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Frank's story: 'Enlightening experiences'

 My wife started going to Wild Ways Well, and then she got me interested.  I always liked to go out for walks but since I’ve started going I hate to miss it because it’s quite informative. When I started roughly 4 years ago, it was with Paul, and he used to tell great fairy stories, and stories about different things in the Cumbernauld Glen. He used to always say ‘believe what you like’ you know and it was really funny. We went to Forest Wood and there was like Easter Island type carvings.  He told us stories of things that happened in the Easter Islands and why these carvings became…it was really informative.    Then Camilo came in.  Camilo is basically the fount of knowledge with trees, plants, and mushrooms.  My wife, she’s always liked mushrooms and she loved all the stories about the mushrooms with Camilo.  So it’s different stories, different things, about wildlife.  Paul was good with birds, he could tell by the calls what kind of birds were they. We were always interested in birds, especially hawks.  We were feeding birds in the garden and things like that, so we know a lot about different birds, but the calls were interesting as well.  He knew about that, he knew about trees, he knew about plants, but he did’nae know a lot about mushrooms, so Camilo has got different things that he brings to the Wild Ways Well thing, do you know what I mean? 

I always go out walks myself, I’ve been on walks around here many times and up Forest Wood, down the Cumbernauld Glen.  Cumbernauld Glen is fantastic because it’s got rivers and burns. You hear the noise of these rivers and burns, and you can lose yourself there.  But being part of a group you hear all the different stories. Paul always had stories about the burns and different things.  It enlightens you, you’re learning all the time about plants, trees, rivers, whatever wildlife is in the area.

In the 4 years that I’ve been coming it’s certainly something I look forward to every week now. It was predominantly for people with anxiety, depression, and they always liked to have able-bodied people alongside as well. I can only imagine how it helps the people that I talk to when we’re on the walks, because there are people that have had issues, or they’ve still got issues and it helps them tremendously. Do you know what I mean?  

I would’nae say it’s for a mental health problem for me, but it certainly opened my eyes up to why people, why councils, why bodies like Cumbernauld Living Landscapes have started up because of wildlife, and the habitats, planting trees, planting plants, natural plants, natural trees.  It’s just…if everybody went on things like this, it would give them the knowledge that whatever happens, you know, councils don’t cut grasses, they do it for a reason. And for the bees because the populations are dropping so we need them to help growth, and plants, and food, and so…these things I’ve learnt over the years on the Wild Ways Well. 

It was through Wild Ways Well we found out about Cumbernauld Living Landscapes things that you can go to, and we’ve been to bat nights and dawn chorus walks as well at 4 in the morning – brilliant, absolutely brilliant. Something simple like that for 2 hours, it just makes your day.  

So the more people that get to know about things like this, I think we could live in a better society, you know? I really do think that now, I really do.  I don’t think a lot of people realise you know…I used to work with guys, and I’d get guys rolling down a window and throwing a can ‘oot the window and what are you doing that for? I think a lot more people with a bit more knowledge would then maybe understand don’t throw a can away, don’t throw a bit of paper on the ground, put it in a bin, there’s plenty of bins about.

It’s the same with bikes, people don’t want to go on a bike because the roads are too busy.  So why don’t we, when we’re building a new road, build a cycle path next to it? That’s the way I look at life now.  You know, simple things like that, I look at them differently.  It’s all because I came on Wild Ways Well or the Kilsyth walks.

So I would say to anybody if they were interested in doing something like that go and do it. Just take the time and go and do it, an hour a day, two hours a day, whatever it is, once a week, twice a week, go for it, you know?  It's been great for me, it’s enlightened me, that’s for sure, you know?  



This is part of the project 'Stories of nature connections' (

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Printed from /research/projects/franks-story-enlightening-experiences on 01/12/23 09:30:21 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.