Sunday, March 29, 2020


For a long time I've walked or used buses to reach birding spots away from where I live. (Yesterday I walked to Mixenden). But I'm an OAP with time to do this; and it's bothering me that there are conflicting views on whether it's ok to drive to a remote spot to exercise and watch birds. Because this is what many of you on the blog have done regularly, with many great birds found.

What we have to focus on is that all the guidelines and laws that have come in are about one thing only: not spreading the virus.

We shouldn't drive out of our home area (say Calderdale) in case we take the virus to an area without any. And we shouldn't park in a car park with several other cars, in case we pass on the virus to someone parked close to us. But if one parks where there is no-one else around, there is no risk.

The crux is that we have to obey the law of the land. We don't have to go along with what everyone on the telly says, when some politicians and others have themselves probably not fully understood the legislation that was passed on 26 March.

The list of reasons people can leave home, in that legislation, has been very well thought out. One is that we can go out to exercise, (but we MUSTN'T mingle with other people). The law does not limit how often we go out, and it does not say we cannot drive to a quiet spot in our local area to exercise.

We cannot spread the virus as we drive along, and we would actually walk past a lot fewer people at Whiteholme than in a residential area!

(This is my personal interpretation of current rules. I could be wrong, and it's up to each of us to interpret them for him/herself before deciding what to do).


darrell j prest said...

Excellent post
In these uncertain times I for one are out of work and these blogs are really my only way of communicating with people
I'm scared I'll be honest

AndyC said...

Yes tough times , stay safe..keep posting on the bloggs ....

Peter Smith said...

Thanks Darrell and Andy. I don't think fit youngsters like you should be too afraid of the virus, although none of us is completely safe. I'm just thinking of it as another of life's many hazards, and am not worrying.

NTBR said...

Some sound observations in your post Peter. As you observed in an earlier post, there are sound health reasons for people to be out and exercising and negative affects if they don't and that is without considering the psychological implications. I would have thought that most birders would know places where they are not likely to encounter people. Many of us are lucky in Calderdale in living in places where we can quickly get out into the countryside on paths and bridleways, that are normally free of many people and if we do encounter others it east to distance ourselves.
An upside of the situation is perhaps that those of us who don't have our normal work demands can spend time in our local patches.

darrell j prest said...

Unbelievable comment hope your bubble can protect you?
Are birders immune?

Sorry but

Stay at home

NTBR said...

People can still exercise; that is not difficult to understand.How one does it is the issue. As ever in life, the ability to exercise judgement is key.

darrell j prest said...

Sorry misinterpreted your comment apologies

Unknown said...

Hi unknown again (actualy its Pete Gee) as andy and darrel can both tell you until a few years ago i spent most of my birding time at Ringstone at the start of the lockdown we decided to take the dog for a walk along the ridge above ringstone becouse its allways quiet we met maybe 20 people up there with the same idea as we walked back to ringstone where id parked we passed many groups of people out walking back at ringstone there were more than a dozen cars parked up and more coming all time as we left driving back towards barkisland every 100m or so was another group of people upto a dozen in each walking toward krumlin in 30yrs of birding ringstone i have never seen so many people. Now to my point nowhere we go birding usually in solice is going to be it only takes one encounter with a carrier to give you a chance of never birdibg again. And in the 2 weeks it takes to show symptoms how many are you going to pass it onto. My own circumstances mean i will very probably die if i contract it this doesnt change my outlook for myself i will continue to work (key worker) but i will take every precaution possible to not risk infecting my family or any individual i come in contact with.

John Marsh said...

Well said Unknown.