It’s been a while since we had a Wild Ways Well update, so apologies for the lack of news.  Lack of news doesn’t mean lack of activity though – quite the reverse!

We had a lovely day at the end of June in Ravenswood Local Nature Reserve when we were able to present our inaugural Wild Ways Well certificates and John Muir Discover awards to the Neighbourhoods Network group who have been working with us over the winter and spring.

They’ve really shown their dedication over the block of sessions, turning out in all weathers, always with a smile on their faces, to explore Cumbernauld’s natural spaces and learn about the Five Ways to Wellbeing.


We held a celebration event in Ravenswood Local Nature Reserve for the group and staff where we able to hand over the certificates and reflect back on what the group had achieved over the previous weeks.  We printed out lots of photos and hung them from the trees then went on a foraging session to gather fresh produce to make a big pot of nettle soup over the fire.  We also had a check of the water quality in the pond and were able to rate it as being excellent – even finding loads of young newts!

Unfortunately due to another commitment I wasn’t able to attend but I know it was a great day, and I hope everyone involved with the Neighbourhood Networks team felt a sense of pride over what they had achieved.  I know from my own time with these guys that I’ve seen a change in them, there is definitely a sense of newfound confidence and camaraderie there that has built up over their experience.  I was thinking about them while they were receiving their awards (and I waist deep in nettles with a group in Alloa pulling Himalayan Balsam!) and I definitely had a wee lump in my throat and some dust in my eye when I saw the photos afterwards.

Our new Friday group is going well, we’ve been exploring Seafar woods and the Glen and have had sessions learning about bumblebees and badgers as well as shelter building and some nature sketching.  They’re a great bunch of people, from very different backgrounds, and it’s really nice getting some different perspectives of nature from them.  We made Green Men and triquetra’s out of natural clay in the woods, so if you see any of them on your travels I hope they raise a smile!



The Open Group has also been shelter building – and stringing up hammocks in the trees.  So far I’m the only person to have actually fallen out of a hammock, which I think is quite an achievement. We took some butterfly nets out with us to Seafar and managed to catch a few bees and butterflies so we could have a closer look.


Our parents and toddlers group run in association with Cumbernauld Community Parents Group also had great fun drawing and colouring in bees before looking for caterpillars in the trees.  We also made giant bubbles and searched for fairies in the logpile  – no fairies, but lots of bugs!

We ran our first formal weekend session when we went for a foraging walk around Cumbernauld Glen one Saturday.  We’re looking at ways to open up Wild Ways Well to as large an audience as possible, we don’t want there to be any barriers to people attending so there will be more of these ‘Wild Weekends’ soon.


And (finally!) another first for Wild Ways Well over the past weeks has been the absence of fire! We normally always have a fire on our sessions to brew a hot drink but the dry conditions right now mean it’s just too risky. There is a wildfire warning in place for most of Scotland and our friends in the Fire and Rescue Service really don’t need any extra work just now. Although we are always exceptionally careful with siting and lighting fires we’ve decided to give them a break for a while and would encourage everyone to do the same.

If you’d like to take part in a Wild Ways Well session then get in touch with me for more information


01236 617113


Wild Ways Well is a partnership project between The Conservation Volunteers and The Scottish Wildlife Trust, delivered by Cumbernauld Living Landscape and funded by the Green Infrastructure Community Engagement Fund and Transport Scotland with the support of Scottish Natural Heritage.

Paul Barclay