The last few months have seen the Cumbernauld Living Landscape project engage and support a wonderful group of young people and leaders from the 20th Cumbernauld Girl Guide Group – keen to experience the joys of habitat creation first-hand.

Wildflower Meadow Sowing event at Seafar Woods in March 2022: The 20th Cumbernauld Girl Guide Group – as well as some Rainbows, family members and leaders. c. Zara Gardner/Scottish Wildlife Trust

The first of the two events was a successful Meadow Sowing Saturday, which included a thorough litter pick and seed bomb making, as well as seed sowing at Seafar Woods (a Scottish Wildlife Trust Reserve). This was quickly followed by an atmospheric evening tree planting event at St Maurice’s Pond.

These first forays into the joys of conservation tasks proved fantastic opportunities for the group and their families not only to discover, but also get to know and enjoy their local green spaces. There was plenty of discussion around how most of the group had not had a chance to visit these sites before – and how there is so much to be explored right here on our doorsteps.

We also discussed how conservation tasks (like tree planting and meadow sowing) are such rewarding acts of giving back to nature – and why it is so vital to do so now – for people and wildlife. When we were doing a litter pick we talked about the amazing contribution of this vital action in preventing litter and plastic finding its way into our local waterways – ultimately leading to the oceans.

Some lively and laughter inducing Forest School warm up games were thoroughly enjoyed by all at St

The group’s efforts were rewarded not just by the tree planting, but with all the calming and sensory delights such as birdsong and seeing insects like butterflies, that a warm spring evening on a site like this can offer. The chance to see the setting of a golden spring sun across the pond also made it even more memorable for all involved.

The group certainly made the most of the remaining daylight hours we had – with over 100 oaks planted by the group and leaders in a little over an hour and a half. The high water table here means that the these precious oak saplings (or ‘whips’), which will go on to support more species of wildlife than any other native tree, have the best chance of survival in the dry spring and summer seasons we are increasingly seeing.

The Girl Guides loved learning how to light a fire and use a Kelly Kettle safely.

The event also marked the last task of the project for our wonderful trainee and local resident Rozelle MacMillan (pictured far right) – who has gone onto an environmental advisory role – which she secured partly as a result of the experience she gained with the Scottish Wildlife Trust on this project. Her ability to engage with local people of all ages and walks of life was fully in evidence on the occasions she supported on delivery with this lovely Girl Guide group. Rozelle will be sorely missed on the CLL project.

Volunteers from the Cumbernauld Living Landscape Nature Ninjas have previously carried out numerous conservation activities on the St Maurice’s site, including habitat restoration work, such as meadow sowing, grassland management and fruit tree planting. The tree planting evening provided a great opportunity to go and see how all the fruit trees and bushes were now doing. It was heartening to see how well the likes of apple trees and fruit bushes like blackcurrants were doing. The girls were heartily encouraged to come back and keep checking on – not to mention sample with their families on future visits! They will no doubt be beaming with pride when they show them the fruits of their efforts on this stunning site.

The St Maurice’s tree planting event in April 2022: Also the the final CLL event of our wonderful trainee and local resident Rozelle MacMillan (pictured far right).

Cumbernauld Living Landscape