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Since the relaxing of lockdown restrictions in Scotland on the 15th of July, many businesses and organisations have been able to finally re-open or increase the amount of visitors they can have, with COVID measures in place to keep safety a priority whilst opening their doors to the public. With doubts and anxiety still appropriately in everyone’s mind, people are still looking to make the most of their local area, with further travel in the country slowly building up as the days and weeks progress.
Whilst I will start planning trips further afield, last week I was asked by Visit Scotland to explore somewhere closer to home that was starting to open up more to the locals and to make the most of a nearby location. One place came to mind straight away: a local park that I haven’t visited much during lockdown as it’s usually quite a busy area which I tried to avoid the last few months. However, with restriction changes and more measures in place I was keen to visit Pollok Park for one main reason - the highland cows.
The largest park in the city and only 3 miles from the centre, Pollok has over 350 acres of woodland and gardens with over 10km of walks, paths and gardens to explore. Well known for being the home of the Police Scotland’s Dog handling division, the park also includes the Burrell Collection (under reconstruction till 2021) and Pollok House, a great venue for weddings with a lovely little cafe that I used to work in many years ago! It was also named the Best Park in Europe in 2008, so I am very grateful to have it so close to where I live.
I walked the 5 miles this week from my home to the park in search of the highland cows that call it their home. I was glad to see on all entrances to the park had posters and messaging about safety, distancing, one way systems and hygiene measures during the pandemic as well as many people, including myself, wearing masks in the park.
Highland cows are one of my favourite Scottish animals to photograph, with their expressive faces and cuddly coats a big attraction to locals and tourists. Thankfully when I arrived, close to the main road were two mums with their two tiny calfs, who must have been only a few weeks old at most. They seemed very content, munching away on the grass and coming close to the fences separating them from the families, kids and passers by on foot and bike.
Having not been able to travel since lockdown, getting back into the actual taking of pictures was great and all the creativity juices started to flow once more. Being able to see these incredible cute animals up close and personal is something I used to take for granted and now makes me really appreciate the outdoors on my own doorstep and further afield even more so than before.
Check out more Scottish adventures during this time with the #HameTownTourist hashtag on Instagram, or more of my work here.