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What National Walking Month means to me

As a pioneer of netwalking, it seemed appropriate to ask our Associate Director for Business Development – Charlotte Scaife –   to share her thoughts on National Walking Month in May, which was a celebration of walking, championed by Living Streets charity.

Walking is a great British pastime, enjoyed and endured by many. No doubt it is something to do with the amazing landscapes and the vast open spaces which surround us. As a child, I recall my brothers and I complaining endlessly about being “dragged” out for a walk, much to my mother’s dismay. Nowadays I can’t wait to take in the fresh air and explore the hills and dales of Yorkshire, often with my mum.

To me, walking is a release, a way of winding down after a day at work, but also an enjoyable way to spend time with family and friends. Particularly if there’s a trip to the pub at the end! Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have been encouraged to walk every day and the positive influence this has on our physical and mental wellbeing is widely acknowledged. Even in the city centres it is easy to find green spaces or waterways to walk along and take a break.

#Walkshire in Yorkshire!

#Walkshire in Yorkshire!

It was encouraging to see that the Welcome to Yorkshire team have initiated a #Walkshire theme for the year. In my opinion this is far superior to the Tour de Yorkshire and cyclists taking over roads, pavements, cafes and beer gardens but that’s probably a very unpopular opinion, to say the least! Their campaign provides an array of walks for varying competencies and highlights the superb Yorkshire landscape as an excellent leisure destination.

It is easy to put off doing exercise and have a break but I’m sure everyone agrees that when you force yourself to do it you feel infinitely better. Even if it is raining or cold, if you are togged up it’s not so bad (I’m possibly a bit too British!). Being immersed in nature grounds us and gives us the chance to think freely. Walking slows us down and allows us to explore new and interesting places, surrounded by greenery and wildlife.

Pioneering Business Netwalking

Pioneering Business Netwalking

In March 2020, when we were told to socially distance and not meet indoors, I set up a netwalking group to try and stay connected with colleagues and clients. Little did I realise that over a year later we would still be meeting outdoors and that walks would be part of my working week. Walking meetings have become the norm over the past 12 months and I am delighted that it is now an acceptable meeting format. It’s much better than endless Teams calls and provides an easy atmosphere to get to know people better and encourage quality conversation.

However, anyone who has walked with me knows that it is more of a sport than a leisurely activity. I have been referred to as a Mountain Goat on a few occasions, due to the pace at which I ascend hills – must be something to do with living in a valley! At a meeting last week I was told I walk like I’m six foot tall (which I’m not), I’ve now named this the “Scaife Pace”.

Walking for Mind

Walking for Mind

When I joined DB3 Architecture, there were already conversations in place about walking the National Three Peaks to raise money for our Charity of the Year – Mind. I’d never considered this as a challenge and I certain don’t think I’d try doing them all in one day but the idea of taking them on individually, with my colleagues is quite appealing. The decision has now been made that we will begin with Ben Nevis and are working to find a suitable date. I hope that I’ll be able to make it!

Date Published: 02 June 2021

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