I lost my job only about three weeks before lockdown happened and my partner then had to start working from home
So it was me, my partner and our little dog Tia at home and we were locked down. I did get a wee part time job as a Covid response worker in my local community, and the local network of paths proved vital in me being able to do that job.
These paths also were great for my own mental health; they allowed me to get out and about and have a breath of fresh air and, most importantly, take Tia out for her daily walk as well.
We’re very lucky that we have a park in the middle of our community as well as a village green which is a central part of the community. Thanks to a path improvement plan that was introduced just recently, these paths are all very well connected.
I would use those paths to access local people who had perhaps expressed a need for help in some way or to take my dog a walk and really to just improve on my own mental health.
It was a very frustrating time, so it was great to be able to go out for a walk and I genuinely did feel the difference when I got back. Connecting with friends and family through walking was really important during lockdown and helped lower my personal anxiety levels.
The main differences I noticed when I was out walking was that there were loads of other folks out walking. So it became clear to me that walking, and cycling for that matter, had become a regular pastime for people, maybe because their other hobbies just simply weren’t available.
I’m absolutely going to keep walking. I’ve now gained a real personal insight into the benefits of walking. I have a much more optimistic, cheery outlook on life, at a time when, arguably, things were not the most optimistic and good as they could be.