In April 2015, the Cumbernauld Living Landscape partnership was awarded a grant of £75,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund under the Our Heritage scheme. Contributions from the Scottish Wildlife Trust, North Lanarkshire Council and NHS Lanarkshire allowed the Trust to develop and deliver a programme of activities to connect people to and improve the quality of three important greenspaces within Cumbernauld.

The project focused on encouraging young people from marginalised groups to learn about, value and celebrate their local natural heritage. It aimed to give them the opportunity and skills to make real and lasting improvements to their environment. In addition, the project wanted to promote and celebrate the town's greenspaces to the wider community through activities, art and events. The three sites were: St Maurice’s Pond; Ravenswood Local Nature Reserve (both owned North Lanarkshire Council) and SWT’s Cumbernauld Glen Wildlife Reserve.

The raw statistics for the project are impressive:

  • over 200 young people spent time learning about and improving their local greenspaces
  • 60 students from local high schools participated in the 12 week “Natural Connections” workshops; a further 24 Police Scotland Youth Volunteers took part and 157 young people attended a 5 day “SMART WEEK” event
  • to ensure a legacy from these activities, 16 teachers attended Continued Professional Development days to develop their outdoor learning skills
  • to help raise awareness of and celebrate Cumbernauld’s greenspaces, SWT spoke to over 10,354 people at 84 public events and were supported by 135 volunteers
  • the project also hosted 7 work placements and volunteer internships and created two paid traineeships through the Community Jobs Scotland Scheme

The evaluation of the project shows that the biggest impacts were:

  1. The confidence and employability of the young people involved can be shown to have improved with more heading into ‘positive outcomes’
  2. The practical activities that the young people did on the sites inspired the wider community to take action and two new volunteer groups have started, one for practical volunteers and another for 7-12yr olds
  3. SWT’s own knowledge and understanding of the natural heritage and the community use of the sites has significantly increased and this has created a greater focus on active management in Cumbernauld and community participation in future work in Cumbernauld and elsewhere


Breaking news: Congratulations! The Cumbernauld Living Landscapes: Engaging Communities to Enhance Urban Greenspace won the Youth and Education Award at the Nature of Scotland Awards on 23 November. More