The sea starts here

According to a Scottish Government report last year, an estimated 300 million plastic straws, 276 million pieces of plastic cutlery, 50 million plastic plates and 66 million polystyrene food containers are used in Scotland every year. With a population of around 50,000, that means that here in Cumbernauld we are using three million straws a year, 2,760,000 pieces of plastic

Could pine martens help paint the town red?

These days most of us are probably aware of the plight of the red squirrel. Reds are our only native squirrel but numbers have been in steady decline for years, due to the spread of their invasive grey cousins. Red squirrels find it difficult to compete with greys for food and habitat, but it is the squirrelpox virus which the

Why Cumbernauld is a cool place to live

  Many of us know that the fantastic woodlands and greenspaces around Cumbernauld make it a cool place to live. But did you know that they actually make it cooler too? All the concrete and tarmac in towns and cities mean that they get hotter than rural areas, because the dark, hard surfaces absorb lots of heat. But studies have

Tackling the invaders

What do buddleia, rhododendron, stoats, grey squirrels and snowberry have in common? They are all beautiful and fascinating species of animals and plants that can wreak havoc on other local wildlife if they turn up in the wrong place. Then they’re called invasive non-native species (INNS), and they’re just a few of the 3000 or so that we now have

The sounds of the wild seasons

If wild geese provide the soundtrack to winter walks, the warblers to the spring, and the screaming swifts are our summer music, then it is the incessant piping of young buzzards that sometimes fill these not-quite-summer, not-quite autumn days. In truth the adult buzzards have been calling to one another most of the year – only falling silent in the

Evolution works in mysterious ways!

If Creationists wanted to cite an animal that seems to defy the theories of evolution, they should look no further than the common cranefly, Tipula paludosa. Every year as summer fades a rag-tag invasion of daddy-longlegs stumbles into homes all over the country, crashing into lampshades, dangling helplessly from undusted cobwebs, and wilfully drowning themselves in washing-up bowls and tea cups.

The state of our woodlands

The State of the UK’s Woods and Trees 2021 report came out earlier this year. Now you may wonder what that has to do with us here in Cumbernauld? It was based on UK trees. We are only a small town with lots of woodland so we are ok – aren’t we? Well, no, we’re not really. The Cumbernauld Living

Why COP26 matters to Cumbernauld

The UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) is coming to Glasgow this November, with the goal of limiting global warming to less than 2⁰C above pre-industrial levels. Attended by politicians, experts and delegations from 197 countries, they aim to: Secure commitments to drastically limit emissions of greenhouse gases. Mitigate the worst impacts of climate change. Mobilise finance to deliver these ambitious

To Bread or not to Bread: A Guide to Feeding Your Local Swans

St Maurice’s Pond is an excellent spot to see new life this summer. Lots of different birds are currently raising their young; mallards, tufted ducks, swans, coots, moorhens and many more. Feeding and watching waterfowl is a good wellbeing activity and is known to help with anxiety and depression. But how can we ensure we are feeding them the right

A yellow flood

Remember at the end of the winter, when the rain pelted down and we would find new puddles and pools had appeared overnight in the flooded fields and greenspaces around the town? Well now it is summer new pools have appeared – but instead of murky brown, this is a flood of brightest yellow. They are pools of meadow buttercups