Saturday, 20 June 2015

Great Food Festival and Gala

Space to explore

Becky Blanco, Steve Blanco and Emily Cutts

The Little House of La performing

Participating with and watching the performance

The Little House of La

Jessica Gladys Wolfson performs with The Little House of La and the audience become apes.

Merlin the hamster.

Trees to climb and knitted fruit and veg

Anna Fisk of Knit Wild

Crochet inspired by nature

Shiona McCubbin with her beautiful hand stitched crafts

The Green Party table

This summer has been a chilly one in Scotland with plenty of rain, which of course the grass, trees and most of the plants love. I don't mind showers but the temperature feels far too cold for the end of June!

Fortunately, the sun broke through the clouds for another successful free event at the Children's Wood and Meadow on 7th June. Visiting for a few hours in the afternoon, I captured a very small part of a whole day of fun activities; all organised and delivered by local community volunteers. I arrived just as the annual dog show was finishing which is very popular with the many people who regularly walk their dogs on the meadow. McDonald Vets supported this event with categories such as 'Best Trick for a Biscuit', 'Children's Favourite' and 'Waggiest Tail'. One little girl even brought her hamster for a walk who wore a homemade ribbon holster and yarn lead. He seemed quite happy sniffing about in the grass in the fresh air.

There were lots of stalls with local crafts, balloon animals, home baking, face painting, The Green Party, Maryhill Foodbank, and more. Knit Wild had their beautiful knitted and crocheted flowers, leaves, birds, fruit and veg on display with a very friendly knitter helping the children and others to have a go themselves. Many of these items can now be found decorating the woods and meadows. There was a 'Grow Your Own' and Composting workshop and a come dressed as your favourite fruit or veg fancy dress competition!

A great hit with the children were the band The Little House of La. They had the little ones hopping like bunnies, unraveling a paper doll chain and pretending to be Apemen. The Barrow Band were also lots of fun and were enjoyed by everyone.

There was a stall with information about the Council's plans to build on the meadow, with forms so that we could give our reasons for wanting the meadow and woods protected now and for future generations and how we have benefited from this special space. Recently The Children's Wood Committee have been working with an architect on a planning application of their own which would see the area developed further for community based events, recreation, education and as an organic growing space. In spite of the Scottish Government's support of outdoor learning it is still woefully inadequate in many schools, especially inner city ones. Supporters of the Children's Wood and Meadow have been doing a great job demonstrating the benefits of outdoor education with their regular classes and events. This involves training and specific knowledge and skills. It is not the same as letting kids run wild in nature, though of course that is very much encouraged too.

I love how much thought and creativity goes into the Children's Wood and Meadow themed events and appreciate all the time this takes. They are always very unique, so much fun and enable everyone to participate in building a healthy, inclusive, environmentally friendly place to live.