Ramblers, orienteerers, extreme ironers and even weekend walkers have long sought sanctuary in the outdoors. For many ordinary folk, however, the prospect of more than a few minutes wandering in the thickets of untamed nature - disconnected from the familiar sights, sounds and reassurances of shopping malls, pavement and tarmac - is a daunting prospect; and however strong the instinctive craving for beauty may be, fear, uncertainty and, above all, indolence frequently present an almost unsurmountable barrier to full-on enjoyment of the world au naturelle: a thick web of friction stubbornly esconced between thought and deed.
And yet research suggests that our modern - increasingly vicarious - relationship with nature [too many David Attenboroughs, Escapes to the Countryside and Gerald Durrell repeats] is failing properly to reconnect us with that from which we came - the primitive, organic world of pre-lapsian vegan delight that is our very own unspoilt Dorset; whilst the University of Afpuddle's £200 million research project on Theykind and Nature has definitively proven that more than 5 out of every 10 Dorset residents who could be bothered to respond [sample size = 6] would prefer to spend an hour in the open air than buried in a sealed underground coffin. [Interestingly only 0.02% of respondents voluteered the idea that an ideal weekend would consist of spending more time at home with relatives.] "Food for thought", as lead-researcher Professor Brandon Birchanger-Exchange [the RCBE's Distingished Professor of Behavioural Antics] puts it.
So is it time to "reconnect"; to drink deeply from the furry cup of earthly enchantment; to inhale more fully the perfumed air of naturaliter immortalis? Many think so.
WARNING, the following is an infommercial paid for by The Threadbone Corporation
LIGHTS ALONG [AS WELL AS AT THE END OF] NATURE'S TUNNEL
Feeling hemmed in, lost for somewhere to go to get away from it all - the family, pets and too many disappointing six part THREADFLICKS mini-series included?
Now, thanks to the estimable enterprise of Threadbone Leisure Inc, friction can be a thing of the past. Together with the Dorset Tourist Board, the recreational arm of the giant Threadbone Corporation, the folks at Threadbone Liesure have installed a fully automated self-guided trail through the heart of the Dorset countryside [or Thrupiece Country as the promoters would have it] which opens up its beauties to everyone: including the adled, the lazy, the indigent and - within reason - the poor. For a modest fee [with significant discounts for family and loved ones] almost anyone can now trundle unaided and effort-free through the spectacular landscapes of deepest Dorset, drawing solace, comfort and inspiration from a trail once blazed by Professor Thrupiece himself. As they do so they can remind themselves of a poem much-loved by all those familiar with his Selected Landscape Verse*  [The Threadbone Poetics Volume 1 [The Threadbone Press]].
*I wandered lonely as a man
Who roams alone through trailer parks,
When all at once I saw a tip,
A host, of broken vehicles;
Beside the wall, 'neath old tarpaulin,
The sight of it all was quite appaulin.
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