The past three months of “Lockdown” with the corona virus pandemic have been memorable for many reasons but what stands out most to you?
My recollections include the seemingly endless days of sunshine, the joys of gardening, the lack urgency or deadlines to meet and the obvious constraints on travel. So there has been no place to go except to follow the option for daily exercise which here in Stinchcombe allows us to explore the beautiful Gloucestershire countryside on our doorstep. Our county is rich in natural history and has much of interest for us all, which can be enjoyed through our precious heritage of public rights of way, which enable us to have the right to ramble on and through land that may belong to others.
In the words of the Parish Council website “ Public rights of way are open to everyone at any time and give you the right to walk, ride a horse or cycle along certain routes. Some rights of way are open to vehicles. If you have a problem using a right of way, such as an obstruction, poor maintenance or a misleading sign, please report it to the Parish Footpaths Warden. The definitive map and statement is a legal record of the public rights of way and shows the routes of each public footpath, bridleway, restricted byway and byway open to all traffic in the county”
This year with “Lockdown” it has been wonderful to watch the countryside wake up as the seasons have blossomed and as spring has moved on into summer. With the extraordinary weather we have had, there have been priceless opportunities to appreciate our neighbourhood. Nature provides us with so much excitement if or when we take the time to stop, listen and watch the world around us. We who live in the country are fortunate and privileged as we have not had to struggle with living through this pandemic in an urban setting.
Enjoying walks in the area on the local rights of way in the immediate locality of Stinchcombe in the company for many of us of our canine friends, has been a source of much pleasure. To enjoy the freedom to walk and exercise one’s dogs whilst observing the countryside code provides much contentment for all concerned.
As members of a local community there is a general appreciation of our rights and responsibilities and hopefully a desire to contribute to the greater good. This can be seen in the work and enthusiasm of those who volunteer to assist and support our local projects. Even the contact with members of the local “Whats App” Group has added also to that sense of belonging and sharing as typified by the recipe for wild garlic pesto, which will always remind me of Lockdown in Stinchcombe ! Living in the country surely is about seeking to belong, consider and contribute to a local community whilst recognising that this in itself may be a microcosm of our wider society