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Be a tree


I am writing this just after my yoga class and shortly before I upload the next video to the our nature advent(ure) calendar, which just happens to be about tree pose. Check it out here. I’ve written before about how tree pose is one of my favourites, not least because one of my two main talents in life is standing on one leg. (The other is neat handwriting which has kind of had its day now!) We decided to include some yoga in the advent calendar because, I don’t know about you, I could certainly use some balance right now. And if you are going to balance on one leg then you need to be concentrating on that and not thinking about all the videos you still have to upload to YouTube or all the Christmas presents that you haven’t started shopping for. Although we didn’t do tree in my class this lunchtime, we did do another balancing pose which has helped centre and ground me before an afternoon of meetings and computers. The other thing I love about tree pose is that it is called tree, and I do love trees. Did you know that the age a tree needs to be before it is considered ancient varies between species? A yew is only considered ancient when it reaches 800 or 900 years old. My mind is blown thinking about a living being that exists now that served as a meeting place for Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Check out this blog from The Woodland Trust to learn more about ancient trees.


The Hidden Life of Trees is a fantastic book about trees – or as the author himself says in this interview it’s really a guided tour through his forest. As I’ve been writing about since March, one of the ways we can get out into different places in nature is through the screen and the page, so even if you don’t live near a forest you can live vicariously through this book. We’ve been trying to bring the trees to you this week in our advent calendar, including a guided tour of K-Woodlands in East Kilbride. For those of you living in or near EK I hope you’ll take a wee adventure over there for a visit – and share what you find with us. If you do manage to get out to the woods this weekend there is something else you can do to help bring the sound of the woods to people who aren’t able to visit themselves. The Timber Festival have created a wonderful soundmap with contributions from all round the world of the noises heard in forests. So if you go down to the woods today, why not check out what you need to do to submit what you hear – let’s get Lanarkshire on the map.


Coming soon: The Twelve Days of Nature. We’ve got leaflets and posters to accompany this. Please give me a shout if you’d like some paper copies or indeed an electronic version. Sarah.burgess@vaslan.org.uk Let’s Get Outdoors Lanarkshire!

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