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Celebrating the delights of getting outside in the beautiful Somerset Countryside 2021 Calendar, featuring photographs from Somerset residents. Profits will be donated to the Beacon Centre at Musgrove. 2 sizes are available (A3 and A4) and postage and packaging is included in the price.
January 2021 Update!
These are extraordinary times and the instructions and guidelines issued by the Government are essential to deal with the crisis. The most recent Government announcement places the whole Country under lockdown restrictions. However with care and consideration social distancing does not mean you are housebound. There is no point in avoiding Covid-19 if you fall victim to Cabin Fever instead! There is a great outdoors out there can be no better time than now to discover and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us. Walking is probably the easiest and most accessible form of exercise. You can manage the distance and intensity to suit you and your circumstance, no 2 days are the same and most importantly IT'S FREE!!
The Government guidelines laid out for the Lockdown Restrictions permit, indeed encourage us to exercise outdoors in public spaces subject to the following restrictions
- Only with people from your own household or
- If you are on your own you may exercise with one other person but must remain socially distanced
- You should not travel to other areas
- Children under 5 or a disabled person requiring round the clock care are exempt from these restrictions and are not counted in the above figures
Winter is a time when nature puts on her most spectacular show and wildlife in particular is often easier to spot in Winter. Dress appropriately (including footwear) and the rewards will be yours. Most, if not all, of the suitably placed Cafes will be offering a Take Away service so that welcome hot chocolate awaits you at the end! Just make sure you dispose of the cup appropriately (or better still take your own!)
Just a few guidelines for the current situation
- If you have symptoms, or reason to believe you have been in contact with the virus stay at home, you should be self isolating.
- With members of your own household or if on your own with one other person (see above)
- Choose the less trodden paths or wide open spaces. If you encounter someone coming the other way, or need to overtake someone give them a wide berth. Smile nicely and shout hello from a safe distance! Avoid narrow tracks and paths where people will be forced closer together.
- Wash hands immediately before you set off and as soon as possible after return. Be careful when handling gates and styles.
A few guidelines for walking even when there isn't a crisis!
- Always follow the Countryside Code - Respect, Protect, Enjoy Click here for the simplified version
- Make sure someone knows where you are going and when you expect to be back.
- Always wear appropriate footwear and make sure you are prepared for a change in weather.
- Plan your route in advance. So easy to do with Google maps!
- Most smart phones have GPS tracking, Use it to mark your start point.
- If you have planned a "there and back" type walk take notice of your terrain. If "there" is downhill or wind behind you, "back" will be uphill and therefore much harder!
- Dogs are a very welcome walking companion, but countryside areas are also the home of both wild and livestock animals so please keep dogs on a lead.
Walking is one of the easiest ways to get out and get active that most people can do. It's a great way to get out the house and experience the outdoors and with the Explore Somerset Map Roamer, you can discover routes local to you or see below for walks local to you, recommended by people who live there. If you have walks you would like to add to this directory please submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Walks Suitable For Social Distancing
Walks that are recommended by people who live there or know the area well. All the walks, either due to their location or landscape, are suitable for Socially Distanced walking.
Recommended by Stewart Collins, Adult Participation Manager SASP
Recommended by Annouska Evans, Manager of the SSE Outdoor Centre, Charterhouse
Recommended by Dave and Sue Bullock, proprietors of Dragonfly Barns Holiday Cottages, North Newton.
Couch To 5k
For those who want to start running as a way of getting out the house, but are new to it, Couch to 5K is an amazing app you can download on your phone that will ease you into a routine of running over the course of 9 weeks.
Cycling is another great way to get active outside at this time. You can do it alone or in a group at a safe distance from one another. Cycle Somerset have lots of cycle routes along quiet country lanes on their website.
While it may not be thought of as a traditional way of keeping active, getting out in your own back garden and doing some work can be an easy and simple way to get some fresh air and get moving. Doing something out in your own garden is also a great way of tacking mental health problems such as depression, stress and anxiety.
Playing With Pets
Pets are another fantastic way to help you to stay active, especially with dogs. Whether it's taking them for more regular walks, or just having fun with them in the garden, it's almost impossible to be inactive with a dog around. Stewart, one of our We Are Undefeatable Somerset ambassadors, also talks about this in his video, which you can find here.
Outdoor Mobile Games
For some, the idea of exercise may not be too appealing. Some mobile games that encourage people to go outside and play them are a great way of exploring the outdoors, getting some fresh air and staying active. Most people have heard of Pokemon Go, but if you're not really a fan of the brand, there are also similar games to get you out such as Minecraft Earth and Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. No matter what you enjoy, there is always some unique way for you to be able to experience the outdoors.