Monday, 21 September 2020

Lockdown walks for lovers of nature

A NEW business has been launched offering guided nature walks through the countryside around Goring.

Goring Gap Wildlife Walks is the brainchild of Steve Gozdz, who previously worked in construction management and came up with the idea after finding himself out of work during the coronavirus lockdown.

The 46-year-old, who moved to the area with his partner last year, has loved the outdoors since he was a child so he set up a Facebook page for fellow nature lovers and photographers.

He began receiving a large number of requests for guided walks and realised he could make a living from it.

Now Mr Gozdz leads seven or eight socially distanced group walks each week as well as individual walks and photography classes for more than 100 customers a week.

He has also teamed up with the Great House at Sonning and the Swan Hotel at Streatley to run nature walks in their grounds.

Mr Gozdz said: “I had interviewed for a job starting in March but the coronavirus changed everything. We’d moved to the countryside to improve our work-life balance and, looking back on it, we couldn’t have picked a better time.

“A lot of people will just go and walk by themselves but they don’t stop to listen. I pointed out some kingfishers to one person who’d lived here for years and had no idea they were living in this part of the world.

“Hopefully, it will encourage people to think about conservation and what they can do in their own gardens to create suitable habitats for wildlife.

“The children really love it and you never know whether you might be inspiring the next Chris Packham.

“I started out thinking this would be a temporary business to see me through lockdown but now I’m hoping to earn a permanent living from my passion. I feel very lucky with the success I’ve had so far.”

For more information, visit www.goringgapwildlife

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