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Cumbernauld's natural environment to be rewound to town's glory days

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 16:14 GMT on Friday 29th March, 2013.

THE Scottish Wildlife Trust has announced proposals to take Cumbernauld’s natural landscape back to the town’s former glory days.

The Trust has announced that their Cumbernauld Living Landscape project will commence on Tuesday, 7th May, 2013.

“The Cumbernauld Living Landscape programme aims to reinforce and expand existing green networks and reconnect the people of the town to their natural environment. In the urban landscape this transformational change will benefit local people, help wildlife and support the regional economy,” a spokesperson said. 

“There is increasing evidence that high quality wildlife rich greenspace - connected through woodlands, glens, meadows and rivers - improves wellbeing and brings social and economic benefits to local communities. However, throughout its short history the new town of Cumbernauld has seen the loss and degradation of many its important natural habitats. Those that have survived have become isolated in a landscape of development and industrialisation.

“By taking action at a large scale now we can ensure that these areas are able to provide clean air, water and safe retreats for people and wildlife. This is crucial for the future survival of our towns and cities.  Creating multifunctional ecosystems and quality green spaces through the heart of the town, the Cumbernauld Living Landscape will protect the environment and create places in which people want to live their lives.”

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The Scottish Wildlife Trust has said that they require people’s help to forward progress their project. 

Locals are encourage to support projects that are taking action at a local grass roots level and volunteer your time or expertise; make your garden wildlife friendly by planting flowers that attract bees and butterflies or creating a pond to encourage amphibians; ask your elected officials to champion high quality, wildlife rich, sustainable developments; and, be an ambassador for the Cumbernauld Living Landscape project

The spokesperson added: “For Cumbernauld to develop and continue to provide us with the quality of life that we desire we need to take a new approach to conservation. By joining forces and working together we can work on a large scale with local people, business and landowners to meet the demands of new houses, jobs and transport infrastructure whilst benefiting from the environment around us.”

The Cumbernauld Living Landscape is led by the Scottish Wildlife Trust, North Lanarkshire Council and the Forestry Commission Scotland; the project’s development is supported by the Central Scotland Green Network with organisations and local community groups such as the Central Scotland Forest Trust, Friends of Cumbernauld Community Park, Friends of Cumbernauld Glen, Friends of Cumbernauld House Park, Froglife, Kyle Citizens Community Hub, Scottish Water and Wild Media Foundation have contributed to the Living Landscape programme plan.

“The project vision is shared by neighbouring landowners, Scottish Wildlife Trust, North Lanarkshire Council and the Forestry Commission Scotland, who together are the project leaders. By working with a wide range of partners and local groups the lead organisations will build upon previous success to deliver and develop projects that connect, enhance and manage over 900 ha of woodland; enhance community activities in the natural environment; influence the design of green infrastructure and sustainable placemaking; restore and  manage 250 ha peatland to reduce erosion whilst capturing carbon; protect the green network through strategic landswaps; improve water quality by expanding Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS),” the Trust spokesperson added.

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