A GLOBAL pandemic of this sort was always going to happen at some point and we are now adapting to new ways of living.

For those directly affected, by loss of loved ones or loss of livelihood, the situation is dreadful.

This crisis has brought out the best in people though, with communities pulling together and individuals volunteering to help others.

Other positive consequences, across the globe, have been reduced pollution and improved air quality. Even here the skies have seemed clearer.

The other noticeable change is significantly less traffic. Here in the Lake District we have seen how much more pleasant our villages and valleys are when they are clear of traffic and clear of parked cars littering the landscape.

The Lake District clearly needs visitors to return, when it’s safe, as the economy is so dependent on tourism. But we can have the people without all the cars. There are examples all over the world, from alpine villages to capital cities with millions of inhabitants, that have found ways to successfully ban or significantly limit use of cars and encourage walking, cycling and use of public transport or shuttle buses instead and they are all great places to live and visit.

We have now seen how much nicer, more tranquil and more pleasurable this place is with less traffic. We have a golden opportunity to rethink transport to, and within, the Lake District and to emerge from this crisis with a less congested, more peaceful and more sustainable national park.

H Wilkinson

Chapel Stile