Wild about wildflowers

Late summer is a great time to spot wildflowers. Many plants use the time when days are still warm and light is still plentiful to put on their best displays of colour, working in symbiosis with pollinators to create breath-taking sights out in the parks and wildlife reserves. Cumbernauld has many great places to see wildflowers, Ravenswood, Luggiebank and St

A closer look at moths

I have always been a lover of butterflies, but it took me a bit more time to come around to moths. Until I started working for the Cumbernauld Living Landscape I used to think that moths were all little brown jobs, drab, mono-colour, and basically dull. As it turns out I am so very wrong and that every day really

If you go down to the meadows today

The Cumbernauld Living Landscape team are gradually getting back out to visit some greenspaces in Cumbernauld. Tracy, our Project Officer for Young People visited St Maurice’s Pond recently and was amazed at how much the meadow was thriving! There’s such a diverse range of plant species to be found including knapweed, yellow rattle and birds foot trefoil. Benefiting from these

It’s time to reconsider our relationship with nettles

Nettles get a bad rap. Everybody has a story of getting a painful sting from them. We’re all too familiar with the horrible, lingering, pulsating, annoying sensation after you brush past their leaves. But, I’m about to rock the boat by saying that we should be encouraging more nettles into our lives. These are plants that truly deserve a reappraisal

The Mayflower

“Ne’er cast a cloot til May is oot…” I can still mind my old Grandad saying this to me on a spring morning when I was little as I tried to leave my winter jacket behind before going a walk. My Granda used the phrase to mean the month, and he stuck religiously by it, keeping his jumper on long

The not so magical midge!

Recently Cumbernauld Living Landscape received an enquiry about insect bites and whether anyone else been bothered by them. The quick answer is yes. Since the middle to end of March my household has been scratching legs and arms to ease the incessant burning itch, issuing from what look like wee heat spots. I thought it a wee bit early for

The plight of the male bumblebee

  PART FOUR Once the males have hatched, they leave the nest never to return. Their sole purpose is to feed, mate, then die— it is a very short life for the humble male. Most will never mate but those that do will pass on the genes from the mother queen bee and the grandmother, great grandmother etc. hence the

The autumn of bumblebees

  PART THREE All the bees born in spring and early summer are female, born from the queen’s eggs and the male’s stored sperm packet. They are all sisters who are 75% related to each other. We are up to late summer now, and things are going to get a little tense in the nest. As late summer arrives the

A bumblebee’s tale of spring and summer

  PART TWO The discussion I had with students from St Maurices’ about bumblebees will remain with me forever. For two years I would be stopped in the corridors by one or two students who asked me to repeat the bumblebee’s tale, as they couldn’t get their heads around the genetics of how brothers and sisters are related differently. It

The humble bumble

  PART ONE I finally feel that spring has arrived. You might wonder why. After all, meteorological spring was the first of March and the official beginning of spring was the 20th, so why now? Well, I just saw my first bumblebee, and it is never truly spring until I see one of those cute wee fuzzbutts! I adore bumblebees