Nettles get a bad rap. Everybody has a story of getting a painful sting from them. Nettle © Katrina Martin We’re all too familiar with the…
Cumbernauld Living Landscape has been working with North Lanarkshire Council to improve woodlands in selected locations across the town.
Although Cumbernauld is a very green place, many of its woodlands are densely populated with the kind of trees that don’t provide the best homes for wildlife. In some areas the trees are also vulnerable to storm damage, risking harm to people and property. Our woodland management projects are creating new homes for wildlife, boosting local biodiversity and enhancing the woodland for the long-term benefit of people too.
So far the work has mainly involved removing conifer trees to make way for the planting of a variety of native species in their place. Some areas have been completely cleared for this new planting, while in other areas the woodland is simply being thinned to create lighter, more open environments that will benefit local wildlife and feel safer for people to explore.
The improved woodland will create better homes for wildlife, providing more food and shelter for insects, birds and small mammals.The woodlands will become safer, more natural and attractive spaces for people to enjoy.
The first woodland management project took place at Broadwood, with the aim of boosting local wildlife and enhancing woodland adjacent to proposed access improvement projects. The project will improve the species diversity of the woodland, remove trees vulnerable to storm damage and increase the overall resilience of the woodlands near the popular recreational area at Broadwood Loch.
Woodland Projects are part of our Improving Habitats and Access work.
The latest State of Nature report confirmed that one in nine Scottish species is threatened with extinction, and woodland management has been identified as one of the main drivers of change. Cumbernauld’s woodlands have the potential to be a haven for wildlife. Thinning will allow more light through the woodland canopy, enabling more plants to grow on the forest floor, providing more food and protection for insects, birds and small mammals.
Research has shown that a native oak tree can support up to 284 species of insect, and a native birch tree can support up to 229. A non-native spruce tree can only support 37.
Felling will clear dense areas of non-native coniferous trees, creating space for planting thousands of native trees and shrubs. These trees will grow to support a much wider range of wildlife, from beetles and moths to badgers and pine martens. By providing better shelter, more food and more varied habitats we’ll be helping to future-proof Cumbernauld’s rich biodiversity.
Woodlands can provide an important respite from the busyness of everyday life, and the selected areas are close to local path routes, houses and roads.
Thinning work will open up the woodland edges making the woodland lighter and more attractive. It will also help to combat anti-social activity by preventing areas becoming a ‘place to hide’. In some areas tree thinning will also allow the remaining trees to become more robust and healthier, reducing the risk of storm damage.
A more diverse woodland will encourage more wildlife for people to see and enjoy for years to come.
Thinned areas shouldn’t look too different, except more light will be able to shine through the trees. Clear-felled areas will have a much more noticeable change on the landscape, however, the land will soon become green again and the view will transform over time. Following the felling work a variety of native broad-leaved trees are being planted, and as these grow they will create a lighter, more diverse woodland for future generations to enjoy.
While work is ongoing, there may be disruption to local path networks. However, these will be fully restored once the work is complete.
No, our woodland management work has nothing to do with building houses.
Wherever possible, although public safety will be the priority.
The route around Broadwood Loch remained open to pedestrian access however some footpaths within the woodlands were closed for safety reasons due to forestry operations. There was no public vehicle access to the car park from Monday – Friday while the works were carried out. The car park re-opened at weekends.
While work is ongoing some paths may be muddy and uneven under foot. Once work is complete paths will be reinstated.
Road closures and traffic management may be required to safely undertake tree removal along roadside verges.
The works within Broadwood Loch took around 4 weeks, with the wider woodland improvements along Westfield Road and Craiglinn completed by the end of November.
Following this, we’ve been planting 3900 trees in the area, in a variety of native species including oak, birch and Scots pine.
The works may be temporary, but that’s only just the beginning: Cumbernauld’s woodlands need long-term management, and people to help take care of them. Contact us to find out more about volunteering opportunities near you.
Tell us your thoughts
Have any questions about our woodland management 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 North Lanarkshire Council at email@example.com