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  • Writer's pictureGina McCabe

The outdoors belongs to everyone...but it doesn't always feel like it.

One of the most enriching pieces of work I have had the privilege of being part of. Please do take the time to read and soak up the stories shared so generously by so many. You won't regret it. Move beyond the statistics and generalisations, and support others to do the same. More more more human stories and voices at the heart of change everywhere please.

A snippet from inside the book.....

It has been the greatest pleasure to hear, read and collate the content of this book. Sincerest thanks to all those who have taken the time to share their perspectives and bring their outdoors to life. There are stories of connection with self, with others and with nature. Stories of nourishment, peace and happiness. Stories of fear, judgement, loss and challenge. There are stories of ever-changing relationships with the outdoors — of an outdoors that is at some points safe and liberating, and at others full of fear and limitations. There are stories of how a pandemic has changed how people engage with and value the outdoors with illustrations of how limitations on our movements bring new freedoms and new challenges. The stories in the book highlight commonality in experience, despite difference in place, space and activity. Mental and physical health, feelings of wellbeing and noticing nature are associated with all the stories included here — be that in an outdoor café, the top of a mountain, an urban skate park, or staring out to sea. But perspectives also reveal opposites and contrasts. Consider for example the urban spaces left behind during a nation’s rush to get to the countryside in the summer of 2020. While the National Parks may have been experiencing their highest number of visitors ever recorded, for some, that opened up an opportunity to access the urban outdoors free from the otherwise prohibitive crowds, noises and stresses associated with a busy city. Consider the ease with which some have explored new pathways and walks around their homes compared to the immense effort and challenge that goes into the same activity if you are visually impaired, and the reward that comes with adding that route to your repertoire. Consider the different interpretations of ‘safety and survival’ in the outdoors. For some it’s about having the right equipment, experience and skills for extreme environments. For others, the outdoors is safety and aides physical and mental survival from other things happening in life — a respite from the norm, a chance to go unnoticed or to blend into the crowds. For others, the outdoors provokes anxiety and fear from judgement and discrimination. Access the full e-book below to read more......

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