We don’t just work to protect greenspaces here at Cumbernauld Living Landscape, we also try to engage with them at a human level, and preserve some of the ways our ancestors would have interacted with the woodlands.

Recently the Wild Ways Well group went “Wassailing”. This is an ancient tradition that people believed helped woodlands to come back to life after a long hard winter. Wassailing traditions vary across the country so we developed our own Cumbernauld version that we hope might become a local tradition!

We walked through Luggiebank Wildlife Reserve and read an extract from David Gray’s poem “The Luggie”. Once we reached the apple trees we toasted bread and made a bowl of hot apple mead, and toasted each other. We then chose an Apple Queen to lead the rest of the festivities.

We scattered the toast into the treetops and poured apple mead into the tree roots while reciting some old Wassailing rhymes. We then walked round the trees banging pots and pans together to ensure the Apple Tree Man heard us and awoke from his winter slumbers.

Finally, to ensure he was in good spirits we told a couple of old stories, sang a wassailing song, and shared a bag of apples with one another.

By these scientific means we ensured that Cumbernauld will have a wonderful fruit harvest this year – but more importantly we enjoyed a day out in the woods with good company and fresh air, taking in the sights and sounds and restoring our spirits to get us through the last of the cold, dark days.

If you’d like to experience the benefits of spending time in nature with us then get in touch and find out how you can join a Wild Ways Well group.



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Paul Barclay