Guest Post by Wildsmith author Liz Flanagan – Landscape in Covid Times

How the daily walk in the covid months not only helped me in those challenging months – but also gave me the idea for the Wildsmith series.

Wildsmith Author – Liz Flanagan
















Do you remember what you were doing in the summer of 2020? I think many of us will never forget. I was very lucky, not having a front-line job, living in a town surrounded by beautiful landscape. But it was still a worrying time, wasn’t it? Do you remember those first months of the pandemic, when we were allowed to walk outside for one hour a day?

That hour came to mean so much to me. I would go for a daily walk, usually with my daughter and our dog. We chose our route carefully and soon had our favourites: the paths through the woods and by the river. It was a beautiful early summer, with the whole valley turning green, and a strange silence where normally you’d hear the noise of cars or crowds enjoying our town.





Once we were outside, the rhythm of walking would help me relax and warm up -especially the first steep stretch up the hill to reach the woods. We’d talk, different chats than we’d have at home. Walking, being outside, seems to give new perspective and ideas – I’ve always found this. {See previous blog post on walking}






And being under the trees let us watch the seasons change slowly, even this year when everything else felt on pause. We spotted the daffodils, hawthorn blossom and bluebells coming and going; saw the first appearance of wood sorrel and wild garlic, watched the grass growing taller and the leaves turning darker green. We’d see a heron who liked to fish on a certain section of river, and if we were lucky, very occasionally, we’d see a little kingfisher who sometimes perched on the edge of an old millpond.

And by the time we got home, we felt better. My worries had faded a bit. Missing all the people we couldn’t see felt more manageable. My body was tired, in a good way that meant I’d sleep well that night.

For me, this ordinary daily magic of moving through the landscape definitely helped me get through those months. So it’s no surprise the next thing I wrote was all about a magical healing forest. Do you have a favourite walk? What stories does it bring to mind?



Be sure to check out the rest of the tour for more great content!

Wildsmith: Into the Dark Forest, illustrated by Joe Todd-Stanton, is published by UCLan Publishing on 2ndFebruary 2023, £7.99



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