A reflection on writing and walking, and writing about walking, upon reading Robert MacFarlane’s The Old Ways
If we consider ourselves as beings that are part of nature, protecting wildlife and combating climate change becomes more than something that “has to be done”. It becomes an act of self-preservation. Or, how an evening with nature writer Mark Cocker provoked some surprisingly deep thoughts.
About halfway between Acle and Great Yarmouth lies Berney Arms. It’s hard to explain what Berney Arms is. It’s not a village. It used to be a pub, but the pub closed down in 2015. It has a windmill, but the mill is currently closed for maintenance. It has the most remote railway station in the UK, three miles from the nearest road, but the station is closed until further notice. In short, Berney Arms is nothing.
What is it that makes nature writing so alluring? Can nature, or even just reading about it, be an antidote to stress? On tree hugging, daffodils and karate.