Another month’s lockdown.

All non-essential services closed, reduced travel, households no longer able to meet indoors or in their gardens: this is the new lockdown.

Updated 10.45am

But if you exercise outdoors, you will be allowed to go with people from your household and you will be allowed to exercise with one person not in your household as long as it is just the two of you. Unlike in the first lockdown, there will be no limit to the number of times a day you can take exercise so come for a walk in the park

More than two-thirds of adults in the UK report feeling worried about the effect COVID-19 is having on their lives. The most common issues affecting wellbeing are worrying about the future, feeling stressed or anxious, and being bored. Increased exposure to stress is already having a significant impact on the nation’s mental health and health services are concerned that the coronavirus pandemic will be follow by a pandemic of mental illnesses.

Researchers have found that spending time in open green spaces protects against mood disorders, depression and stress-related issues. They also found that the effect of being outside in green spaces is what they rather charmingly call dose-dependent, meaning, of course, that the longer you spend outside in the countryside, the better it is for you.

In a decades-long nationwide study, Danish researchers found that exposure to parks and green spaces reduces a child’s risk of developing an array of psychiatric disorders during adolescence and adulthood. The NHS is already worrying about the long-term effect on our children of closed schools and lack of social interaction, so bring your family to the park as often as you can.

These are strange and worrying times. The park is our safe place; come and walk here, laugh with a socially distanced friend, lift your head and look up at the sky, play with your children for a while. It will be good for you physically and mentally.

Wash your hands, wear a mask, take care.

All photographs taken in the park by DKG

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  1. The interpretation of the new lockdown seems to change with each news report; we will update this post as the day goes on to be sure that we have correctly understood the rules as they pertain to your use of the park.

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