Local resident Kate Fromings has written this guest blog about why we should take better care of the town’s greenspaces. In Cumbernauld we are incredibly lucky to have the use…
Access to Nature
Cumbernauld is incredibly green and most people live within walking distance of a park or nature reserve. However, these greenspaces are not always as accessible as they should be. Narrow walkways, uneven surfaces, tough gradients and overgrown vegetation can all cause issues for people using wheelchairs, bikes and buggies, and for people with other mobility issues or special requirements.
Over the lifetime of the project Cumbernauld Living Landscape is upgrading paths at priority sites so that everyone can feel welcome, safe and secure while enjoying the nature on their doorstep.
Access to Nature projects are part of our Improving Habitats and Access work.
Seafar Wood path upgrades
Managed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Seafar Wood is a relatively young strip of woodland west of Cumbernauld Village, on the doorstep of many people’s homes. The woodland habitat is still developing and clusters of bluebells and other woodland flowers are already established, popular with butterflies and damselflies in summer. Areas of scrub and remnants of agricultural hedgerows provide vital habitats for birds.
There a number of paths that allow people to enjoy the woods, but the entrances to the paths, and their condition in some places, needs work to improve access for people of all abilities.
This project will improve the entrances to the paths at Allanfauld Road and Braeface Road, including measures to prevent track-bike access, and will also improve the path surfaces. Project lead organisation North Lanarkshire Council is expecting to issue tenders soon (as at 1 November 2020) to appoint contractors to carry out the work. Detailed plans will be available soon.
Ravenswood Path upgrades
Managed by North Lanarkshire Council, Ravenswood is a rich mosaic of open marsh, meadow, grassland, wildlife ponds and woodland. You can spot wildlife all year-round including insects, song birds, diving birds and mammals. There is an ‘outdoor classroom’ at the main entrance, created by our Nature Ninjas and Wild Ways Well participants.
This project will link Ravenswood LNR to Our Lady’s High School and unlock the site as a great spot for outdoor learning. At present the entrance to the site is often very muddy and boggy, and the path upgrade and improved drainage will make this area more accessible for everyone.
The improvements to the path will be complemented by the actions of the Nature Ninjas volunteers and practical conservation sessions with young people who will help maintain them.
Project lead organisation North Lanarkshire Council is expecting to issue tenders soon (as at 1 November 2020) to appoint contractors to carry out the work. Detailed plans will be available soon.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are many paths across Cumbernauld that could benefit from an upgrade, and we have selected those on North Lanarkshire Council and Scottish Wildlife Trust sites that will provide the greatest value to the greatest number of people.
The first location was St Maurice’s Pond, where in November 2019 the boardwalk and adjoining circular path were upgraded to ensure they can be enjoyed more easily by wheelchair and buggy users, as well as cyclists and children taking part in pond-dipping activities. Nearby Netherwood Way was also upgraded.
Paths will be temporarily closed while work is ongoing. On-site signage will keep walkers informed and suggest alternate routes where possible. The Cumbernauld Living Landscape website and social media will also provide regular updates as our access projects progress.
Yes. All paths will be maintained by site management (North Lanarkshire Council or Scottish Wildlife Trust) to ensure they remain fully accessible for the duration of their lifetime. Where required our Nature Ninjas volunteers will also help, for example by cutting back vegetation or carrying out practical conservation work in the surrounding area. Why not join us!
We also plan to improve signage and interpretation at many of the sites in the weeks or months following access improvement work. If you have any suggestions we would love to hear your ideas.
Tell us your thoughts
Have any questions about our Access to Nature plans? Want to know more? We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas.
If you have any concerns or complaints about current activity please contact the site manager:
North Lanarkshire Council: firstname.lastname@example.org
Scottish Wildlife Trust: email@example.com
Improved access is only the beginning. Our practical conservation volunteers are making these places even better homes for wildlife and special places for everyone to explore. Contact us to find out more about volunteering opportunities near you.
A new boardwalk has been installed at St. Maurice’s Pond, improving the site’s accessibility and helping visitors get closer to nature. Installed by North Lanarkshire Council in partnership with Cumbernauld…