Read today’s guest blog from Amelia at Our Land and find out how to make the most of your visit to the beautiful countryside in the South East of England.
Walk amongst it, cycle through it, or just sit in it – if you, like us, are a lover of the British countryside you may also now be conjuring an image filled with fresh air, ancient trees, old farmsteds, wild flowers, birdsong, shops with traditional crafts, great tea and cake, and a hearty local recipe served up in an old-beamed pub.
It’s easy to take the much loved features of our countryside for granted; that they’ll somehow always be there.
On Our Land, an ever-expanding group of countryside lovers, from rangers and lead officers in nine of the UK’s National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, to locals who offer visitors things to do and places to stay in the landscapes, have come together to celebrate and map just how much work is going into conserving the countryside.
This is just the beginning of ‘Love Our Land’, a three year campaign where you’ll be able to see on a map the features of the countryside, such as wild flowers, butterflies, traditional building styles and traditions, and a story of how local individuals and groups help conserve them and why.
Best of all, if you stay in one of Our Land’s B&Bs (doubles from £30 per night), cottages (from £150 per week, sleeping 4) or camp (from £5 per night) and take part in one of many Our Land activities (including woodwork from £49; bike hire from £6, canoeing etc) – you’ll actually be helping to conserve the much-loved features of the countryside – since your money will be spent, not only on an experience to treasure, but also on continuing the conservation work. Our Land is making conservationists of us all.
You could stay in accommodation like this beautiful converted early Georgian stable. Like many of the properties it is lovingly restored, with many of it’s original features still in tact. If you were to stay there or nearby you’ll find it’s the perfect base for a spot of walking on the Kent Downs. You might even be lucky enough to spot the rare and chalk hill blue butterfly (see photo above) – a sign that the conservation of the chalk downland is protecting the biodiversity of the region.
Look out for updates on the conservation mapping project on Our Land and by signing up for Our Land’s newsletter (where you can also find brilliant places to stay and things to do and be rest assured that, with all of us working together, the much-loved features of the countryside will indeed always be there.