,

Planting plastic

Planting trees is a rewarding experience, something we’re all being encouraged to do to help tackle the climate crisis and boost biodiversity in our local greenspaces. But the work doesn’t stop there if we want these trees to develop into healthy woodlands. Last week our Nature Ninjas volunteers were out collecting old tree guards in Glencryan Wood – not the most exciting activity, but important nonetheless! Tree guards are often used when planting new saplings, you’ve probably seen clusters of pale green tubes emerging from the ground alongside a new road or at a forestry plantation site. The guards help support the young tree in its earliest days, protecting it from the elements and, crucially, hungry deer, which can rapidly chomp their way through a new woodland before it’s even had the chance to grow. However, tree guards aren’t without problems. They can attract vandalism, and they’re usually made of plastic. By planting trees we may think we’re doing a good thing, but without planning ahead we could also be contributing to plastic pollution. So what are the alternatives? In

,

Visit your tree at Broadwood

If you took part in our tree planting day at Broadwood Loch in December you had the option to download an app and locate the exact grid reference for your tree. This means you’ll be able to chart your tree’s progress as it develops and matures, hopefully for many years to come! It will be fascinating to see how the landscape changes, and the wildlife it will bring to the area. If you left your grid reference behind for us to record we’ve added it to the map below.  

,

Biodiversity and climate change

Climate change and biodiversity are inextricably linked to each other. Sadly, the link is not a good one. For humans, climate change means stronger and more frequent extreme weather events, rising sea levels and increased risk from “vector-borne” diseases such as Zika virus and malaria. For nature the greatest issue, ultimately, is extinction. We are already seeing species being forced out of their natural ranges; year-on-year orange-tip butterflies and tree bumblebees range further north due to a warming climate. These two examples are just the tip of a rapidly melting iceberg. Species that already struggle with habitat loss or degradation are now also competing for food with those that can range outwith their normal territories. Many species are being affected as their lifecycles are changing, with many animals emerging outside the timing of their only food source. Those that can’t travel outwith their normal ranges are dying, as they cannot adapt quick enough. Around the world we are seeing extinction on a scale that has never been seen before. We can change that and give nature a hand. We can

,

Getting stuck in for nature

Last Thursday as many as 300 people joined Cumbernauld Living Landscape at Broadwood Loch to grab a spade and plant a tree before enjoying some festive treats round the campfire.   With it being polling day we had a steady flow of children looking for something active to do on their day off from school, and plenty of adults looking for something positive to do while anxiously awaiting the results! The previous day pupils at Carbrain Primary had set the ball rolling by planting 165 trees in their school grounds.  There’s been a lot of talk of trees in the national news recently, with political parties competing in their pledges to create new woodlands that will help tackle the climate crisis. In response, conservationists have pointed out that numbers are not enough – it’s crucial that the right trees are planted in the right places.   As a community we planted 600 trees in total, including crab apple, willow, oak and hazel. These species are all native to the area, which means that as they grow the new woodland will provide homes for the widest possible

,

Tremendous Trees

If there’s one thing the recent spell of sunshine has shown me, it’s the value of a good tree. I often have people tell me how lucky I am to have an outdoor job  – and of course they’re right – but at the same time it can get pretty sweaty working outside in the heat! I don’t have any air conditioning in my outdoor office, but when the sun is beating down I can always cool down under the shade of one of Cumbernauld’s many trees. Cumbernauld has around 23% tree cover, which is an amazing stat, almost double the average for other similar sized towns. Over the next few months the Wild Ways Well project is going to be trying to map some of these using the new Open Laboratory Treezilla app. Treezilla has the ambitious target of recording every tree in the UK – a huge task! We might not manage to record every tree but we’ll have a lot of fun going out and identifying the trees around us and adding them to the list. This