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We need to look to the natural world for solutions to the climate and biodiversity crises. c. Katie Brown/Scottish Wildlife Trust

Climate change is here, with its soaring temperatures and rising seas, and an increasingly destabilised weather system. Whilst we all know that rising emissions of greenhouse gases are to blame – that’s only half the story. Simultaneously we’ve embarked on a campaign of destruction against the natural world on a scale never-before-seen, tearing apart the very systems that would have protected us.

For it’s those destabilised natural systems that pose the greatest threat, from extremes of weather like hurricanes and floods, to famines or droughts, which create the perfect conditions for wildfires to cross continents.

History is littered with the ruins of civilizations who fought against nature, and lost. If we hope to combat this global threat, we have to start working with nature.

Just as global warming can’t be tackled by one nation alone, it also can’t be fought by one species alone; only through restoring the natural world and rebuilding those ecosystems which we’ve torn apart, can we prevent climate change from being catastrophic.

Which is where the Cumbernauld Living Landscape comes in; we’re working to restore Cumbernauld’s incredible natural heritage, and help local people reconnect with their land.

By planting native trees and allowing for natural regeneration wherever possible, we’re creating resilient forests better able to cope with disease, and windthrow during storms. Restoring Cumbernauld’s peatbogs and wetlands won’t just lock away carbon, it’ll also protect local people from flooding.

Through our education and volunteering programme, with locals and landowners working together, we’re making real progress in restoring ecosystems around Cumbernauld. It’s why Keep Scotland Beautiful honoured us with the ‘Garden for Life’ Biodiversity Award, and if we keep working to improve habitats and remove invasive species, Cumbernauld will become a living land bridge, allowing animals to travel down from Scotland’s wild North and reclaim their place in the central belt.

So, let’s keep working together, to restore and reconnect with nature, in preparation for a new climate.

For more information, check out our website www. cumbernauldlivinglandscape.org.uk, or even come and volunteer with us, and be part of the change we’re making in Cumbernauld!


Jenn McNulty