I’ve walked the road that leads up to Stock Ghyll Force too many times to remember; overshadowed by trees and hidden from sunlight it’s always sheltered and slightly chilly. So back in May when Ian and I visited Ambleside for a long weekend I was surprised to stumble upon a wish tree.
A fairly hefty stump embedded with coins, I wondered how it had gone unnoticed for so long. I took out a coin from my pocket and using the chunky rock that was situated on top I hammered it into place. I closed my eyes and made a wish and then returned the rock to its rightful position on top of the stump.
Having never seen one before I looked it up, and according to Wikipedia: ‘A wish tree is an individual tree, usually distinguished by species, position or appearance, which is used as an object of wishes and offerings. Such trees are identified as possessing a special religious or spiritual value. By tradition, believers make votive offerings in order to gain from that nature spirit, saint or goddess fulfilment of a wish’.
Apparently more common than I first realised, a couple of months later whilst wandering closer to home, I discovered another wish tree in Worsley Woods. Unfortunately this time there was no chunky rock and I didn’t have any coins with me.
As for what I wished for in Ambleside? I never wish and tell….