Newsletter > Newsletter archive > March 2020

March 2020

Going out for a walk
The basic rules of the 'lock-down' due to coronavirus are now pretty clear. To slow the spread of the virus and allow the NHS to keep up, it is essential that everyone stays at home as much as possible. However it is accepted that being in the outdoors is good for everyone's health and well-being. It's just a question of how outdoor exercise can be done most safely.

The Government says that it is acceptable to go for a walk (or cycle ride or run) once a day. You should only go with members of your own household and of course only if no-one is showing or has shown any symptoms that may be coronavirus until the appropriate isolation period is over.

Once out and about the strict two metre separation from others applies. It's clear now that this is becoming difficult or impossible in popular 'hotspots'. The National Trust has closed its gated gardens and parks for this reason. National Parks too are asking visitors to stay away. Mountain Rescue teams are asking everyone to undertake simple safe walks close to home as their ability to respond is compromised.

Whether it is appropriate or not to travel to a walk has not been explicitly defined. We are assuming that public transport should be avoided for this purpose - it would be very difficult to justify. If you are lucky enough to live with quiet countryside right on your doorstep then that should be taken advantage of. Others may have to balance the risk between a walk in the local park, which may be busier, or driving a short distance in their own car to remoter spot. We hope that people make this judgement wisely.

For those who do find suitable quiet walks on Walkingworld, we are making the maps for free walks on the app more detailed, because we know it will be difficult for some to pay for a subscription right now. If you arrive at a walk start and find it's crowded please turn back; the countryside will be there another day. And of course take heed if Government advice changes.

Other updates
Cotswold Outdoor has closed all its 'real world' stores, but the online shop is still running with plenty of customer service backup and free next day delivery on orders over £50.

We have quite often promoted trips by charity First Steps Himalaya, who are involved in building schools and education improvement in Nepal. The trips - an important source of income for the charity - are now all on hold and teacher training programmes are postponed until the autumn. They have written a blog about the current situation.

Finally, we hope you'll enjoy as much of the outdoors as you possibly can in these difficult times. Please take care!