Life In The Lakeland Lockdown

Lancashire Life|June 2020

Life In The Lakeland Lockdown
Emily Rothery reflects on the effect on the outbreak on the countryside near her Coniston home
Emily Rothery

Walking through Lake District woods in spring, it seems that all is well with the world. The sun is shining, and the fresh green leaves of birch trees cast dappled shade on the ground. Hawthorn hedgerows are laced with blossom and wild daffodils are making way for bluebells. Butter yellow primroses, starry wood anemones, and tiny violets line the paths and last year’s parched leaves crunch beneath our feet.

The only other sound is birdsong. Seemingly more noticeable than usual because other everyday sounds have ceased. There are no planes above and the thrum of distant cars has been replaced by the drone of bees foraging among the flowers. It is as if the world has pressed the pause button; nature is thriving, but life for human beings, it seems, is on hold.

We are weeks into lockdown and many things that have seemed so familiar have ceased. The countryside is eerily quiet, there are no visitors wrestling with unwieldy maps or picnicking by the wayside. Tourists, for now, are a thing of the past – no motor homes or caravan convoys blocking the lanes; no vehicles laden with canoes heading for the lakes; no family cars packed with holiday paraphernalia. Normally busy roads are empty apart from delivery vans, tractors, and the occasional car. Solitary cyclists enjoy sun-filled days and, now and again, families weave and wobble up the road at a much slower pace. It is more like the 1950s than in 2020.

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June 2020