This new practice, which is a form of meditation on the move, helps us to feel more connected to the environment of which we are an inseparable part. There is no destination in mind, it’s all about the travel. This environmental connection cultivates situational awareness, in which we put all of our available attention on our surroundings rather than mindlessly walking from place to place. Subconsciously this was no doubt the case for the thirty or so volunteers taking part in the country walk on Monday last, in celebration of national “Volunteers Week”. Embracing the landscape of the Ivinghoe hills and in particular the delights of the wild flowers which are now appearing in such profusion on the slopes.
The rare pasque flower blooming at Easter may have gone over now, but is replaced by other unusual chalk-land plants like the scarce early gentian or the field fleawort, linking us to past times when the country folk relied upon nature for medicinal cures – how did fleawort deal with fleas? The subject of wild flowers might not be stimulating for all , but it was the focus of attention especially when explained by enthusiastic tour guides like Lawrence and Emily.
So despite the weather which was damp and windy, the guided walk was well attended and went off well, supported by six staff members. The tour took two hours from the Beacon car park, and a picnic lunch provided by the Trust was enjoyed back at Basecamp.
Susie took the opportunity to thank all present for their commitment to the Trust pointing out that some eighty seven volunteers had recorded some two thousand four hundred hours of work so far this year.