Maybe its because I have been walking more again the last few weeks, or maybe it was that email exchange Jane, but it is something I have been thinking about a lot lately.

The countryside may not have the cure for your ailments, but it certainly can hold the key to peace of mind and recovery.

I don’t care where you live, somewhere near you there is a path like this, and it can lead anywhere you like.

This one took me to a view that took my breath away.


I recently read a book about Robert Hunter, one of the founders of The National Trust. Maybe its this, or maybe too much listening to Ewan Mcoll. But I know we are so lucky in this country. I love where I live and am constantly refreshed by the changing of the seasons and the colours of the trees. If you look, and its really not that hard, on the OS map for where you live, you will find dotted green lines and blocks of land coloured in a funny shade of yellow. These are very special things. Footpaths and Open access land. These things were hard fought for, and are there for us all.

They can take you, for free, to some of the most incredible places you could imagine.

Robert Hunter, Octavia Hill, Hardwick Rawnsley and those brave people on Kinder Scout (along with so many more) left us a legacy for which we have a huge debt.

We all have free, open and unfettered access to the countryside. I am lucky enough to enjoy it most days. But also know it has the capacity to provide for so many more millions of people the most potent medicine they could possibly wish to find.

On my local patch at the moment the Rowan trees are stunning. The berries in the sunlight are bright bolts of lightning for your eyes.


The heather is blooming and amongst it the bees are making the most of the late summer harvest.


Willow and I frequently look for answers (and less often find them) just half an hour from our doorstep.


Take a look for those green lines and blocks of yellow. Unless we use what was so hard won it will cease to have value. You will be surprised where they can take you…