A journey to re-wild the ancient ballads of the Cairngorms and call back the salmon.
About this Event
Join folk singer and nature guide Sam Lee and Cairngorms National Park’s Head of Land Management Will Boyd-Wallis on a four-day midsummer Pilgrimage. In honour of the salmon, our small party is invited to traverse the watershed between the River Feshie and the River Dee in one of Scotland’s most celebrated landscapes.
Experience hiking through the breathtaking landscape, beautiful songs, campfires, fascinating folklore and natural history in a unique adventure of nature connection.
Our purpose is to both deepen our knowledge of this precious ecosystem and, through playful, songful ceremony, re-wild the area’s ancient songs back to the waters they rise from, and call back the fast-disappearing Salmon.
The Scottish Highlands and the Cairngorms National Park contain possibly the most dramatic and ancient ecosystems in the country. Crystal clear rivers once teemed with Atlantic Salmon, and their local song and story flowed through the land. As the oral culture and traditional practices became forgotten so perhaps did the stewardship for maintaining these pristine environments. The ‘Old Ways’ have long held song, story and environmental practice implicitly entwined, so could the silencing of old song and the thinning out of cultural and oral diversity be connected to the decline in biodiversity in this land?
And so our great challenge arises in this radical experiment: To re-wild the songs of these mountains, waterways, banks and braes carried by the people, notably the Scottish Travellers, who once inhabited this land.
As we walk these ancient routes, us pilgrims will be offering the songs back to two of the great rivers, the Feshie and the Dee, a bounty of songs learned as we go and carried in our hearts on this journey. This is not a scientific experiment it is an act of soulful intention. To pay gratitude to this magnificent land and pay homage to our ancestors who cared for it and offer our non-denominational prayers and praise to an environment in desperate need of our help and protection.
We will sleep out for three nights in tents amongst the regenerating Caledonian pine forest of the River Feshie, the River Dee and the River Spey. On the second day, we expect to walk over 14 miles carrying much of our kit so this is for experienced strong walkers only.
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