Green at the end of the tunnel

For most of us the last few weeks have been a stressful time. The long-term effects on people’s mental health is unknowable but it is likely that more of us will suffer the effects of depression, anxiety, low moods and confidence. These effects can be felt by anyone, at any time, no matter how ‘strong’ they may seem to others,

The Best Laid Plans

One of the first tasks I undertook when I went back to work in January was to plan out 2020 was for our green mental wellbeing project Wild Ways Well. What new ideas did we have, what sorts of sessions could we run. I was excited for the year ahead working in greenspaces along with the people and communities of

Window wildlife-watching

Nestled in the middle of an industrial estate, I’m always amazed by how much wildlife there is to see from the Cumbernauld Living Landscape office window. As I type, I’m watching two male bullfinches potter about, their orange-pink bibs unmistakeable against the open green grass. I’ve seen flurries of visiting redwings, prancing young roe deer; and there’s always robins, starlings

A stroll with the snowdrops

Hope’s Flower, Eve’s Tears, the beautiful Fair Maids of February, the portentous Death Bell or maybe even just simple Dingle Dangles. Whatever you call them, snowdrops have arrived in Cumbernauld’s woods. Legend says that snowdrops were the only flower kind enough to share their colour with the newly made snow and thus became the only flower able to grow amongst

A new ancient tradition

We don’t just work to protect greenspaces here at Cumbernauld Living Landscape, we also try to engage with them at a human level, and preserve some of the ways our ancestors would have interacted with the woodlands. Recently the Wild Ways Well group went “Wassailing”. This is an ancient tradition that people believed helped woodlands to come back to life

Winter Blues

As I write this I’m huddled over a steaming mug of tea, wearing my warmest jumper and waiting for the forecast sleet to start falling outside. I console myself with the thought that, though it might not feel like it, spring is on the way. It probably hasn’t escaped long-term readers of these blogs that I’m no fan of winter!

Natural New Year

No one could fail to notice the waning of the light as the winter begins to bite and the days get ever shorter. It’s little wonder that winter is associated with depression – and that midwinter, when the sun begins to climb higher into the sky again each day became a time of celebration, reflection and renewal. The natural world

Winter wisdom

Winter! That time of year when thoughts turn inwards, when we all seek respite from the cold and get ourselves cooried in until spring. The work of harvest is over and there’s time yet until planting so traditionally this was the time for storytelling. George Mackay Brown, the great Orcadian storyteller talked of tongues “touched to enchantment by starlight and

World Mental Health Day

This Thursday is World Mental Health Day, a day created to promote conversations about mental health and reduce stigma. This year’s theme is ‘Mental Health Promotion and Suicide Prevention’. Countless studies have shown that spending time outdoors in natural green spaces is vital for our mental health. Our Wild Ways Well project demonstrates this as we explore Cumbernauld’s nature reserves