COUN­TRY­SIDE

Glossop Advertiser - - News - Anne Dick­in­son

TREE Dress­ing has roots deep in leg­end and an­cient cus­tom, go­ing back to the pa­gan Green Man, sym­bol­is­ing the cy­cle of growth, rebirth and the nat­u­ral world. It is based on cus­toms from all over the world.

In dif­fer­ent parts of Bri­tain, Ire­land and north­ern Europe, there is a tra­di­tion of fas­ten­ing a piece of cloth to trees, usu­ally hawthorn, near holy wells. Af­ter tak­ing the water, peo­ple tie a piece of their cloth­ing to the tree. The tree is a sym­bol of long life and health. In Scot­land th­ese are called clootie trees.

‘Com­mon Ground’, an en­vi­ron­men­tal char­ity which links na­ture with cul­ture, re-in­vented Tree Dress­ing day in 1990. A group of Lon­don Plane trees were dec­o­rated with 150 large num­bers, show­ing that ev­ery tree counts. Since then, groups and in­di­vid­u­als have dressed their trees all over the coun­try.

Tree Dress­ing aims to en­cour­age the cel­e­bra­tion of trees in l town and coun­try, in the street and in the wood­land. It highlights our re­spon­si­bil­ity for look­ing af­ter trees and re­minds us of their enor­mous im­por­tance.

Peo­ple and trees have had a close re­la­tion­ship for thou­sands of years. They have pro­vided us with food, raw ma­te­ri­als and shel­ter from the sun or rain. They ab­sorb pol­lu­tants and muf­fle ur­ban noise pol­lu­tion. As green plants they make oxy­gen for us to breathe. We have learned to cul­ti­vate them, breed them, de­stroy and con­serve them in many ways.

They have also al­ways been part of our emo­tional and spir­i­tual land­scape. In re­cent years peo­ple who hug trees or live in trees while cam­paign­ing to pre­vent their de­struc­tion have had pub­lic­ity.

Tameside Greenspace, with help from the Greenspace Vol­un­teers, are plant­ing over 3,000 trees this sea­son and you can help. There are a cou­ple of days plant­ing in De­cem­ber at Cow­bury Green and Whit­tles Farm, Den­ton, and there will be more venues in 2019.

Look on https://www. tameside.gov.uk/ coun­try­side/ vol­un­teer­ing for more in­for­ma­tion.

If you want to get fes­tive this week­end, you can make a Christ­mas Wreath from nat­u­ral ma­te­ri­als. On Satur­day, De­cem­ber 8, come to the High­field Pav­il­ion, Stam­ford Park, Staly­bridge, be­tween noon and 3pm and on Sun­day, De­cem­ber 9, be­tween 11am and 3pm at Park Bridge Her­itage Cen­tre, The Sta­bles, Park Bridge, Ash­ton-un­der­Lyne, OL6 8AQ. l

Ni­cola Gra­ham’s son Reuben died in 2012

Tree plant­ing

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