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Cotteridge Park Wassail 2023

Organising a Wassail, working with people also interested in trees in the neighbourhood I live of Cotteridge, and following on from a previously yearly tradition of Wassail in the park.

Working with groups in the run up to the Wassail seeking to involve, we made apple-ly hessian tabards with the knitter knatter group to wear on the day, introduced Wassail songs to the local choir, and hosted an Orchard focused tree walk in the lead up. A new band was established for the event composed of local musicians and barn dances were prepared for dancing to happen at the event.

The Wassail felt exciting as a tradition that gives thanks and 'expresses fondness' for the apple tree. The Wassail, a form of gestural care to the tree, we wanted to explore how you might weave in the promotion of a more tangible form of care through the event and a local orchard caretaker gave a short talk at the end of the event.

Following on from the Wassail a group of us worked together to organise a new May Day event for Cotteridge - celebrating Beltane and International Workers day, which involved more barn dancing and the involvement of Trade Unions.

Wanting to explore how we might involve / nod to our tree neighbours as part of the event, organised a small willow workshop inbetween barn dances which explored how we might borrow from and incorporate the movement and flow of willow into our humanly dancing.

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