,

Get back to nature in 2020

Taking our volunteers out at New Year always resonates strongly with me— I first started volunteering at New Year. So woooooOOooooOOOo, I want to take you back 8 years to 2012. I was completing my zoology dissertation. It was very boring! I felt like most of the time I had been cooped up inside doing calculations, tallying up surveys, reading screeds upon screeds of papers and typing up draft after draft to try and get my point across. My fieldwork the previous summer seemed long ago, itself so enjoyable— getting out into nature, experiencing all it could throw at me. As preposterous as it sounds, I felt locked out from nature. I came across a leaflet asking for volunteers to rewild a community space. I did not give it much thought at first until it dawned that, to paraphrase an old John Muir quote “I needed to get back into nature”. I gave it a chance! I was anxious meeting the volunteers at first; there must be something wrong with them if they wanted to go out in atrocious winter

,

Funding boost for Creating Natural Connections

As you might recall we were on tenterhooks during December, waiting to hear about the funding from Heritage Lottery Fund for our new initiative, Creating Natural Connections. This is a very exciting four-year project that will lead to huge improvements to our green spaces and connect even more people to nature. It has been a tense couple of months and our nails have been bitten down to the quick. It is with great pleasure that I can tell you that we have been successful in gaining the funding, and that you are going to be hearing much more about Creating Natural Connections over the next four years. To celebrate we have invited people who have been involved with the Cumbernauld Living Landscape since its launch in 2011 to an event tonight at Kingdom City Church. This our small way of saying thank you for having faith in us and for being willing to try something out of the ordinary, but mostly for supporting us and the work we do. Without valued funding, the dedication from our partners, the support of

,

Why robins are not just for Christmas

As I was recycling this year’s batch of lovely Christmas cards I started to wonder why so many of them have robins on them. Is it because my friends know I have a soft spot for wildlife or were they just on sale? What did robins have to do with Christmas anyway? After bit of research, I found it all came back to the Victorians, those well-known Christmas romantics. The postmen delivering good tidings were nicknamed ‘robins’ thanks to their bright red jackets. As the idea of Christmas cards caught on the robin made a leap from delivering the cards to featuring on them and the fact that robins can easily be spotted in the snow strengthened the connection. Robins are visible and sing noisily through the year making them one of my favourite animals to watch. They are specially adapted to make the most out of the poor light and are often active in half-light when few other birds are about. Whist they look cute they are fiercely territorial and will sing loudly to defend their territory and attract

,

Wild Ways Well 2018

Have you broken any New Year’s resolutions yet? We’re barely into the first week of 2018 and I’ve broken most of mine, which generally focus around eating less chocolate and bacon rolls. Why do I set myself such impossible goals? Time markers can be stressful events for many people. For those of us with depression they can be used as convenient sticks to beat ourselves with – blaming ourselves for not having achieved enough over the previous year being a common theme. Resolutions can be dangerous things, setting impossible goals that we cannot accomplish is not good for our mental wellbeing. But there is one resolution we could all make, and that most of us could achieve. Get outside more! Spending time outdoors, among nature, is proven to make people feel better about their lives. Cumbernauld Living Landscape can help with this. We’ll be running our Wild Ways Well sessions every Thursday afternoon throughout 2018. We’ll go for a leisurely walk through one of Cumbernauld’s wildlife reserves, learning about nature and conservation as we go. We’ll stop to brew a