
across the UK! We've welcomed over 96,000 customers to Wendover
Woods, with tree-top high wires, high ropes crossings and zip wires.
Black Park Go Ape is set in 530 acres of beautiful woodland with a centrepiece lake, featuring the classic Go Ape experience and also our
latest segway adventure and biking.


Vanessa Shead BSc (Hons), Rehab and Exercise Centre Manager
Charlie Coward, Healthy Lifestyles Officer
Ben Boulter, Personal Trainer

See Green Living in Issue 01 ...

River Valley walks and talks

by Steve Carter

Kingfisher by Steve CarterMy work as a wildlife tour guide and lecturer has given me a good knowledge of the natural history of the local countryside. My main area of expertise is from Watford to Denham where a long, drawn out water course stretches through the Colne Valley, consisting primarily of gravel pits, farmland and mixed deciduous woodland. The rivers Chess, Colne, Gade and lesser tributaries flow through diverse, rich natural habitats, where the water vole was once common.

In the backwaters of Maple Cross and West Hyde, where Stockers Lake is the jewel in the crown, I take visitors searching for the enigmatic smew and goosander in winter or a variety of warblers in summer, notably the lesser whitethroat. In the colder months the gravel pits and local nature reserves hold a diverse number of species.

As a keen photographer, these venues have brought me great pleasure as I watch flocks of siskins hug the alders, water rails screams in the margins or a flash of blue denoting a passing kingfisher. Once in a while I'm lucky enough to capture a magical image, like the one of a kingfisher above, taken from a bird hide. At Denham, on the Buckinghamshire border, a large gravel pit called Broadwater holds rafts of ruddy duck.

Beneath the surface of the lake huge carp and pike cruise in search of food, while heron and cormorant predate on smaller morsels. More common now are huge flocks of golden plovers and lapwings – up to 1,000 birds. Also, flocks of Canada and greylag geese.

To the north a few miles lies Cassiobury Park, a good venue for lesser spotted woodpeckers and the adjacent Whippendell Woods for the devishly elusive hawfinch. The reintroduced red kite is, of course, a regular feature. Barn owls, bitterns, harriers and peregrines are much more reluctant to oblige!

Fox by Steve CarterThe River Chess, a still splendid chalk stream, holds fish such as barbel and chub. The Chess Valley between Rickmansworth and Chesham is a superb wildlife oasis. In summer, orchids grace its meadows while whitethroats scold from hawthorn scrub.

Croxley Moor, a secluded habitat, presents rare warblers, butterflies, dragonflies and flowers, giving the naturalist a headache in identification! Mammals are difficult to spot, but foxes are common, as are muntjac.

Steve's Natural Vistory CV

I've been a naturalist and ornithologist since my childhood, when I spent my spare time searching for wildlife in the woodlands and river valleys near Croxley Green. A favourite spot was the River Chess, where my fishing net would commonly come across such species as bullhead and lampern, while brown trout and grayling would swim around my wading feet.

During the 1970s I became passionate about birding and helped to ring birds at Maple Cross. I recorded for the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and submitted records to Hertfordshire Natural History Society and the Wildfowl Trust. Eventually I became a warden for Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust, then a bailiff for Stockers Lake. The Young Ornithologists Club (YOC) also benefited from my services.

Then came the start of my travels, firstly to Norfolk. This resulted in another string to my bow – poetry! My poem 'Blakeney' featured in Winter Tales, a publication from Arrival Press. I also completed a journal called The History and Birds of Maple Cross and West Hyde.

Foreign travel became infectious – Majorca and Minorca, the Danube Delta, Iceland, then Kenya. My African safari probably inspired my love of wildlife more than anything. Dawn on Lake Nakuru has never been surpassed! Decades spent sampling the delights of the natural world have been the best education I could ever have.

If this sound like your kind of day in the country join Steve on one of his guided tours or walks. You can find details and see more of his photography on his website. Local groups can also book him to do lectures or talks.


Nutrition and health

By Roger Oliver

Nutrition, Diet and Health

Amid all the headlines of crisis and scandal in the NHS, the real scandal in the context of the health of the nation is over the status allocated to diet and nutrition within the medical services.  Should the subject of the food we eat not be a cornerstone of a national health service?

There does seem to be some vague recognition within society in general of the influence of diet on health, and some attempt to restore the subject to some sort of place within the education system.  Why, however, is it that medical doctors who take a real interest in diet and nutrition are the exception rather than the rule?  Why does the subject of nutrition take up only a couple of weeks in a medical training taking six years?

“You are what you eat” may be an over-simplistic view, but so is the dictum of the “good, varied diet” trotted out by many associated with the medical world.  The modern diet may be quite good, in that availability of food for most people is more than adequate in quantity, but varied it is not, being largely dependent upon a very narrow range of food sources.  If a good, varied diet were easy to achieve, there would not be so many people suffering from chronic health problems that are to a greater or lesser degree diet related.

One problem for the person who is trying to improve health prospects by adopting a better diet is the plethora of apparently conflicting information.  It is possible, however, to come to some conclusions about what represents a sensible diet.  Unfortunately, it is generally not likely that you will receive any help in this from your doctor, or mainstream sources of dietary advice.  For example, the low fat mantra has been chanted far and wide for decades now, but the incidence of obesity has increased relentlessly.  Is this because people have not taken the advice on board?  Or is it because the advice has been misguided?  Evidence seems to indicate the latter.

Many folk have become frightened to eat foods with even a moderate fat content, and people who adopt diets which include a high proportion of fat find themselves able to lose weight, if they, simultaneously, severely restrict carbohydrates, particularly sugar and refined grains.  It is necessary to do your own research to uncover the best advice available, which in itself is not a bad thing, but most people seem insufficiently motivated to spend enough time to do this.

You can contact us on: 01494 771267
27 High Street, Chesham, HP5 1BG

Quote from Dr Sarah Myhill:

“My early days in NHS general practice were exciting! I learnt to expect miracles as the norm.  I watched a child’s ‘congenital’ deafness resolve on a dairy-free diet, I saw patients with years of headaches see relief from cutting out gluten grains, I saw women with chronic cystitis gain relief from cutting yeast and sugar from their diets.  A proper diagnosis establishing causation has obvious implications for management and potential for cure.  What was so astonishing to me was that when I tried to communicate my excitement and experiences to fellow doctors – they could not have been less interested and dismissed me as a ‘flaky quack’!”

Reproduced from CAM Magazine February 2014

The road to Dar Papillon

by Salva Malik

Away from the hustle and bustle of Berkhamsted High Street sits Dar Papillon – ‘house of butterfly’ – a tea room/restaurant providing a vegan and vegetarian menu, with a health food shop and a souk full of gifts from across the world.

The health food shop houses organic, wholefood, natural and fair trade products, including Infinity and Biona brands and a range of teas from the traditional Earl Grey, through Hazer Baba Turkish to the not so traditional Artichoke Tea!

The menu is eclectic, using spices from Morocco and Pakistan, and all dishes are made fresh on the day and prepared with barakat (blessings) for you. You can choose to shop, sit and relax or use the studio upstairs for a workshop or an event hire. There is also a therapy room for a Thai or Swedish massage by Emma White, whilst in our back office Hannah Howard, our onsite nutritionist, is available for consultation.

A place of change

Would you believe me if I told you that nothing is coincidental and everything is intentional? It is meant to happen. Because nothing is permanent. Be a part of this transformation at Dar Papillon.

  • A place to serve … because by serving others you find and learn about yourself.
  • A place where you would receive the same hospitality as though you were coming to my house … this is gratitude.
  • A place to receive and nourish the soul … to give without expecting anything in return.
  • A place of calmness … an oasis, because we all need to look, listen, feel and stop for a while.

Dar Papillon Tea Rooms
360-364 High Street, Berkhamsted, Herts HP4 1HU
01442 877052

Dar Papillon Berkhamsted

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