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Coronavirus update

An update on Cumbernauld Living Landscape activity during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak   We couldn’t achieve the outcomes of Cumbernauld Living Landscape without the support of the people who engage with our groups, and your health and safety is of utmost importance to us. Following the latest advice from the Scottish Government, we have taken the unfortunate decision to cancel our group and events activity until further notice. This includes our Wild Ways Well groups, our Nature Ninja volunteering groups and the work that we deliver to schools. If you need to get in touch with us about these cancellations, please contact us on CumbernauldLL@scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk. We will also have very limited access to our office landline so please contact on us on 07918 748608 if you cannot contact us via email. We hope it won’t be long before we can be back out in the community, supporting people to connect with nature but until then we’ll be doing things a bit differently. Keep a regular eye on our social media and website pages – we’ll be posting a variety of

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NEWS: New boardwalk improves access to nature at St. Maurice’s Pond

A new boardwalk has been installed at St. Maurice’s Pond, improving the site’s accessibility and helping visitors get closer to nature. Installed by North Lanarkshire Council in partnership with Cumbernauld Living Landscape, it replaces the previous boardwalk which was no longer fit for purpose. The new boardwalk is wider with more subtle bends and a smoother anti-slip surface, making it easier to move across with a wheelchair, pram or bicycle. Its positioning has also been adjusted to provide local school groups with better access to ideal spots for pond-dipping and wildlife-watching. The connecting footpath was also upgraded to further improve accessibility on the pond’s popular circular route, in addition to a section of nearby Netherwood Way, which connects St. Maurice’s Pond with homes in the Westfield area. Fiona McGrevey, Cumbernauld Living Landscape Project Manager said: “St. Maurice’s Pond is a fantastic place for connecting with nature. Swans, ducks and herons patrol the pond year-round, and in summer the boardwalk comes alive with bees, butterflies and dragonflies. “Everyone should be able to enjoy the nature on their doorstep. By improving access

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Finding Fungi

Hearing that the nights are ‘fair drawing in’ is as predictable at this time of year as the leaves fluttering down or the sweet sound of geese above our head, but on the woodland floor something just as amazing becomes apparent. Fungi seems to be everywhere, but why is there so much of it at this time of year? Well, with so many leaves and dead vegetation falling to the ground it is munch-time for mushrooms. They have the very important job of breaking down dead material that is then enjoyed by a huge number of bugs and grubs. Fungi is often the leaders in a parade of life that breaks material down into substances that are edible for further waves of species. This makes them extremely important and let’s face it, they are pretty good looking as well! Walking over to some deadwood I peer some bright orange blob that looks a bit like Patrick from SpongeBob SquarePants. What an odd but awesome sight. “Two krabby pates please”. I ask, laughing to myself. Typically there’s no-one around to hear it. Moving

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We are recruiting!

Learning Assistant – Creating Natural Connections Project Title: Learning Assistant – Creating Natural Connections Project Status: Part-time, 12 months fixed term Salary: £18,127 pro rata (32 days per annum) Location: Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire Closing date: 12 noon, 4th October 2019 Since 2011, the Cumbernauld Living Landscape partnership has been enhancing, restoring and reconnecting green areas of the town to improve the environment for both people and wildlife. This award-winning partnership is now entering a new phase and needs a Learning Assistant to support its environmental education within local primary schools We are looking for the successful candidate to have the skills, knowledge and enthusiasm to motivate, influence and encourage local school children to take a hands-on approach linking in with the major habitats and access works where appropriate, and to improve their school grounds for nature and people alike. Applicants should be educated to HNC/D in a related subject, or have equivalent experience, and hold a first aid certificate or be willing to gain this qualification.  You should also be an excellent organiser and natural communicator with a keen interest

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National Lottery support will help us create new connections

Cumbernauld Living Landscape has received a transformational grant of £1,375,000 from the National Heritage Lottery Fund for its new Creating Natural Connections initiative. This funding will deliver significant improvements to Cumbernauld’s environment over the next four years, and create a long-term change in the way the town’s people connect with nature. Thanks to support from players of the National Lottery nearly 3,000 primary school pupils will be given opportunities to explore nature. Groups including people at risk of poor mental health and young people at risk of disengaging from education will be given specialist support to improve their well-being, and community organisations across the town will be helped to deliver environmental improvements in their local neighbourhood. A total area of urban woodland equivalent to 230 football pitches (230 hectares) will be sustainably managed, and more than 12,000 native trees will be planted. Three peat bogs surrounded by houses will be restored, and six new community rain gardens will help reduce the impacts of flooding. Across the network better managed urban wildflower meadows will boost pollinators and increase local biodiversity. People

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Funding boost for Creating Natural Connections

As you might recall we were on tenterhooks during December, waiting to hear about the funding from Heritage Lottery Fund for our new initiative, Creating Natural Connections. This is a very exciting four-year project that will lead to huge improvements to our green spaces and connect even more people to nature. It has been a tense couple of months and our nails have been bitten down to the quick. It is with great pleasure that I can tell you that we have been successful in gaining the funding, and that you are going to be hearing much more about Creating Natural Connections over the next four years. To celebrate we have invited people who have been involved with the Cumbernauld Living Landscape since its launch in 2011 to an event tonight at Kingdom City Church. This our small way of saying thank you for having faith in us and for being willing to try something out of the ordinary, but mostly for supporting us and the work we do. Without valued funding, the dedication from our partners, the support of

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Cumbernauld Living Landscape is hiring

Cumbernauld Living Landscape has two exciting opportunities for a Project Manager and a Communications Officer to be part of the next phase of our award winning work. Famous for its 1950’s New Town design, Cumbernauld is home to 52,000 people and a surprising diversity of wildlife. Natural heritage is one of the town’s greatest assets, with woodland, parks and open spaces covering 50% of its area. However, today this natural network is under threat, fragmented and under-appreciated. Working with young people and the local community the project will connect people to the nature on their doorsteps. Biodiversity and access improvements will form the foundation for volunteering and skills development that will unlock community capacity. These activities will inspire more people to care about local heritage and use nature to improve their well being. The relationships developed will create a more sustainable legacy for the town’s green spaces and the many benefits they bring. An experienced project manager is needed to lead the delivery of the multi partner programme, working closely with project staff, community organisations and partners to deliver and

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Wish us luck!

After a lot of conversations, consultations, taster sessions and report writing we have finally hit the button to send the Creating Natural Connections Stage 2 Application to the Heritage Lottery Fund.  The Living Landscape team would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this application.  We really appreciate your opinions, your time and your support for what we think is a fantastic project.  We’ve even made a wee video showing what this project means to us too! Our last request to you, our community is to keep your fingers crossed for us and wish us luck! .

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Wild Ways Well 10/07/2018

It’s been a while since we had a Wild Ways Well update, so apologies for the lack of news.  Lack of news doesn’t mean lack of activity though – quite the reverse! We had a lovely day at the end of June in Ravenswood Local Nature Reserve when we were able to present our inaugural Wild Ways Well certificates and John Muir Discover awards to the Neighbourhoods Network group who have been working with us over the winter and spring. They’ve really shown their dedication over the block of sessions, turning out in all weathers, always with a smile on their faces, to explore Cumbernauld’s natural spaces and learn about the Five Ways to Wellbeing.   We held a celebration event in Ravenswood Local Nature Reserve for the group and staff where we able to hand over the certificates and reflect back on what the group had achieved over the previous weeks.  We printed out lots of photos and hung them from the trees then went on a foraging session to gather fresh produce to make a big pot of

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Foxes and Cubs

Spring has now well and truly sprung and over at Cumbernauld Living Landscape we are savouring every moment of this blissful time of year. Our Wild Ways Well group has been accomplishing the ‘Take Notice’ part of the 5 Ways To Wellbeing by immersing themselves in the changing cycles of nature. Being mindful of the changes around us is a great way to live in the moment and become more in tune with nature. This is also an ideal time of year to keep learning as bird song becomes louder and beautiful wild flowers such as cuckoo flower, wood anemone, cowslip and lesser celandine are all starting to pop up around Cumbernauld. Spring is also the perfect time of year for babies such as badger and fox cubs. Our Wild Ways Well group recently set up a camera trap and were delighted to capture some lovely footage of a family of foxes with three cubs. We think the cubs were probably about a month old. Adorable! When cubs are born they are deaf and blind and rely on their mother