Looking up in Lockdown

A year ago today the UK went into its first Lockdown. We were told to #stayathome #protecttheNHS #savelives. None of us could have imagined then the impact Covid-19 would have, and is still having, on our lives.

It is a sombre day when we mourn and remember the people who have lost their lives to the virus and give thanks for those who have worked so tirelessly to keep the rest of us safe.

For me, it has also been an opportunity to reflect on the positives of a year close to home, of looking up during Lockdown and discovering what has been in walking distance of my front door.

First local walk in Lockdown 1.0
24 March 2020: the first of many strolls along the Basingstoke canal with my new walking companion Meg

Within a 5-mile radius of my house, I discovered grassy footpaths …

Footpath at end of wood

woods filled with foxgloves …

Woodland foxgloves

and tranquil ponds.

Tranquil pond

As the year progressed, I marvelled at the change in the agricultural landscape.

Field of ploughed soil
Field of oilseed rape
Field of poppies
Field of barley

I looked up into the trees.

Horse chestnut blooms
Horse chestnut conkers

And down at the ground.


I became so much more aware of the changing seasons (my walking boots have never seen so much mud!) and, of course, the local wildlife.

Female sparrowhawk

And, as I have actually spent time relaxing in my garden, looking and listening (not just gardening), I have got to know it better too. I have delved into the detail of my plants …

Inside tulips

found what works for pollinators …

Plants for pollinators

and tried growing different vegetables …

Acorn squash

It has not been an easy year, but I am thankful for the time it has given me to appreciate what has always been right in front of me waiting to be discovered, and I am the better for it.

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