With no alternative but to explore the nature on their doorstep, three writers describe the joy of enforced slow travel
It is a place I’d discovered before the virus: a left-hand bend in a narrow stream, a couple of steps off the footpath. There is nothing remarkable there, or not at first glance. There are breeze blocks in the stream bed and plastic bags deeply embedded in the roots of an alder tree. With a few variations, it could be anywhere in Britain: the neglected corner of a city park, the back of a private garden, behind a national park cafe. It’s just one of those spots that no one ever thinks to stop at and, if not for Covid-19, I would not have begun visiting daily, pausing for a few breaths before continuing. I saw the first snowdrops appear there, followed by primroses; then they were swamped by wild garlic and wood anemone. One morning a weasel shot out of a hole under a root and sprinted up the opposite bank. It was the first of several surprises.