What do a wild orchid and a sore neck have in common?

The answer is – Me.

I have been walking with a mission to spot my first wild orchid of the year. I always gauge it to be when the bluebells have finished and the wild garlic is starting to die down.

Since Sunday, I have been walking with my head down, scouring the verges for sightings. Consequence – A sore neck!

I should know better than to walk along looking at the ground with my head and neck thrust forward, but old habits die hard.

I can hear you thinking – Surely it makes sense to be looking at the ground so you can see where you are going and don’t stumble or tread in something unsavoury!

Well, no. The reason being that the weight of your head is 4 – 5kg or 8 – 10lb. So if you hold your head forward and look down at the ground right in front of you there will be undue tension and strain on your neck muscles as your head is un-balanced. A pain in the neck! Much the same as your arms would get sore if you held 4 bags of sugar in outstretched arms on a walk.

So my post-it reminder for this week will read – Look ahead, don’t look down…

By taking your gaze out slightly further, you will still see what is in front of you but you won’t hold your head forward and there will be no need to look down at the ground to see where you are going. Your head will be more balanced and so will you. Less tension, less discomfort and much easier walking.

So if you are near Havant Thicket  there are Broad leaved marsh orchids and Common Spotted orchids to be found. Just be aware of your head and Look ahead…