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Taking time to breathe – how grounding can help combat anxiety

While we are waiting to hear whether Cumbernauld Living Landscape’s planned new project has received funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, I have been visiting high schools to maintain and build relationships to allow a smooth transition for the new project. Each week I test new ideas which we plan to use in future workshops, and each week I have seen an alarming rise in the number of students having panic attacks on a regular basis. This got me thinking about techniques I could share with students who could then share with family and friends or even use for themselves to combat these episodes, Inspired by the Wild Ways Well project I came across a technique called grounding. This helps people to slow down, distracts from the immediate feelings of anxiety and panic, and helps them gain focus. I also suffer from anxiety at times and I find it best to use this technique outside in fresh air, a woodland works for me as I find that habitat is my safe space and that I like to think of myself

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Conservation day at Luggiebank Wood

We are very excited to be heading out to Luggiebank Wood Wildlife Reserve for a spot of conservation work at the weekend. This is a wee gem looked after by the Scottish Wildlife Trust located just behind the train station at Greenfaulds. It is the Trust’s smallest reserve in Cumbernauld but what it lacks in size it makes up for in wildlife. I’ve been told you can spot kingfishers fishing in the fast-flowing waters either side of the waterfall and our surveys along the river have even found evidence of otters. There are a bonanza of birds to be seen including grasshopper warblers, chiff chaffs, buzzards and owls. And don’t forget about the plants! Shimmering bluebells, bright orange fox and cubs, and lots more wildflowers can be found. As long as the weather obliges our volunteer day will be aimed at turning a small patch of grass into a wildflower patch for local school children to explore and learn about and we will also be cutting back the vegetation that in encroaching on the path network. There is quite a lot

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And the winner is ….

We are the champions! Last Thursday night Ian and I along with two lovely teachers from St Maurice’s High school attended the RSPB Nature of Scotland awards in Edinburgh. These awards are the equivalent of the Oscars for Conservation, and what a night!  Everyone was done up to the nines and sitting on the edge of their seats to see if their entries had been successful had won an award. Cumbernauld Living Landscape was up for not one but two awards. We were nominated by Mrs Lynas of St Maurice’s High School for the Youth and Education category for the work we delivered for our Engaging Communities project, kindly supported by players of the National Lottery. I also entered our fabulous Nature Ninja weekend volunteers to the Community Initiative category as they were inspired by the work the high school students began. We waited with bated breath as the evening progressed, and it was incredible to find about so many amazing projects taking place around Scotland for the benefit of nature, and realise that what’s happening in our wee town