By Bethany Rossiter
During this very strange and testing year, stress and anxiety have become a challenge for many during our day to day lives. It is well understood that taking time out to embrace nature can be an effective way of dealing with stress, helping us to relax and feel calm(1).
The Cober valley, Loe Pool and Loe Bar have provided a escape for many, whether that has been through going for a run or a walk, cycling or just taking time to sit and take in the beautiful surroundings.
Since the UK went into lockdown in March 2020, I have made more of an effort to get out in my local area and enjoy the surroundings. For several months I walked down through the Penrose estate from Helston to Loe Bar, enjoying the sounds of birds on the pool and finding delight in spotting a Heron sitting in the marshes. Down at Loe Bar, the combination of the prevailing winds and the steep shelving nature of the beach can result in impressive waves, even on a relatively calm day. Just little things like noticing the difference in the colour of the water in Loe Pool compared to the sea can take my mind off other things.
I also explored further up the Cober valley a few times, taking public footpaths that I would have never known existed had I not found myself wanting to walk locally more often. A favourite place of mine, is walking along the small lanes and footpaths above Lowertown, just outside of Helston. Along here you can find evidence of the railway that used to connect Helston to the main line, until it closed in the early 1960’s. The most obvious evidence is the track bed itself, some of which is still easy enough to find, as well as several arched stone bridges, and the impressive viaduct that crosses over the valley. But little things such as the odd old rusting sign give deeper glimpses into the railway’s past.
Helston Railway is in the process of being restored by the Helston Railway Preservation Society, with the aim of restoring a three mile stretch of the railway from Nancegollan and Helston Water-ma-Trout(2). More information about their work and how to get involved can be found here.
Now that winter is drawing in, and the weather is becoming more changeable, getting out can be more difficult. However, a bracing walk in the wind and even the rain, can be surprisingly enjoyable and there are always new places to explore!
- Mental Health and Nature: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/nature-and-mental-health/how-nature-benefits-mental-health/
- Helston Railway Presevation Society: https://www.helstonrailway.co.uk/
(1) Mind, (May 2018) How can nature benefit my mental health?, website accessed 2nd October 2020, <https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/nature-and-mental-health/how-nature-benefits-mental-health/>
(2) Helston Railway, (2020) About Our Society, website accessed 2nd October 2020, <https://www.helstonrailway.co.uk/about/>