Arguably one of the positives to come out of the lockdown is the upsurge in people exploring their home environment more. I say arguably as gates left open, people wandering anywhere they like and people littering the verges appears to be on the up as we see increased numbers out and about.
But in the years I’ve been out here on the estate and exploring local paths and byways I’ve rarely if ever seen other people on some of them and getting people out onto these paths has to be a good thing in many respects.
If the paths aren’t used they’re not loved. If they’re not loved they’re not looked after.
I’ve lost count of the paths locally that I’ve tried to follow with a map only to find them disappear in a woodland, or be blocked by a fallen tree that the landowner just happens to leave for five years making the path so unusable that no one bothers. I’ve tried reporting these infractions to the council, but nothing ever changes. Some landowners are so influential politically that the council just seem to leave well alone.
I have to hope that many of these people out exploring their local area at the moment may continue to do so after things return to whatever normal end sup looking like instead of jumping in a car and driving for a walk in the New Forest. Even better, I hope some of the people who I’ve seen out, who to be polite don’t look like they’d normally even consider a walk, continue to get out and make the most of what we have on our doorsteps.