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Discovering the Living Landscapes in Cumbernauld

When I was asked which environmental organisations I would like to visit as part of my internship, the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Living Landscapes Project were definitely on my list. I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to learn more about the work of one of Scotland’s most important conservation NGOs. I am originally from Hanover, Germany, where I am doing my Master’s degree in environmental planning. Before I will hopefully enter into employment in spring next year, I wanted to spend time abroad and learn how other countries approach the topic of environmental protection and nature conservation in practice. Therefore, I moved to Stirling at the end of April and started an internship at greenspace scotland. greenspace scotland is Scotland’s parks and greenspace charity and a social enterprise working with partners to pioneer new approaches to managing and resourcing greenspace. During my internship I was given the opportunity to get a taste of various projects around greenspaces and to dive into the Scottish green network, where the Living Landscape projects is an integral part. Cumbernauld is characterised by

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As Above Better Below

The sound of the motorway thunders in my ears and I imagine the cars moving up and down it. What are all those people thinking about as they drive past? Are they marvelling at the road itself, this miracle of human engineering?  Oh the wonders above, but what about the wonders below? I chuckle as I move through the woods, wondering how many people know about the badger highway I’m currently following…I step on a branch and something rustles nearby, I look through the leaves of a beech tree to find a confused deer looking back at me. The roe stares for a moment, then as the wind drifts my distinctive aroma towards him, his head snaps up, he catches my scent  – and bye bye buckie! I think again how without Cumbernauld Living Landscape I would never have found or known or cared about what beauty simply lay at my front door. I think back to 6 months ago of that deep dark place I was in but force the thought away and take a deep breath and smile. I

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Why robins are not just for Christmas

As I was recycling this year’s batch of lovely Christmas cards I started to wonder why so many of them have robins on them. Is it because my friends know I have a soft spot for wildlife or were they just on sale? What did robins have to do with Christmas anyway? After bit of research, I found it all came back to the Victorians, those well-known Christmas romantics. The postmen delivering good tidings were nicknamed ‘robins’ thanks to their bright red jackets. As the idea of Christmas cards caught on the robin made a leap from delivering the cards to featuring on them and the fact that robins can easily be spotted in the snow strengthened the connection. Robins are visible and sing noisily through the year making them one of my favourite animals to watch. They are specially adapted to make the most out of the poor light and are often active in half-light when few other birds are about. Whist they look cute they are fiercely territorial and will sing loudly to defend their territory and attract

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Wild Ways Well Blog – A good moan about depression!

Yes, I am one of these types who do not like being taken for a moaner… I caught myself adding ‘but it’s all good’ or ‘everything will be fine’ after each negative comment I make! Ah yes, because I subconsciously assume that nobody wants to hear some negative comments about my life. Nobody would like to be friend if I am negative! Ultimately, I would be rejected… I guess there is a bit of truth in that… And that is why it is so, so hard to come out of depression… Recently, I have been in touch with my friend A. who helped someone who was in a difficult situation. B. was a very intelligent and creative man who had recently landed in Britain and was looking for a job and accommodation. A. helped him out by putting him up for a few months. B. had been suffering from poor mental health for years and eventually admitted that he could not go on like this (he attempted suicide a few times). Not wanting to resort to anti-depressants or to visit

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Guest Blog – Chris Simpson from Informed Tree Services

Chris Simpson is the Managing Director of Informed Tree Services and does much of his work providing training in tree and woodland management within Cumbernauld. We invited Chris in for a Q&A about his work.     What does your job involve? I organise and deliver training courses, and assessments, for candidates looking to learn forestry and tree surgery skills.   You have been using Cumbernauld as a training base for the past 9 years. What makes it a good location for your business? Cumbernauld is such a central position; easily accessible whether candidates are coming from the east, west, north or south. When the Cumbernauld Development Cooperation planted so many trees around the new residential developments they created a fantastic woodland resource. That resource requires some re-spacing work, if it is going to reach its full potential, and that fits in nicely with candidates learning how to fell, clear windblown trees, climb trees etc.   What do you think is the biggest opportunity is for green businesses in Central Scotland? Without  doubt the gradual move to “carbon neutral” fuels,

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Restoring ancient woodland

Tim Hall, Head of Operations at the Woodland Trust Scotland, takes a journey through Scotland's ancient woodlands and highlights the importance of restoring this incredible habitat. This was recently published in the Scottish Wildlife Trusts, 50 for the Future blog, listing 50 things that they believe should happen in Scotland over the next 50 years to benefit both people and wildlife. 

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Re-booting Ravenswood Marsh Conservation Group

Ravenswood Marsh is a beautiful area of Cumbernauld that used to have an active ‘Friends of Group’ that enjoyed, protected and promoted it.  However, after the recent folding of Seafar and Ravenswood Community Council, interest in the group has fallen away.  Luckily, local Carrick Crawford is regenerating interest in this superb place and explains his plans for this year in the following blog.

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Friends of Cumbernauld House Park's #LivingWindow

Adam Smith, Chair of Friends of Cumbernauld House Park, shares his experiences of working with Cumbernauld Living Landscape and artist Emily Shepherd to produce their #LivingWindow.

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An outer space landscape in Cumbernauld!

Artist Emily Shepherd shares her experiences of the #LivingWindow project, reflecting on play areas, outer space landscapes and the importance of green areas to Cumbernauld's collective identity.