Although I have lived in Cumbernauld for 35 years, I have discovered some hidden treasures and amazing facts since the #LivingWindow project began. It's been an exciting few months being out with so many people, learning what makes their place special and taking part in their workshops.

It's great to see everyone's different ideas on paper, on a lawn or even in a photograph! The groups have been fantastic at sharing their special reasons why these green spaces are so important to them. Here's my top ten run down of new and interesting facts I've learned with the groups:

  1. Some of Scotland’s last medieval gardens are in Cumbernauld Village – The Langriggs are one of the last remaining medieval gardens in Scotland! Cumbernauld Village Action for the Community work hard to maintain and improve the gardens and allotments.
  1. There is a golden eagle in Cumbernauld Community Park – I was told by the Friends of Cumbernauld Community Park that the rubble from the old Golden Eagle Hotel is now buried under the park, so in essence we have our own golden eagle here in Cumbernauld.
  1. There are secret ancient fossils in Cumbernauld Glen – Trilobite fossils have been found by a member of Friends of Cumbernauld Glen in a secret location in the wildlife reserve.
  1. Pigs and bishops roamed the bog – Local knowledge shared by Carbrain & Hillcrest Play Scheme tells us that Ravenswood Local Nature Reserve was once a pig farm and had a bishop's residence nearby.
  1. Dragonflies are ancient predators – At a great workshop with the British Dragonfly Society, we discovered that dragonflies are amazing predators and have been around for 350 million years.
  1. The kings and queens of Scotland graced Cumbernauld House – I learned from the Friends of Cumbernauld House Park that King James VI and Mary Queen of Scots were frequent visitors to Cumbernauld House, ancestral home of the Fleming family.
  1. A royal tree is still standing strong – Mary Queen of Scots planted a sweet chestnut tree in Cumbernauld House Park which is still growing… in fact, it's huge! It has been officially classified as an ancient tree.
  1. The Scots Dumpy, in spite of its name, is a type of chicken and not a person – In Palacerigg Country Park they have one of the oldest breeds of chicken in the UK. The Scots Dumpy has now been immortalised in a #LivingWindow in the town centre.
  1. Boats don’t always need to float – Watch Us Grow have their very own boat! However, their feet are firmly planted on soil as it is used as a massive planter. It's quite a sight to see.

And finally…

  1. Cumbernauld is #1 for community action – in this short project I have been blown away once again by the sheer level of community action in Cumbernauld. In just a few weeks we have engaged 57 people in workshops, talked to over 500 people at the project launch, and had the opportunity to connect with the 55,000 people living in the town.

For me this project has reaffirmed just how amazing Cumbernauld is. If you are in the town, pop in to the shopping centres to find the artworks and start your journey to discover these amazing spaces for yourself.

Tracy Lambert works for The Conservation Volunteers and is the Community Engagement Officer for Cumbernauld Living Landscape. She works with communities across the town to inspire people to care for their local environment. If you would like to find out more, contact Tracy at tlambert@scottishwildifetrust.org.uk

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