Cumbernauld gets ready to defend its Beautiful Scotland title

Written by Scott Campbell. Scott Campbell
Published at 14:29 on 3 May 2014.
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Cumbernauld House Park likely to feature in this year's tour. Pic: Cumbernauld Media.

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CUMBERNAULD Environmental Society is preparing to enter Cumbernauld in this year’s Beautiful Scotland contest after the group secured the town a silver award in last year’s competition.

Adam Smith, vice-chair of Cumbernauld Environmental Society led the judges round the town last year; guiding the team around sites including Greenfaulds Orchard, Ravenswood Local Nature Reserve, Hope Community Garden, Cumbernauld House Park, and, Cumbernauld High School’s Eco-Garden, when they visited the area on August 7th.

Then, at an award ceremony on Friday September 6th last year, Cumbernauld was named as the winner of the ‘Small City’ award – the first time the town had picked up the accolade since the Society began to enter the town to Beautiful Scotland back in 2009, earning the former Carbuncle town a Silver Award each year thereafter. 

In awarding the trophy and certificates to Mr Smith and Barry McComish, Secretary of Cumbernauld Environmental Society, the judges said: “Cumbernauld’s reputation is rather unfairly based on the old shopping centre but, thanks to the work of Cumbernauld Environmental Society and associated organisations working hard, the undoubted beautiful surroundings will come to the fore. The open spaces and mature woodland, as well as wetland habitats, make Cumbernauld a haven for wildlife of all types.”

Welcoming the announcement of Cumbernauld’s success in the awards, Environmental Society vice-chair Adam Smith (right) said: “Cumbernauld’s Carbuncle Award unfairly branded the whole town as the worst in Scotland when Cumbernauld is really a great place to live and has so much to offer. Last year Cumbernauld won a Civic Pride Award at the Scottish Design Awards and Sony Pictures Television has recently chosen Cumbernauld to host their new, multi-million pound Television Studio and Production Base to support the filming of Outlander, a major television production expected to rival Game of Thrones.

“These are just two of Cumbernauld’s many positive achievements which, in conjunction with this Beautiful Scotland award, will hopefully go some way to reversing the negative image which many people have of Cumbernauld,” Mr Smith added.

Adam continued to describe the award and trophy as being a “fantastic achievement for the town”, adding that it, “recognises the numerous hard-working community groups and dedicated individuals who help make Cumbernauld a great place to live, work, and visit”.

Bobby Johnstone, Chair of Cumbernauld Environmental Society, also welcomed the announcement; taking the time to thank everybody for their support.

He said: “I thank everyone who took part in Beautiful Scotland, in any category, as this recognition of their hard work and effort serves to improve the reputation of Cumbernauld. I would particularly like to thank Adam Smith for his great work in compiling the portfolio and for planning and organising the judging visit. I’m fortunate to have such a young and enthusiastic committee who are dedicated to improving the landscape, environment, and reputation of Cumbernauld”.

In preparation for this year’s Beautiful Scotland contest, the town’s Environmental Society have issued an appeal to local groups, asking them to submit details of any projects they’ve recently undertaken, so that they can be included in the town’s entry portfolio. 

Adam Smith, Vice-Chair of Cumbernauld Environmental Society, explained: “While the Beautiful Scotland Portfolio doesn’t contribute towards the overall score, it does present valuable information to the judges about the many great projects going on throughout Cumbernauld.”

Mr Smith then went on the appeal for groups to send the Environmental Society any details of projects which they have undertaken since the judges last visited Cumbernauld.

He added: We’re also looking for projects for the judges to visit when they come to the town later this year and we would encourage any group who is particularly proud of their work to come forward and help Cumbernauld achieve this fantastic award”.

Groups can submit their projects to be included in the Beautiful Cumbernauld portfolio, or to be part of the judging tour later this year, by e-mailing information and any pictures to or by bringing details of the project along to a Cumbernauld Environmental Society meeting. 

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