Contributed by Breaking Muscle
1/02/2023 - Trails of the Riverbank
During the lockdown, permitted outdoor activity saw a huge surge in popularity. In fact, one survey showed that almost a quarter of the British public had taken up rambling as a hobby – an increase from 16% in 2018 – and 2020 was even dubbed ‘the year of the walker’.
Even though many of the restrictions and changes brought about by the pandemic have now been lifted it would seem that the nations new found love affair for walking and being outdoors hasn’t waned. Something that local walking guide Gale Light can testify to. Gale has seen a great uptake in his guided tours around the footpaths and trails of North Essex and South Suffolk since launching in Autumn 2022.
“I’ve walked almost all of the local footpaths, rights of way and beaches over the years” Gale explained “and I have a thorough knowledge of the best and often little-known byways and paths. I really enjoy showing other people these wonderful places, especially the ones right on their doorstep that they hadn’t even realised existed!”
“People found a real love of walking and exploring during lockdown and that love hasn’t gone away”.
Something else that has endured is the number of birders (that’s birdwatching for the uninitiated!) who have continued since lockdown and demand has been so high that Gale recently introduced his ‘Beginners guide to birdwatching’ which starts from Manningtree and follows the banks of the River Stour so that participants can identify some of the waders and wildfowl that make the Stour Estuary their home.
“The response to these tours has been really positive and we are so lucky to have access to this beautiful waterway and all the birds and wildlife it attracts.”
Gale offers his Trails of the Riverbank guided walks all year round and can create bespoke experiences incorporating foraging, fishing, footpaths, trails and hidden gems. Visit his website for more information and booking.
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