At the start of 2021, husband and wife Chris and Emma Limtek made the decision to launch the ‘Bricked Nature’ podcast, a new show capturing Salford’s serene nature as the couple document their walking adventures.
Throughout the pandemic the Salford couple have spent their time studying for master degrees in the creative industry and have also taken jobs as key workers, Emma is a Covid cleaner and Chris is a design technician in a local high school.
However, as the second UK lockdown kicked in Chris and Emma started to discuss the idea for creating a podcast, knowing that a reassess of their surroundings would be beneficial to their mental health.
Emma described the motivation behind the podcast saying: “There’s a lot of podcasts about nature but they are all set in really idyllic beautiful places and there’s professional people who are doing it who know a lot about nature, whereas a lot of the time most people don’t live in these places.”
Chris agreed and said: “We thought you need to get out of your headspace and that’s where the idea of, lets just go out of the door, lets just go in a direction, and just see what we find came about.
It was just about finding things local to us especially with the lockdown, it was kind of about finding treasures nearby.”
Of course, every podcast needs a name, and when ‘Bricked Nature’ was presented, there was a simple yet sweet meaning behind it as Chris explains:
“We didn’t want much gravitas to it, you know like ‘The Great Outdoors’ or anything like that, we wanted it to have this is local, this is urban.
I think it was a discussion about moss and lichen growing on bricks and rocks, it just came about like that, it’s the bricked nature of it all, we are in this environment but nature is still flourishing around us.
We just wanted something wholesome sounding and not too grand to just try and set the tone for us, we’re quite jolly but I want to say sarcastic people.”
As key workers, Emma and Chris have kindly opened up about their lockdown experience along with the ups and downs they have been through.
Emma said: “The first lockdown for us was quite a breeze really, we’re both still working, it didn’t really affect us that much.”
Nodding his head, Chris then shared some heart-warming news: “During the first lockdown, you know when we were all in this together, we were making masks for the NHS.
Because we’re both key workers it was still just business as usual but it was odd definitely, I think it was the second lockdown that felt like more of a slug. You were seeing less people, you weren’t interacting, when you came home from work you were done, you didn’t want to do anything, you just plonked on the couch.
You know there’s also only so many times you can speak to friends and family and go ‘oh so what have you been doing?’ Nothing…”
Sympathising with her husband Emma said:
“This lockdown now has affected us the most really, I feel really anxious about it even though we are still working, you’re not getting that release that you normally get when you see friends and family and have events to go to, so focusing on something else to do has been really good.”
Creating the podcast has enabled Emma to branch into her hobby for photography, her photos have been shared on the accompanying blog and social media pages for listeners and readers to see.
Speaking about her photos Emma said: “It’s nice going on walks and really focusing on what’s around you, just taking the time to really look around you and notice things made me then think oh I want to share this with people as well.”
Smiling, Chris said: “I’ve gained the skill of listening out for her footsteps because I carry on walking and if I can’t hear her footsteps I’m like oh where’s she gone? And she’ll be in a bush somewhere taking a picture of something.”
Launching the podcast has also given the couple the freedom to not only explore but to also expand their knowledge surrounding nature.
When asked what the favourite part of their walks are Emma said: “The favourite thing is… finding out something new like the scarlet elf caps! We were so chuffed with them, we’d never seen them before ever.”
“There’s just so much around you that you don’t realise and when you find different walks and different ways, it’s exciting, it’s fun and it just takes you out of everything.”
“I think from the latest walk which will be episode three, is the people you meet as well.”
As Emma said, in episode three you will hear the couple meet a kind, local 78-year-old woman who shared many stories and recommendations for different walks they could partake on proving that walking can hold much more than some fresh air and a change of scenery.
Reflecting on the encounter Chris said: “With the lockdown I think we’re all ready for that face to face conversation, the north is known for being quite friendly but I think everyone is extra friendly, it’s just nice to have a chat and a bit of banter with someone at a distance.”
Especially with lockdown still in place, the couple want to encourage the people of Salford to safely get outside and engage with the nature local to them.
With a positive attitude, Chris said: “Walk out your door, choose a direction and just walk in it.”
Chuckling to herself Emma replied: “Also just have a look at some footpaths before.”
Chris shook his head and disagreed: “It is definitely more fun when you have no plan, just make sure you wear wellies!”
Either way there are many beautiful footpaths, parks, and trails that Salford has to offer, on their blog Chris and Emma have even shared their favourite walking moments and locations to document and share their local adventures.
For the future the couple share the same goal of just taking the podcast where it goes, they have no serious plans but do have some ideas for future episodes as Emma explains:
“We’re going to try and do a special episode, I did my first cold water outdoor dip in a secluded reservoir and we’re going to try and record it the next time we go, it’s freezing but it’s so fun and we do want to go further afield but of course at this moment, it’s just about seeing what’s directly there.”
Chris also shared his dream and love for comedians and how their podcasts have helped him throughout lockdown, saying that: “I’d love it if there were any comedians who would love to come on a walk with us, we’d love to have a guest come with us for a walk but that’s further down the line.”