Matt Larsen-Daw, The Woodland Trust.


We asked Matt Larsen-Daw of the Woodland Trust for his #WalkBecause story. He went for the natural choice - in more ways than one.

I # walk because

In a screen-focused world it is too easy to become disconnected from the natural rhythms of the planet.

Walking with smartphone stowed out of sight, I find I start to notice the subtle changes apparent in the landscape as the weather shifts, the seasons change, and the passage of time leaves permanent traces.

Walking the same route daily does not become a chore, but rather becomes a gradual layering up of my personal connection to the places I pass as I become more aware of the other life sharing the space – plants, trees, birds, insects.


For me, nothing adds to my enjoyment of walking more than trees.

Matt Larsen-Daw

In a city or town I’ll always choose the most green, tree-lined streets, even if it means a few minutes more of walking. Trees I grow to know signpost the route for me, yet also signpost changes I don’t feel at my desk in the way they stoop in heavy rain, roar in the breeze, blaze red in autumn and shower blossom like confetti in spring.

I feel this most strongly when walking in a wood. If walking along a tree-lined street is like passing a busker, visiting a wood is like being sat in the orchestra pit with the Royal Philharmonic – but it is a concert for all your senses, not just hearing.

Through the seasons the colours of leaves, the smells, the quality of light, the sounds of birdsong - even the sound my footsteps make – change by the day.

This is the magic of walking – this sense of passing through a moment in time that will change to something different in an instant. A unique, personal moment.

I don’t get that from an image on a screen.

Feel inspired? Plan your next woodland adventure - visit the Woodland Trust.

But before you do that...

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And just so you know, we might get in touch with you to see if you fancy telling us a little bit more. 

Pledge to #Try20

May is National Walking Month. Pledge to #Try20 and Living Streets will help you meet your recommended 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week.

Half of 40-65 year olds are worried about a lack of exercise, so this is the perfect opportunity to get started. Living Streets will give you lots of ideas on how you can fit 20 minutes into your day.

National Walking Month 2016