October 24, 2010 - March 31, 2011

Cumbernauld Living Landscape Project

North Lanarkshire
Employment & Training, Integrated Habitat Network, Landscape Action, Urban Greening, Woodland Creation
CSGN Development Fund
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Lead Partners:
Scottish Wildlife Trust
North Lanarkshire Council, Forestry Commission Scotland, Central Scotland Forest Trust, Cumbernauld Living Landscape, Friends of Cumbernauld Community Park, Friends of Cumbernauld Glen, Friends of Cumbernauld House Park, Cumbernauld Village Action for the Community, Froglife, Kyle Citizen’s Community Hub, Scottish Water, Wild Media Foundation


Cumbernauld's grey concrete exterior is complemented by a rich variety of greenspaces including, landscaped parks, ancient woodland and a 250ha peat bog. However, the town's focus on industry and urban development has resulted in the degradation and fragmentation of many of these greenspaces.

The wide roads that allow traffic to travel unhindered into the heart the town are supplemented by a network of recreational routes, which are ideal for walking and cycling. However, a fear of crime and antisocial behaviour has discouraged the town's population from using this path network for recreation and active travel.

Project background

In 1995 the Scottish Wildlife Trust acquired 290ha of mixed woodlands from the Cumbernauld New Town Development Corporation. This land was transformed into four nature reserves, providing an important haven for plants and wildlife.

While going some way to ameliorate the problem of greenspace degradation, the newly created nature reserves were isolated and surrounded by an otherwise inhospitable landscape for plants and wildlife. There was a clear need to reinforce and expand these greenspaces, making it easier for both local people and wildlife to access the town's woodlands, watercourses and glens. This vision was shared by North Lanarkshire Council and the Forestry Commission Scotland, who joined with the Scottish Wildlife Trust to drive the development of a Cumbernauld Living Landscapes Programme.

How the project was delivered

To encourage collaborative working and increased synergy between projects, the Scottish Wildlife Trust facilitated participatory workshops and meetings with key stakeholders. These meetings sought to identify the environmental projects currently active in the Cumbernauld area and discussed ways to integrate these schemes with the Living Landscape Initiative.

Building on the success of the stakeholder meetings, the Scottish Wildlife Trust contacted all of the organisations involved in environmental projects in Cumbernauld. It gathered information from them about the current status of their projects and any impediments to the future development of these projects.

Using the information gathered from key stakeholders, the Scottish Wildlife Trust identified 21 projects which, if delivered, would contribute to the Cumbernauld Living Landscape. These projects were then incorporated into a programme plan, which was used to prioritise actions and to support applications for further funding.

Project outcomes

The Cumbernauld Living Landscape Programme Plan is a package of different but complementary projects which, when taken as a whole, will effect transformational landscape change in Cumbernauld. It will help to prioritise actions and to guide future investment, and includes:

  • Woodland management and enhancement
  • Peatland management and restoration
  • Invasive species reduction
  • Expansion of SUDS (sustainable urban drainage systems)
  • The design of green infrastructure in a planned development of several thousand houses in Cumbernauld
  • Driving forward strategic land-swaps and management agreements with project partners to enhance the connectivity of the green network
  • Supporting partners to increase and enhance activities which re-connect the urban population with their environment
  • Volunteer programmes, welfare to work and Local Authority Restorative Justice schemes

Quotes from participants and beneficiaries

"This truly inspirational project showcases the very best in community spirit in Cumbernauld. A good quality environment is key to the sustainable development of Scotland's towns and cities, and contributes to our vision for a greener Scotland."

Derek Mackay MSP, Minister for Local Government and Planning

CSGN Support and Learning

The Cumbernauld Living Landscape Initiative encourages partnership working for the delivery of environmental change on a landscape scale. The Programme Plan facilitates the delivery a range of projects that support the themes of the CSGN in the Cumbernauld area. These include:

A place for growth - The environmental initiatives identified in the Programme Plan will be delivered through volunteering and welfare to work schemes, thus increasing recruitment and training in land-based and green employment in the Cumbernauld area.

A place in balance - The Programme Plan has highlighted opportunities for the creation of new woodlands, the sustainable management of existing woodlands and the improved management of peatland.

A place to feel good - The Programme Partners are working collaboratively to maximise and promote access to high-quality greenspace for walking, cycling and other forms of recreation.

A place to belong - The project will encourage sustainable place-making and the establishment of green infrastructure.  For example, SUDS schemes will be expanded to create habitats and to reduce pollution and flood risk.

A place for nature - The Cumbernauld Living Landscape Initiative aims to restore and reconnect habitats, thus creating an integrated habitat network across the Cumbernauld area.

Future development of project

In 2012, the Scottish Wildlife Trust employed a Development Officer. The Development Officer is currently collaborating with key stakeholders to drive forward the of implementation the projects identified in the programme plan.

Funding Details:

Year Fund Value
2010 CSGN Development Fund 5,000
2012 CSGN Development Fund 45,000


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