We have to protect the planet for our own wellbeing. c. Matthew Roberts

Healthy body, healthy mind is a phrase most of us recognise, but perhaps it is time to add a new clause to that old mantra. It’s now recognised that for a healthy life one of the most important factors is a healthy planet. Research shows that being amongst vibrant, biodiverse, natural spaces is vital for healthy people and communities.

At Cumbernauld Living Landscape we’ve always recognised this. Our Wild Ways Well project shows how spending time in amongst nature is a powerful, effective tool for managing mental health. Our Nature Ninjas work directly in the greenspaces, taking practical action, improving our physical health, and helping the natural communities we share the town with to flourish. Nature helping people, people helping nature.

At this time, when the global focus is on the world leaders meeting in Glasgow, it’s easy to feel small, even hopeless. We’re going to hear a lot on the news about the precarious state of the planet, about looming climate catastrophes, about collapse. You’d be forgiven as an individual for feeling helpless.

But you can make a difference. You can’t take on the burden of changing the world alone, but you can change what is in front of you. I’ve lived with mental health issues all my life and one of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is that I can’t control other people’s actions, I can only control my own. It doesn’t matter what anyone else is doing, all that matters is what I do, here, now.

None of us can do it alone – but luckily we don’t have to. Acting as a community, each of us doing what we can, and supporting those around us to do what they can, we will make a difference.

Together we will change the world. And we can start right here, now, in the greenspaces of Cumbernauld.


Paul Barclay