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Today's walkitcornwall quote

  "There is always music amongst the trees in the garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it."— Minnie Aumonier

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I did it again this year. Booked another walking week with Paul after the nice walking week I had last year. Might do it again next year.

- Lenie B, Switzerland

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My personal philosophy of walking

Climate, landscape and imagining the future


 CLIF walking (climate, future and landscape on the Lizard Peninsula Cornwall).

 What often fascinates me is how humanity and the landscape have interacted in the past as we often take for granted the vistas of where we walk today. How much is naturally formed landscape, how much is manipulated, for want of a word. Indeed how much are people aware of the narrative of whether there is any landscape that is entirely natural or what is conserved/preserved.

 Perhaps with three children the future becomes a subject higher on our personal agenda. My wife and I have become more proactive in our perceived roles as stewards of the natural cycle. Yet, the one subject that divides so many and either spurs people to action or brings apathy is (say it quietly) “climate”. Personally, I perceive that everyone, including those of us who are enmeshed within the natural world as a job are a little confused whilst the public domain is full of theories, counter theories and conspiracy theories.

 Away from the theories comes a breath of fresh air (always good for the climate:-) with CLIF an interdisciplinary research project hosted by the University of Exeter. CLIF stands for ‘From climate to landscape: imagining the future’ and they are engaging with farmers, local people and organisations such as the National Trust and Natural England. They are investigating public and private understandings of climate, the future and change in relation to familiar landscapes in Cornwall, namely the Lizard Peninsula and the Roseland Peninsula. Two activities central to their methodology are guided walks and creative writing.

 With a selection of interdisciplinary students and researchers we set off on a walk from Lizard Green to Pentreath Beach, south of Kynance Cove to the Southernmost Point. We walked for three hours covering not even 3 miles (4.8 kms). This was a great indication of the amount of debate, conversation and stories that went back and forth between all 8 of us. A good walk should be a conversation. Even if alone one must not be daydreaming about subjects far away for one to get the most out of a walk. Get your eye in, open all senses and piece together what is exactly in ones periphery of vision and indeed how all your senses are taking in the surroundings.

 With 8 “tuned in” people we were pushing ideas back and forth on how this stretch of the Lizard coast has been influenced by many factors. In no particular order these include the predominant south westerly winds, this particular coast being strategically important to Britain’s defence, the micro climates, the underlying Serpentenite rock and the accompanying schists, gabbro and gneiss, the will of the local people up in arms when the Killigrew family first built the lighthouse (the light supposedly would scare the pilchards away- or would that be the ships?), the conservation work of NT and NE and the socio economic role of the smugglers.

 Everyone has an important contribution and specific perception of any locality. Local knowledge always has its advantages. I understand more and more as a guide that the more I know about an area the more pieces of the ever increasing jigsaw puzzle come into play and link to other parts of this fascinating geographical area of a jigsaw puzzle I have fallen in love with.

 For more information about CLIF email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.