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Empty Valley

First exercise in empty valley

The Government’s current response to the coronavirus pandemic is quite clear that we should stay at home except for one of four reasons:

  • shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible.
  • one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household.
  • any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  • travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.

So, yesterday (24 March 2020) was my first outing for exercise. And I went cycling along the Breamish Valley.

Of course, under normal circumstances, the valley can be a busy place when the weather is sunny and there is little prospect of rain – and it can attract many visitors. However, yesterday, it was almost empty in the early afternoon when I was exercising. Only four cars passed me. I only saw one young couple exercising by walking on the hills and just two people exercising on horseback. That was it. Quite eerie, really.

While it’s clearly incalculably distressing for businesses that depend on visitors to the area, it was at least heartening to find that the local community was heading the Government’s advice to stay at home. Especially following some of the goings-on last weekend when high numbers of people flooded into the valley, prompting local residents, quite rightly, to ask visitors to stay at home and to access open spaces closer to home.

please stay at home
Reminding people to stay at home

Of course, things have moved on rapidly and we are now all clearly instructed to avoid unnecessary travel and public gatherings of more than two people (except where the gathering is of a group of people who live together).

How are you exercising?

Staying as fit and healthy as possible while staying at home is important. Exercise has been shown to improve our mental well being and to boost our immune system.

Being outside in nature has also been shown to assist things such as calming, reducing anxiety, feeling part of something bigger than ourselves – it’s called nature connectedness.

Calming waters of Breamish Valley

If you can’t get out to exercise, or don’t wish to, there are lots of suggestions online for indoor exercises for all ages and levels of fitness.

Keep safe!

You can find the latest NHS and Government advice here:

And a list of local volunteers willing to help ANYONE who is having difficulties during the coronavirus outbreak:

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