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Discovering the Living Landscapes in Cumbernauld

When I was asked which environmental organisations I would like to visit as part of my internship, the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Living Landscapes Project were definitely on my list. I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to learn more about the work of one of Scotland’s most important conservation NGOs. I am originally from Hanover, Germany, where I am doing my Master’s degree in environmental planning. Before I will hopefully enter into employment in spring next year, I wanted to spend time abroad and learn how other countries approach the topic of environmental protection and nature conservation in practice. Therefore, I moved to Stirling at the end of April and started an internship at greenspace scotland. greenspace scotland is Scotland’s parks and greenspace charity and a social enterprise working with partners to pioneer new approaches to managing and resourcing greenspace. During my internship I was given the opportunity to get a taste of various projects around greenspaces and to dive into the Scottish green network, where the Living Landscape projects is an integral part. Cumbernauld is characterised by

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International Youth Day

  This Sunday, 12 August, has been declared International Youth Day by the United Nations. The theme of this year’s Youth Day is Safe Spaces where children, no matter their background can be assured of equality, respect and self worth. At Cumbernauld Living Landscape we work with children of all ages, from literal babies in arms in our Wild Ways Well family groups up to teenagers on the cusp of adulthood.  Everywhere we go we see young people who are working hard to improve themselves and their communities. But we also see the other side. There is no doubt that this generation of children are facing incredibly tough conditions to grow up in. 1 in 10 children of school age have a diagnosable mental health condition that will last into adulthood. 1 in 12 children self-harm. I was shocked recently to discover that suicide is the leading cause of death for children in Scotland. These are the odds our young people are facing every day. In the young people we work with we frequently see evidence of this, lack of confidence,