With both England and Wales back in national lockdown, you could be forgiven for thinking there’s little to see and do. But don’t forget the great outdoors
Yes, pretty much all our major attraction are closed right now. But there’s one show that must go on, and indeed does - because you can’t lock down Mother Nature. So now’s the time to truly embrace everything the great outdoors offers, right on your doorstep.
Under the latest restrictions, once again we’re not allowed to travel to exercise without a reasonable excuse. But outdoor spaces where we are allowed to go for a walk, a jog or a cycle include neighbourhood streets, parks, beaches, countryside and public gardens and grounds. Additionally, unlike back in March, outdoor playgrounds are also set to remain open.
All these places offer so much in terms of the natural world; we just need to open our eyes and let nature into our lives. Keeping an eye out for signs of spring, in the form of green shoots and our ever-uplifting snowdrops, is just one way to engage. Plus, with the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch coming up at the end of January, what better way to counter the TV gloom indoors than counting different species of birds while out exercising in a park?
So what are the rules on getting out and about? Well, the new guidelines allow for local exercise outdoors with members of the same household or support bubble, or one other person outside of the household if maintaining two metres apart. So two people from different households may go for a walk together. But note that just meeting on a bench for a drink, for example, isn’t permitted, while stopping for a rest during exercise is, while still keeping two metres apart.
Exercise activities should be kept to once a day, but there’s no time limit to how long you can exercise for. In theory, then, you can run, walk or cycle any distance. But with so much to see, best to keep to a reasonable distance and drink in the surroundings.
Be it in towns, cities, villages or the country, there’s more to the great outdoors than we could possibly imagine if only we took the time to stop and look around us. And let’s face it, for many of us right now, time is something we have in abundance.