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Beavers are spreading ever closer to Cumbernauld! c. Paul Barclay/Cumbernauld Living Landscape

The UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) is coming to Glasgow this November, with the goal of limiting global warming to less than 2⁰C above pre-industrial levels.

Attended by politicians, experts and delegations from 197 countries, they aim to:

  • Secure commitments to drastically limit emissions of greenhouse gases.
  • Mitigate the worst impacts of climate change.
  • Mobilise finance to deliver these ambitious changes.

Because when it comes to the climate, big actions = big impacts, and nature is our greatest weapon. Alongside renewable energy, a restored natural environment can protect us from catastrophic climate change. And our greatest allies are our wildlife!

From our ecosystem engineers, like the beaver, that create wetlands which protect us from flooding, to top predators, like the jaguar in South America, which maintains the health of the mangrove forest, creating natural barriers against storm surges, wildlife is a crucial part of the same ecosystems that protect us.

But healthy ecosystems can do more than shield us from storms; they store carbon too. Britain’s peat bogs alone have huge carbon storage potential, while restored marine ecosystems can capture even more!

Yet Scotland is currently one of the most nature deprived countries in the world; suffering the loss of all our large land predators and much of our native forest. Some of our native wildlife continues to be persecuted as ‘pests’, with 1 in 11 species facing extinction. Many of our native plants are treated as weeds and ripped from gardens and public greenspaces across the nation, or choked out by invasive species.

So, in the run-up to COP26, Cumbernauld Living Landscape will be showing you what we’re doing to restore our natural environment, by helping local people to take action to protect us all from climate change.

We’ve all seen the devastation that even 1⁰C of warming brings – so let’s make this land of ours a wilder one once more!


Jenn McNulty