Allow careful use of 'the great outdoors'

Support and promote solo or small group activities in our outdoor spaces, hills, mountains, rivers, lochs and coastline where social distancing is possible and viral transmission can be controlled. The social and mental health benefits will be huge, but clear messaging on how to keep safe, eg care with shared transport, engagement with rescue services, is needed.

Why the contribution is important

We are going to have to live with this virus for many more months, possibly years, awaiting vaccine, immunity or eradication. Travel and overseas holidays are likely to be restricted and our nation has gone through the biggest societal upheaval in living memory. Exercise is key to maintaining both mental and physical resilience, both essential in these times, and using the resources of the Scottish natural landscape offer a way to keep fit, safely interact with friends and, for many, rebalance and recharge mentally.

by anuvet on May 08, 2020 at 09:09AM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.8
Based on: 43 votes


  • Posted by catherine101 May 08, 2020 at 09:14

    This is happening already in an unauthorised way and it would be better to give it some legitimacy and thereby allow some measures of control.
  • Posted by DebbieD May 08, 2020 at 09:16

    Consideration needs to be given to the rural communities entered. The RNLI and Mountain Rescue would need consulted. Many rural communities only have one shop which is only just managing to supply the local population. Consideration would need to be given to each surface touched including metal gates.
  • Posted by Malcolm May 08, 2020 at 09:20

    Absolutely agree. I'm absolutely delighted that the Govt are trying to treat us like adults, rather than passing down pronouncements, on the assumption we're not to be trusted. As an attempt to find a positive from this situation, there's a chance to increase our longer term health by encouraging the careful use of the outdoors, where social distancing can be maintained. Golf, canoeing, cycling, walking, sailing, climbing, running.... and so on. To further encourage this, any shops that support outdoor activities should be encouraged to re-open (with supermarket-style social distancing). Finally, the Govt could re-emphasise that the chances of catching Covid are not the same if you cycle or jog past someone, compared to say, standing beside them in a pub, or on a football terrace.
  • Posted by GJBB May 08, 2020 at 09:26

    It makes no sense that I drive 3 miles to a supermarket or homebase store and cant drive the same distance to a forest to walk my dog where I wont need to be within 3 meters of anyone. Walking locally means having to pass other walkers in the middle of the road to achieve 2m.
  • Posted by swanston May 08, 2020 at 09:28

    Outdoor exercise very important for many Scots. Maybe initial limiting of distance travelled to outdoor exercise, gradually relaxing as pandemic settles down.
  • Posted by DCoyne May 08, 2020 at 09:29

    people need to get out again as long as social distancing is possible,
  • Posted by AliMacDonald01 May 08, 2020 at 09:42

    For those who live on their own and have virtually no family contact being able to get out in the open and walk with one or two other people, behaving in a responsible way and keeping 2m apart, this would be wonderful.
  • Posted by Mimi May 08, 2020 at 09:48

    I think we should be allowed further a field with some conditions put in place. Maybe allow people to go further for exercise but no picnics or BBQ's for the time being. Our urban streets are too crowded. Social distancing is difficult. We have to be able to spread out a bit to relieve some of that pressure.
  • Posted by Smiffy May 08, 2020 at 13:09

    I agree that we should be enabled to make use of the outdoors, including countryside that has been closed by private landowners. Closure of such spaces where people could walk, often without seeing anyone else, has not made sense as it has pushed more people into using smaller spaces which does not help with social distancing. We also need access to the countryside to keep our spirits up as well as physically exercise. People of course need to behave in sensible safe ways and respect other people as well as landowners; but this should be the case at any times, not just because of Covid 19.
  • Posted by Harri May 11, 2020 at 20:06

    yes, some more access to the outdoors as long as social distancing can be maintained. I enjoy a bit of walking along with some landscape photography and walking my dogs. I would be happy to get a little bit further afield and away from city walking which I find stressful. Having to avoid groups of teenagers loitering and all clearly not from the same family unit when I'm out walking my dogs!
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