Every Breath We Take

by David Feather

Why do we feel so much better after an hour or two in the Country Park?

Well, there is the psychological effect of being out in the countryside, away from traffic noise etc. But there can also be a physical effect, as the air in the Park is so pure.

Dog roses in Brunts Field

A study of air quality by the Royal College of Physicians in 2016 showed that:-

“There are a large number of potential ‘man-made’ pollution sources in indoor environments, especially the home. Probably top of the list in terms of health consequences is the smoking of cigarettes, cigars, pipes etc, giving rise to so-called ‘second-hand smoke’ containing many noxious substances. In addition, hookahs/shisha smoking, candles, joss sticks and other materials that we burn for recreational purposes emit pollutants into the indoor air. Combustion appliances – cookers, boilers, open fires and portable gas/paraffin heaters (with no flue) – are particularly significant in terms of total emissions. The building itself, the materials from which it is built and those with which it is decorated are also important potential sources of chemical pollutants – these include the construction materials, as well as paints, glues, furniture, wallpaper and drapery. Cleaning and DIY products, air fresheners and other consumer products such as insecticide sprays that we use in the home are also important. Some waterproofing/filling DIY products can contain highly asthmagenic di-isocyanates, for example. It is now known that pieces of electrical equipment, including scanners and photocopiers, also emit pollutants – and for houses with built-in garages, the ingress of vehicle exhaust and vapours from petrol, stored paints and solvents, etc can affect the quality of indoor air in the home.”

The Wildlife Wheel among the buttercups

As most of us spend most of our lives indoors and children now tend to play indoors, this finding was most disturbing. However, it doesn’t seem to have made much of an impact on the Government. I suspect that they have been too concerned about Brexit and traffic emissions over the past few years.

For the moment, the message must be to get out into the open air as much as possible to give your lungs a treat. What the Royal College of Physicians report findings do indicate is the importance of Southwick Country Park to the well being of the residents of Trowbridge and surrounding villages.

Volunteers in the park – come and join us!


Two more posts from David Feather:

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