BLOG: Are we through the storm? Reflecting on the last 20 months

22nd October 2021

Throughout the year we’ve been asking people to enter their photos taken whilst visiting our sites into our photography competition.

This year’s theme is Hope in Nature, and touches on how green spaces have been a saving grace for so many people throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s been heart-warming to see our sites through other people’s eyes, whether that be a joyful family moment captured, an exciting nature find, or just a simple landscape shot.

As we head towards winter, COVID statistics seem to be creeping back into news bulletins, threatening people’s new found sense of freedom and normality. It seems unlikely that we’ll go back into lockdown again, but the wounds of the pandemic are far from healed, and could easily open again.

The Land Trust kept most of its parks and green spaces open throughout the pandemic, ensuring communities across the country had access to high quality green spaces. When the four walls of people’s homes became more like a prison cell, the opportunity to get out and see nature continuing as it was became a daily ritual. It wasn’t just daily exercise for many, it was an escape, a chance to breathe and an opportunity to build a closer relationship with the natural environment around them.

Many of last year’s competition entries were prime examples of the positive outcomes of spending time in green spaces over lockdown:

This photo was taken on 31 March 2020 by Claire Lonsdale, who said:

“When lockdown hit we were so grateful to have Castle Hill Country Park on our doorstep. It literally saved our sanity and gave the kids a great safe space to blow off steam when suddenly the only friends they could play with were each other.” 

This year’s entries have continued in the same light, as people have become much more in touch with their local natural surroundings.

As we continue on the road out of the pandemic, it’s important to reflect on what we’ve learnt throughout such a challenging time. Keep on taking time out to appreciate the green spaces around you (even if it’s cold and grey).

Communities have proven their resilience, many of them becoming closer and stronger in the face of the challenges COVID-19 forced upon them. My hope is that this doesn’t get forgotten and the community spirit and appreciation for the more simple things in life don’t fade away.

It always helps us stay focused on the core reason why the Land Trust exists when we see people out on our sites, appreciating nature and enjoying the benefits of spending time outdoors. If you’d like to send in your photographs, showing what you’ve captured on our sites this year, send them to We’ll be closing our photography competition on 1 November, but photos are always welcome!


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