Storyteller Jane Mather has recently completed a fantastic ten week after school project of storytelling, adventuring and storymaking in Buckstone Woods with children from Buckstone Primary School. She looks to start again in the Spring, but writes here of her experience so far.
“The children’s enthusiasm for being in the woodland from the start was encouraging, I’ve never tried running an after school project before, so there were a lot of challenges, but what made it work was that everyone involved was so willing to give their time, effort and care.
The parents support was strong and many came along to our Halloween story sharing, bringing the children’s younger brothers and sisters. I loved the willingness and enthusiasm of the grandparents to get involved, they are a very important part of the school community and it seemed a good idea to specially invite them. I know how much I enjoyed hearing my Grandpa’s stories when I was wee. They may have been a little bemused by the idea of a grandparents picnic, but I think the children did a good job of explaining. Some interviewed grandparents who were far away, over the telephone and brought their answers to the picnic so conversations had already begun and they were all keen to come to the woods and see where the children had been playing. Some even returned for our woodland Halloween party and took time to thank me for making them welcome.
Another high point was having the opportunity to work with Claire Hewitt, she came all the way from Perthshire where she was involved with the Enchanted Forest to share stories and songs with us in the Buckstone woodland, which gave me a chance to be a listener and she made the return journey all over again to hear and be a part of the children’s Halloween story sharing, which was truly heart warming.
I look forward to running more sessions in Spring – some children and their parents have already been asking, so I think that’s a good sign. Quite a few families plan to come to the tree planing in the Braid Hills on Saturday the 21st of November and one little boy is doing a litter pick in the woods with his family.”
All are welcome to the tree planting session – it will take place at 1.45pm at the old car park near the Hermitage Golf Course. There are 420 wild harvest baby trees waiting to be planted – crab apple, blackthorn, hazel and dog rose. There will also be a storytelling element to the session, so the perfect practical experience to get you in the mood for the Scottish Storytelling Centre’s Tree of Life event on the 1st of December!