After the warm weather in early summer you might be forgiven for thinking autumn had arrived early recently. It’s been a topsy-turvy year weather wise and there’s no doubt that some parts of nature are as confused as I am. Early summer plants like cowslips are coming back into flower over recent weeks and I’m still seeing breeding behaviour going on with some bird species.

The truth is that there’s still plenty of quality time left in the year. There’s still time for flowers to bloom and, if they’re lucky, even for birds to raise a family. We can learn a lesson from the optimism of the cowslips and the blackbirds, they’re prepared to gamble on the good times still to come and so should we. There’s still time for picnics and fun times in the sunshine.

The Sunday volunteers were out last weekend in the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Seafar Wood reserve conducting another litter pick. We were there back in spring doing the same thing but unfortunately this is a task that needs to be regularly repeated. Litter is a never-ending problem in our wild spaces, not only is it unsightly but it causes real problems. It discourages people from spending time in the outdoors as it creates a perception that the woodlands are unsafe and unloved. It can be dangerous too, animals frequently get caught up in litter or ingest it, sometimes with fatal results.

At Cumbernauld Living Landscape we follow the ‘leave no trace’ ethos when we’re working. The idea is that no-one following on should be able to tell we’ve been there and this is something that anyone can do. Take only memories, leave only footprints, something we can all practice.

Paul Barclay, Community Networks Officer

Paul Barclay