Tackling childhood obesity in West Yorkshire: the role of nature and the outdoors

The Centre for Sustainable Healthcare and the Ecosystems Knowledge Network are organising series of workshops aimed at bringing about effective working relationships between local organisations in the health sector and those who can deliver improved access to the natural outdoors.

Bradford Workshop, 25th November 2015

The second in the series took place in Bradford in conjunction with the South Pennines Local Nature Partnership and with support from the European Centre for Environment and Human Health.  It brought together 34 from both the health and environment sectors in and around West Yorkshire.


A short report on the Bradford meeting is available by clicking on the image below.

Available presentations

​The Network also heard presentations from the following: 

  • Jane Robinson, Bradford Community Environment Project - Lessons from the Gardening for Health Project 
  • Cllr. Hawaran Hussain (Bradford City) - The Bradford Picture (for public health)
  • Helen Noble, South Pennines and Yorkshire West Local Nature Partnerships - What is on offer from Local Nature Partnerships serving West Yorkshire


The day included plenary and small group discussion of:

  • How obesity services are currently commissioned - Centre for Sustainable Healthcare and local partners
  • Actions to ensure the 'environment' sector plays an effective part in tackling childhood obesity - Plenary/small group discussion


Dr. Sally Barber is a Principal Research Fellow on the Born in Bradford project. Sally's interests are physical activity for health, sedentary behaviour and childhood obesity prevention. Her main research focuses on understanding the determinants of physical activity in pre-school children, developing and evaluating interventions to promote childhood physical activity and prevent childhood obesity.

Dr. Sara Ahern is a Research Fellow on the Born in Bradford project currently working within Public Health at Bradford Metropolitan District Council and Bradford Institute for Health Research. Her research interests involve using theories of learning and behaviour to investigate the determinants of health related behaviours with a focus on promoting the development of healthy habits in young children.

Professor Harry Rutter is a public health physician with expertise in obesity and its determinants. He was the founder director of the National Obesity Observatory 2007-2011 and is a senior strategic adviser on obesity for Public Health England. He led the establishment of the Department of Health National Child Measurement Programme and was a core contributor to the WHO Health Economic Assessment Tool for Walking and Cycling.

Dr. Lynne Boddy is a Reader in Children’s Physical Activity within the Physical Activity Exchange, Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University. Dr Boddy’s research interest include investigating the relationships between physical activity, fitness and cardiometabolic disease risk in children, physical activity in children with developmental and intellectual disabilities and promoting physical activity in children and young people through intervention studies.

Dr. Zoe Knowles is a Reader and Physical Activity Exchange Lead within the Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences at Liverpool John Moores University. Dr Knowles is a HCPC registered psychologist and research interests include active and natural play in school and community settings as well as determinants of physical activity in young people and special populations.

Jane Robinson has been running food growing projects with children and community groups in inner-city Bradford for almost 20 years.  Team leader with local charity Bradford Community Environment Project, Jane knows the value of the gardening for health approach in encouraging healthy life choices.

More Information

The first in the series on health and the environment was held in Cambridge in July 2015.  For more resources on incorporating public health considerations into local land management see our resources page for nature and health, and on our 'Walk in Park' webinar page.