The Natural Connections project is working with local schools and communities to improve three important wildlife sites in the Cumbernauld Living Landscape. Over the next two years young people will work to improve the areas for people and wildlife. This project utilises Scottish Wildlife Trust and North Lanarkshire Council sites and could only be achieved by the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. It is giving young people the opportunity and skills to improve their environment, their confidence and their employability skills. The project is celebrating the town's greenspaces and connecting local communities to the environment.
Students from the high schools across Cumbernauld have been taking action to improve their environment. To celebrate their work with the Natural Connection project they have created three distinctive artworks. Over 300 young people were involved and the pupil led group has created the design brief and steered the creation of the art work. Come and delve into our interactive map and find out about how Cumbernauld's young people are connecting with nature and their community.
There are lots of ways to get involved in the Natural Connections project. Through the community action plans the project is delivering real change to these sites and you can play your part in it. Weekend volunteers are getting active, schools groups are exploring leaning outdoors and everyone can attend our events.
The project is working in partnership with schools across Cumbernauld to support them to use and improve the wildlife sites just outside their gates. This support depends on the needs of the schools and pupils but generally takes the form of workshops and practical sessions to develop pupil confidence and knowledge. The pupils are supported to make positive improvements to their environment and the school staff are supported to improve their skills and experience through outdoor learning.
To raise the profile of the wildlife sites in Cumbernauld the Natural Connections team will be organising and attending lots of events. From “Discover” days on the sites to local gala days, we will be there. We hope you can come along to see for yourself. Our events can be found on our Facebook events page, check regularly as they will also be updated often.
Whether you want to learn new skills, give something back to the community or enjoy social interaction, the Cumbernauld Living Landscape may have the volunteer position for you. Our community groups around the town are always looking for support from local residents as they are the heart and soul of the community. Where better to learn how to support that community than with volunteering with us at the Cumbernauld Living Landscape.
We hold volunteer work days on the first Sunday of every month, delivering practical conservation tasks such as the removal of invasive non-native species, path maintenance and wildflower meadow management. All this is done as part of a fun inclusive group which will find a task to suit every ones abilities. We will also be running ID workshops and surveying techniques from organisations such as the British Dragonfly Society and Buglife etc. as a way of giving something back to our volunteers in areas they are interested in.
When we are at public shows and events we are always amazed at how few people know about the town's amazing wildlife.We are looking for people to share their passion of wildlife and the local environment. The events we attend range from small Guided walks to larger scaled Gardening Scotland weekend, held annually at the Royal Highland Showground. What better way to spend a few hours inspiring families to get out and explore their surroundings.
Although known for its grey urban landscape, an amazing 50% of Cumbernauld is greenspace, making it one of the greenest towns' in Scotland. As well as providing a haven for wildlife, these greenspaces are great places for people to enjoy. The project is working on three of the towns wildlife sites all of which neighbour Cumbernauld’s high schools.
Owned and managed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Cumbernauld Glen is a stunning semi-natural ancient woodland awash with carpets of bluebells in the spring, but don’t think that spring holds all the cards. This wildlife reserve is a pleasure to stroll through at any time of year. With 10km of pathways you can lose yourself for hours watching wildlife such as roe deer, woodpeckers and sparrowhawk, if you are very lucky you may even catch a glimpse of the iconic Scottish pine marten. Once the playground for lords, kings and queens, Cumbernauld Glen is the place for the community to re-connect with nature. The project is working with local schools Abronhill Primary School and Cumbernauld Academy to improve the areas adjacent to the schools.
Ravenswood Local Nature Reserve has been transformed by North Lanarkshire Council into an incredible asset for the community and for wildlife. Follow the path through the wildlife garden and you will see before you an open vista of marsh meadow. Abuzz with a huge variety of insects this is the place to bee in summer! The lovely butterfly meadow, Rabbit Hill and coot pond offer a variety of habitats rich in wildlife. Take a walk through Pollokshole Wood on a warm summer day to enjoy the cooler micro climate, enjoying the sunshine dappling through the leaves.
Working with Greenfaulds High School and Our Lady's High School the project is improving the meadows and paths all around the site. Local primary schools and Ravenswood Marsh Community Group are getting involved.
North Lanarkshire Council’s best kept secret… until now! Feast your eyes on a wonderful wetland with surrounding meadows and woodland. Follow the path as it loops around the pond, taking the high path to the woodland and out onto the boardwalk over the marsh, spot dragonflies and damselflies aplenty and keep an eye out for tufted ducks and goosanders among the swans and mallards. Once the site of an old farm that supplied flax to the nearby weavers village of Condorrat, let the site weave its magical spell on you and leave you wanting to come back for another visit.
The site is now being used by the pupils from St Maurice's High School who are working to improve it for other young people. This work has been supported by an additional grant from the Tesco Bags of Help fund.