After six years working in Cumbernauld developing the Wild Ways Well green mental health project, it’s time to say goodbye.

Over those years Wild Ways Well has run hundreds of mental wellbeing sessions and engaged with thousands of people, we have been nationally, and internationally, recognised for the work we have done – and I have never stopped being amazed and grateful for the spirit of friendship, generosity and enthusiasm that I have been met with from every quarter.

We have walked all over the town exploring its parks, woodlands and wildlife reserves, drank enough hot chocolate to fill a supertanker, toasted marshmallows, listened to bats, spotted pine martens, tracked badgers and watched deer and foxes play. We’ve picked litter, planted trees and wildflowers. We’ve watched the sun rise and set while sheltering from the rain, playing in the snow and sweltering in the heat. We’ve chilled around the fire, dressed up as ghosts, lazed about in hammocks, hugged trees and idly watched the world go by. We’ve shared our lives with each other, told stories (sorry!), sang songs, laughed – and, once or twice, cried.

Wild Ways Well is about people. Participants, supporters, referrers, partners, volunteers… none of it could have been done without you. Whether you ever physically came to a session or not, every moment that I spent in Cumbernauld’s amazing green spaces, you were standing beside me.

Wild Ways Well is also about nature and the wild places we all share. Nature heals, it asks for nothing in return, but I hope that everyone who visited those places with me fell in love with them as much as I have. People will fight to protect what they love.

Wild Ways Well will continue without me, it’s an amazing project, but that is no surprise as it comes from an amazing place. What’s it called? Cumbernauld.

Paul Barclay


A lego minifigure in Cumbernauld Living landscape outfit sitting in a tree

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Paul Barclay