Natural Connections – A Beautiful day for judging

At the start of August we had two lovely volunteer judges from Keep Scotland Beautiful out assessing areas in our town for the Beautiful Scotland of Cumbernauld’s Bloomin’ Wild.  It was a mixed day of sun and showers but that didn’t stop our local groups from shining on the day. I would like to say a huge thank you to Adam Smith of the Cumbernauld Environmental Society for organising and delivering Cumbernauld’s previous entries over a number of years.  This is a huge undertaking and one that surprised us in its depth and requirements.

Night-time Window on Wildlife

Have you ever walked through some woodland and wondered what creatures might live there that we can’t see?  That use their superb senses and camouflage to hide from human eyes and come out only when no-one is around. Ever looked out into the garden, or the street and wondered what wildlife visits in the night?  Maybe you’ve heard the scream of a fox, the hoot of an owl or the snuffling of a badger. One way to find out is to throw a light switch or head out with a torch, but by doing so you might frighten off the animals you’d like to see, or at the very least change their behaviour hugely. 

Cumbernauld's Bloomin' Wild

This year Cumbernauld Living Landscape’s Natural Connections Project is coordinating the town’s Beautiful Scotland entry in the national competition organised by Keep Scotland Beautiful. One aspect of the competition is the preparation of a portfolio of photographs of the town looking at its best – bright, colourful and bursting with natural beauty. This seemed like a perfect job for the Wild Ways Well wellbeing group, so last Friday we equipped ourselves with cameras and headed out.

Natural connections – Wildlife comes alive in the sun

Previous pond dipping session held during a guided walk Summer is here! It’s time to unpack the sunshine, get the deckchairs out and relax in Cumbernauld’s Mediterranean-climate. Or, as is more often the case, get out the waterproofs and scuba gear and have a soggy barbeque! We have enjoyed a good spell of warm dry weather over the last few weeks and the town’s green spaces have burst into life as a result. It’s been a great boost for invertebrates and we’ve had some great sightings of bumblebees and butterflies. 

Natural Connections – Community makes a difference

Community and The Conservation Volunteers getting stuck in Sometimes projects can take a few years to plan.  Planning for our current project at Ravenswood Local Nature Reserve began way back in 2014 and was the original basis of The Conservation Volunteer Community Engagement trainee-ship post.  However things happen, groups disband, ideas sometimes get put on hold and other priorities come to the fore, but these ideas are never quashed.

Sanctuary Scotland helps high school pupils experience nature

Click on the image to begin video.   Sanctuary Scotland came out with us recently on a Natural Connections workshop at St Maurice's pond to discover how the towns young people are connecting with nature.  Funding from Sanctuary Scotland has helped purchase tools and PPE for Students which will enable them to continue the legacy of Natural Connections. 

Natural Connections – Help wildlife through a cold snap

Bee-utiful bumblebee © Katrina Martin Who else got a bit of a shock when Storm Doris rolled into town? Like many others I was caught in the traffic as the snow and ice brought the road network to a standstill.  It was great to see the spirit of Cumbernauld in action though as people helped out stuck motorists with a push or a shovel. Cold snaps like this can be a death sentence for wildlife.  A few days before Doris we were getting reports of bumblebee queens out looking for nesting sites. Read on to find out more about our bumblebees.....

Natural Connections – Track down the new carvings

Pine marten resting As part of a £50,000 WREN funded path access project in Cumbernauld.   Cumbernauld Greenspace Reserves Manager, Duncan has become a bit of a creative artist.  Duncan has chainsaw sculpted 7 life size pine marten heads and one full size body and placed them peeking out of tree cavities.  If you are wondering around Forest Wood keep an eye open for them and post your images to our Facebook page. Pine martens are nocturnal and incredibly shy creatures....