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Case Study: Lorna Kerr

Lorna Kerr, 41, rediscovered hillwalking six years ago and has never looked back.

The West Lothian Mum was invited to climb Ben Lomond with a friend during a particularly tough time in her life and is now a passionate outdoors enthusiast.

She explained: “I was a single mum working full time and trying to hold it all together.  My two-year-old daughter Jessica had been diagnosed with a very rare bone condition and I didn’t realise how badly it was all affecting me until I was hit with anxiety attacks.  I was exhausted in every way and broken.

“I had done plenty of hillwalking as a child but as an adult, life had got in the way.

“Half way up the mountain, I experienced the most amazing rush as I stopped to look around and I realised how much I had missed it.  I thought to myself ‘this is exactly where I belong’ and that feeling hasn’t left me since.

“Slowly life started to make sense again and I celebrated each summit as a sign of how far I had come in my life.

“I didn’t start hillwalking for my mental health but the more I did it, the more it helped.  I felt a sense of purpose, a connection to nature and to the friends I was doing it with.  Hiking is still my main activity but I love all sorts of adventures now, including camping, cold water swimming and paddle boarding.  I just love being outside and I feel like it’s a gift I am giving my daughter too.

“I feel very lucky to have Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park within easy reach.  And I believe strongly that when it comes to looking after nature, everybody has a part to play.  We get so much from the outdoors.

“If everyone can be just a bit more mindful of the dos and don’ts in the outdoors, like taking everything away with you and leaving no trace.  Thinking about how their actions impact not just other people but the surroundings too.”

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