National Trust To Open Parks For Free To Give People Access To Space


National Trust To Open Parks For Free To Give People Access To Space

The National Trust has announced it will open its gardens and parklands for free during the coronavirus outbreak.

That’s in response to government advice asking people to social distance – avoiding non-essential contact with others and stopping unnecessary travel.

The trust say they will be shutting indoor sites, such as houses, cafes and shops, but still want to encourage the public to enjoy open spaces.

They want to “keep on providing public benefit” by giving people access.

Hilary McGrady, the director general of the National Trust, says they would close indoor areas “to help fight the spread of coronavirus”, but recognised “people are likely to need access to open space”.

‘You need to have it as a routine’

For many, open outdoor space is important for their mental health, especially at a time when we’ve been told not go outside as much.

That includes 29-year-old Rebecca Lockwood, who tells Radio 1 Newsbeat that experiencing the outdoors makes her “feel much calmer”.

“It’s the simplest things, the feel of wind against my face, the sound of leaves rustling that can help reduce my anxiety and adrenaline inside,” she says.

Rebecca has two young children, and that (as you can probably imagine) is quite stressful.

She chooses to walk to school in the morning because it gives her a chance for peace.

“My morning routine is kids shouting ‘mummy’, so I can’t have that quiet meditation at home,” she says.

“But being able to go outside after dropping them, it really helps refresh my mind and with stress.”

Rebecca, who is from West Yorkshire, says she’s “aware of everything” on the way back.

“There’s a reservoir that we walk across, when I return I’m really aware of the water, the ducks in the water.”

She says experiencing that is a helpful distraction from her thoughts inside, and gets her to focus on what’s around her.

“Being outside is an ongoing routine and it’s the biggest thing to support me.”

‘It’s important to take care of your mind’

With everything that’s happening with coronavirus, you might be feeling a sense of uncertainty.

And that is why Rebecca believes it’s a “fantastic idea” to keep National Trust sites open.

Being outside and enjoying parks and gardens “gives you the chance to get away from everything for a bit”, she says.

http://Three More Scottish Deaths Confirmed

While the government does advise staying away from other people, they do currently say people can leave home to do exercise – at a safe distance from others.

National Trust To Open Parks For Free To Give People Access To Space


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