Over the past few months the Natural Connections project has been working with 4th year high school students to raise their awareness and understanding of their Natural Heritage. Through practical sessions it is building their confidence and will give them transferable skills for future employment. This year 45 students from two local high schools, St Maurice’s and Greenfaulds, are participating. Next year a further two schools will take part.

The students are currently working on two wildlife sites in Cumbernauld which are owned and managed by North Lanarkshire Council. Each of these sites are on the schools doorsteps; St Maurice’s Pond and Ravenswood Local Nature Reserve.

The project is now half way through the first academic year and the impacts are starting to be noticed.  Other lessons outside the Natural Connections project are exploring the sites. At St Maurice's Pond P.E. and Biology classes now use the areas around the pond while pupils from Greenfaulds are mapping the Local Nature Reserve as part of their Duke of Edinburgh award. Hopefully the mapping will help to raise profile of the sites great path network and wonderful variety of wildlife can be seen on a short walk.

Raising awareness of the natural connections sites is paramount as they have an incredible effect on local neighbourhoods. They provide clean fresh air and great areas to play and explore for the many people who live nearby. In the coming months the young people will start to work with artists from Glasgow based ImpactArts to create Living Windows to encourage visitors to take a closer look.

Cumbernauld LL