With the current unprecedented times and the UK lockdown measures in place never more has the landscape around us been more important to our health and well-being yet it has likely never been harder to get access to. The common phrase ‘so close yet so far’ comes to mind. It’s only the other side of the front door yet the restrictions in place mean we feel like is even further away! (although the restrictions are for a good reason obviously).
Experiencing these restrictions has me evermore grateful for the landscape around us and the variety of landscapes that we are lucky to possess and (usually) freely access in the UK. Some landscapes are currently out of bounds, closed or restricted for good reason but this has highlighted to me the importance of the landscapes that are still accessible and why we need them so much in this current climate.
A simple town square or high street providing us with the means to shop for essential goods (although I have to admit my online home deliveries have increased substantially reducing my need to access this!). A local park or country park providing us with the open green space to stretch our legs, get a sense of freedom, get some exercise or just to breathe the fresh air!
A short walk at the weekend to a coastal park with my partner and our daughter also highlighted to me another different sub-type of landscape. The coastal park provided the sights and smells of the sea. The harbour views across the open expanse of water and views of the local harbour industry, along with it came the salty sea air. These are not usually my cup of tea in terms of landscape as I tend to prefer an inland park or countryside walk, but once back from our jaunt I felt so much better than if we had just stayed inside.
We all know the value of the landscape around us and we all know we need these spaces for many reasons including social and personal health, yet never more have they been this important to keep us all sane!
The UK lockdown has not changed my view on the importance of landscape but with the limitations on access to freely enjoy landscape it has certainly made it feel all the more special!