Schoolgirl Patricia Wittbom chose to raise money for the society by a challenge walk. She tells her story.
My name is Patricia Wittbom, I’m 11 years old and I am in year 7 at Tytherington School, Macclesfield, Cheshire.
During the last year of covid lockdown I was lucky to be able to go out each day into the countryside where we live in the Cheshire Peak District. We swung on rope swings, walked through woods and ran up into the hills where we heard curlew and saw bluebells and knew that nature was doing very well, even if things were really strange for us. I missed my family in Sweden and Portugal and my English grandparents very much, but being able to be out in nature kept us all going.
Now I know how lucky we are to live where we do, and that beautiful green spaces are really important for our mental and physical health. But it made me sad to know that not everyone had somewhere green and beautiful to go, close to their homes.
My school runs an award scheme called the Tythy Challenge. Part of the challenge is to demonstrate that we have made big efforts to ‘strive’ to achieve something. So I planned a sponsored walk to raise awareness of the importance of green spaces for all.
My stepdad helped me to research charities that I could support and he told me about the Open Spaces Society. It seemed a good fit because it wasn’t just all about looking after the countryside—green spaces and footpaths can be in towns, cities and everywhere else and I think they must all be very important to someone.
On 2 May, I walked between my home in Kerridge, near Macclesfield, to Lyme Cage, in the National Trust’s Lyme Park estate and back again. In total I walked 21 km or 13 miles along the Gritstone Trail. It was a really lovely day with good weather and I’m very happy we raised more than £1500 for such a good cause. Thank you to everyone who encouraged me!