Since we moved to this area 32 years ago we have always walked the local footpaths especially the tow path of the river. After DD and her dogs moved away last summer and then I was busy preparing for my own move walking went out of the window for a bit. I decided once I had moved that I would walk for at least half hour a day and I did unless there was really torrential rain. I never saw that many people when I was out and about but that changed with the lockdown. Suddenly my patch was invaded so I found a lot of the time I was walking further afield when I could.
Some days I am busy or the weather is not so good so I have to stay with the hoards and I felt a bit resentful sometimes at all these people suddenly using MY space.
Then today I was on the tow path and a young mum with a little one in a pushchair and two bigger kids on bikes called to me from the bridge. She asked for directions and was a bit nervous of carrying on in case she couldn't get back across the river. She was amazed when I told her there was a beautiful mill just around the corner and another bridge. At that time I was concerned with a moorhen frantically calling her young to come into the river from the ditch. Whenever somebody went past they rushed back into the ditch. I asked the young boy to just hang on as the chicks were emerging again. As they came onto the path, the boy was so excited. He called to his sister to quickly look. I asked the mum how long they had lived here and she said forever but they had never walked further than the park before. Due to the lock down they were exploring and really enjoying it.
After that I didn't feel resentful just glad more people are enjoying the lovely countryside. Especially with their children. Later when I was home I saw them walking up the cycle track next to my home so I called out to them. They had loved it and turned out they lived near me. So maybe a few will carry on walking once everything else opens up. They will realize that they don't need to spend loads of money to enjoy life.