Social distancing. Self-isolation. These are phrases we are all coming to terms with during these difficult times. Changing the habits of a lifetime is challenging. Obviously, it’s important that all of us pull together to get through this pandemic crisis. It’s not going to be easy and we don’t know how long it will last.
It’s important that we look out for others who are in less fortunate positions but we must also look after ourselves. Most of us will be practising social distancing. That doesn’t mean locking our front doors and sitting in darkened rooms. Being active and interacting with others is vital for our physical, emotional and mental welfare. Self- isolation is a different matter and rules out leaving the house.
Happily, social distancing does not rule out fresh air and company. The Woodland Trust has reminded us that its woods are open and free to access. Regarding access to mountains, Scottish Mountain Rescue has advised, ‘Being in the outdoors has many benefits and we are usually very happy to encourage individuals to get outdoors and enjoy the beauty of Scotland. However, during this ongoing situation we ask you not to take any unnecessary risk when enjoying the outdoors. Perhaps go on adventures you are familiar and safe with and while doing so, keep social distancing in mind.”
Find a walk near you
The Outdoor Guide has a great variety of walks all over the UK but if you already know where you want to go then this is the page for you!
Here you will find relaxing walks in the Lake District, some canal walks in Scotland and some family friendly walks in the midlands.
UPDATE: The National Trust has now closed all its parks and gardens.
The National Trust has kept many of its parks open to all of us and waived charges. Its Director General Hilary McGrady said, “The National Trust was founded 125 years ago for the benefit of the entire nation. We want to honour our mission – to enable people and nature to thrive. Over the coming weeks we will do all that we can to keep on providing public benefit through caring for places and giving people access wherever possible. While we will close our indoor areas to help fight the spread of coronavirus, we recognise that people are likely to need access to open space and to nature, beauty and history.”
Find some National Trust walks near you.
During the PM’s press conference on 18 March, Professor Chris Witty remarked, “Being outside in the park is a good thing to do.” Getting outdoors to stretch your legs and enjoy a chat is fine but take your responsibilities seriously and keep your distance from others! When you’re at home, please roam around The Outdoor Guide for the inspiration and information you need.
The Ramblers coronavirus webpage notes, ‘Official Government advice states that, apart from people who are in households with symptoms or who have pre-existing health conditions that put them at increased risk of contracting COVID-19, going for a walk independently can continue and is an excellent way to maintain health and wellbeing – provided independent walkers stay more than two metres from others.’
Public Health England issued this guidance on 16 March – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults.
Please make sure you keep up to date with the latest advice in this rapidly evolving situation.