Whilst lockdown has felt like an endless Groundhog Day in so many ways, it is reassuring to think that from 17 May restrictions continue to ease, albeit that we are reminded to remain 'cautious and responsible'.
Covid-19 has taught us many things but it has also highlighted the health benefits of getting outside.
Such changes in behaviour have also brought some huge challenges concerning the deluge of discarded litter, dog poo, trampling where individuals have strayed from designated footpaths, together with the sheer volume of footfall.
Most authorities and councils acknowledge that we have seen groups of new individuals using our footpaths and open spaces and that local authorities have had to respond to tonnes of additional waste — this has been a national problem.
A stalwart group of volunteer litter pickers have assisted in the weekly clear up on the Sandstone Ridge and for that we thank you.
We need to consider that some individuals who have not used public and permissive footpaths previously, have less of an understanding of the impact of their actions on the countryside.
They may not be familiar with the new Countryside Code CLICK HERE.
With increased choice as to where we spend our free time from 17 May, we are likely to see our local footpaths and open spaces recover.
There will be time ahead to consider the challenges in managing such issues.
Nature will carry on regardless but let's be mindful that 'there's no such thing as a free resource' — respect, protect and enjoy.