As we prepare to make those small steps back into the world (again), it seems this beautiful country of ours continues to make itself all shiny and new for us. The places we love to visit have had the opportunity to get themselves back to their ‘natural’ state of beauty while we’ve been away. Now, the Welsh Government want to make sure we keep it that way and respect the great outdoors as we return.
There is something beautiful about reconnecting with the great outdoors, maybe we’re doing a little more gardening, going for outdoor walks, or simply taking time to appreciate what’s right on our doorstep. However we do it, and wherever we go, reconnecting with nature will do us all good. with others.
The animals have been loving our recent absence, if not a little confused by it all. During the first lockdown for example, in Llandudno, a herd of goats made the most of the deserted streets by flocking to the empty town centre. With us out of the way, they could freely explore the area, and enjoy a bit of tree grazing, in peace.
Town Councillor Carol Marubbi said at the time……
“Curious animals are wondering what’s going on like everybody else”.
While we’ve been leading a strange, isolated existence, it’s been business as usual for the Planet. Actually, that’s not strictly true. Without us using it as we usually do, it’s been getting better and effectively healing itself. Fewer planes in the sky and cars on the road has had a positive effect on the environment, including a significant drop in air pollution.
Air pollution levels dropped in the UK during lockdown 1.0. In fact, some places saw nitrogen dioxide levels fall by up to 60% on the same period last year.
Jenny Bates is a Friends of the Earth clean air campaigner, she said……
“Seeing this drop in air pollution shows that less traffic can quickly lead to cleaner air. Once this dreadful situation is over, we don’t want to rush to go back to where we were or worse, and we can’t have an accelerated return to business as usual. We can have a better, cleaner future for ourselves and the planet.”
Of course, we will be back out in our cars, we do need to use transport of all types to get around, but maybe lockdown has encouraged us to walk a little more, perhaps to the local shops, rather than drive.
As we get back outside, we have been given a reminder about the country code too.
Tips for walkers
Three top tips for those using the countryside:
- Livestock worrying by dogs not adequately controlled by their owners is on the increase. Even the best-trained family pet can chase sheep and wildlife if not kept under close control. Also, clear up after your dog.
- Fly-tipping is a blight on the landscape and can cost £900 per incident to clear away, at the farmer’s expense. Please ensure you take your litter home with you and dispose of bulky waste through proper legal channels.
- When riding a bike or driving a vehicle, slow down or stop for horses, walkers and farm animals and give them plenty of room. By law, cyclists must give way to walkers and horse- riders on bridleways.
The Countryside Code applies to all parts of the countryside in England and Wales. It’s there to help everyone respect, protect and enjoy the outdoors.