Discovering nature’s secrets are right on our doorstep during lockdown. Join me on a 10,000-step trip round mine!

Click here for a full page version of the map

In the week since Lockdown, all our horizons have closed in.

For me, the 1km radius around my home has become my whole world.
I already spent a lot of time in it, working from home a lot, and car-free.

So many ‘freedoms’ have been withdrawn, the world seemingly ‘shrunk’, due to Covid19 – yet strangely it seems like I’m seeing everything around me in close up with a new observer’s excited eye.

It’s like because the world got smaller, our eyes got bigger, our ears more sensitive. It’s as if someone has adjusted the scale on my brain, like the dial on a microscope, to see smaller changes, greater depth.

Is this how we notice? Is this how we re-attach ourselves to nature?
Is this how we remember that society is hosted, generously, by our ecosystem, not the other way around?

The little noticings that in the past I might have missed, busy on a phone running late on a tram into town, or catching a train to a weekend away; there is no escaping the doorstep now, indeed it is all we have.

Especially at this time of year with the natural world growing greener and more alive by the hour.

The rutted path I tread into my woods, past the place the rooks roost and the bats swoop, over the meadow with the two daffodil clumps, beyond the hawthorn, to the pond and the reeds, past the silver birches, the blackthorn and the cherry blossom. The wild garlic and the hogweed. The pylons and the poplars. The sluices and the sedge.

I like the beats I tread, the tree where I know the cheeky robin will be, the wood where the woodpecker pecks away, the pond where a heron awaits the peaceful.                    (check him out in glorious flight below!!)

The goalposts and the alley ways, the front gardens and bay windows, the allotments and the swings, I treasure them all now.

So – here is my Chorlton loop; 8km / 5 miles round the best the district has to offer – a way to combine my exercise for the day and basic shopping needs in one fulfilling trip!

You can follow it via my map embedded above, or in the full size page – I’ve also posted a little photo highlight gallery below.

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