One of lockdown’s winners has been nature. While most of us humans have spent the last couple of months indoors or, at most, in the garden, wildlife has been taking advantage of all the extra space it’s been given. Some it is just what’s normal in spring, of course, but there’s less pollution (and roadkill) because most cars are off the road, and less carbon being emitted while heavy industries and offices are running slow or shut entirely. Some of the changes are as ordinary and straightforward as more bees appearing in our gardens. But if you fancy something a bit more impressive, type ‘animals coming out to play during lockdown’ into Youtube… it’s worth your time!
So for villages like Uphill, right next to several parks and a 17 hectare nature reserve that’s well-known for its diverse flora and species of insects, it’s all out there waiting for you to explore. The recently-updated new lockdown-easing rules make it easier than ever, and the Village Society has even organised a top 10 list of Uphill walks for you to check out too, at: https://uphillvillagesociety.org.uk/uphill-walks/
More broadly, I think we’ve all been reminded just how important our parks and green spaces are. Not just for nature, but for humans too. The Victorians called them the lungs of a city and, even though we’ve got rid of all the coal-fired smog since then, they still play a hugely-important part in keeping us all physically and mentally fit, relaxed and happy.
If we all appreciate our green spaces more, it might have other benefits too. At the moment, barely a month goes by without some developer slamming down a planning application to concrete over a field here, or a woodland there. But if local residents (and the Council and Government) are all clear how important and valuable those spaces are, perhaps it will help us fight off unwanted developments, so we can build homes in places like central Weston where they are desperately needed, instead of suburbs sprawling ever-further outwards over fields and woods at the edges of towns, or villages like Uphill. Then we’d all be lockdown winners too.