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Tree planting day

I love planting trees! There is little as satisfying as rooting a tree, taking a step back and imagining its future. How many years will it stay up for? What challenges will it face? What animals might call it home? When you plant trees, it feels like you’re planting a legacy. It’s your tree, and you want to look after it! Cumbernauld Living Landscape’s tree planting day at Broadwood will be a fantastic chance to have a lasting impact on your local greenspaces. It will also be a great chance to learn more about the trees that are being planted there. I get quite nerdy when it comes to tree species! I see each species of tree as having its own personality; its own quirks. Here’s some of the trees we’ll be planting: Sessile oaks are welcoming trees often considered the ‘father of the forest’. They can be home to over 300 animals, more than any other tree! Silver birch is an incandescent white tree, often considered a sign of purity. Often the first tree to emerge on virgin land,

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Five reasons to volunteer in nature

With summer in the air and thunderstorms crashing about I thought that this would be a good time to introduce myself. I’m David, the new Project Officer with Cumbernauld Living Landscape! My job is to run volunteering activities that will improve green spaces across the town. I have a massive announcement…   Weekly volunteering groups will be starting at the beginning of September!   The groups will run every Tuesday and Thursday, starting from 3 September. Volunteers can sign up for one or two days a week depending on their preference. So why should you volunteer with Cumbernauld Living Landscape? With us you can develop your skills and enhance your employability while improving your local green spaces, experience working in a motivated and passionate team and get fit all at the same time! I’ve already had an amazing experience volunteering this week. We were out at St Maurice’s Pond, cutting back the encroaching vegetation with some HUGE scythes, allowing the public to walk freely along the paths. We also picked up a lot of broken glass at the back of

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As Above Better Below

The sound of the motorway thunders in my ears and I imagine the cars moving up and down it. What are all those people thinking about as they drive past? Are they marvelling at the road itself, this miracle of human engineering?  Oh the wonders above, but what about the wonders below? I chuckle as I move through the woods, wondering how many people know about the badger highway I’m currently following…I step on a branch and something rustles nearby, I look through the leaves of a beech tree to find a confused deer looking back at me. The roe stares for a moment, then as the wind drifts my distinctive aroma towards him, his head snaps up, he catches my scent  – and bye bye buckie! I think again how without Cumbernauld Living Landscape I would never have found or known or cared about what beauty simply lay at my front door. I think back to 6 months ago of that deep dark place I was in but force the thought away and take a deep breath and smile. I

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New Year, New You

  What were you doing at the bells? If you’re anything like me you will have course have been sitting in furious concentration studying a year planner, mapping out your route through 2019.  And in order to have as successful a year as possible you’ll also have been planning your resolutions, all the ways you’re going to make 2019 the best year ever. It’s important to be realistic and not set yourself up for failure so how about these for some achievable New Year Resolutions Be Active and get outdoors more often. Cumbernauld has 4 Scottish Wildlife Trust Reserves and 7 other parks and nature reserves. Have you explored them all? There are amazing things to see and do in them, and they’re all free to access and accessible from your doorstep. Take Notice of all the beauty and wonder that surrounds us in these natural spaces. Instead of focusing on your worries and day to day issues take some time out to simply enjoy the moment. Keep Learning, no matter who you are or what you’ve experienced in life,

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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

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Frost Beards

Sometimes you find beauty in the strangest places. Last Sunday was spent out with the Nature Ninja Volunteers at St Maurice’s Pond, removing invasive rhododendron and litter picking. St Maurice’s Pond itself is a beautiful place but you don’t normally get the best view of it while patrolling with a bin bag. On this occasion keeping our eyes to the ground paid off, and we came across some amazing silky white frost beards. Frost beards are created when water is forced out from inside pieces of fallen dead wood. They are quite rare and many people will live around woodlands all their lives and never see one. For some reason they actually seem to be relatively common in Cumbernauld. In order to form they need a precise combination of wood type, ground and air temperature and humidity. In the last few years scientists have discovered it also requires a very specific type of fungus called Exidiopsis effusa which shapes the ice into precise hair thin, silky filaments each just 0.01mm wide as it ‘grows’. Frost beards are incredibly delicate and