Known for its urban setting, Cumbernauld in Scotland may not be the first place you think of for a visit to the great outdoors. However, as of 2014, empty shops located in the town are being transformed into natural works of art, representing the reality that 50% of Cumbernauld is actually made up of green spaces, establishing it as one of Scotland’s greenest towns.
Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund’s ‘Sharing Heritage’ initiative, local community groups have been able to work closely with some of Scotland’s most innovative new artists to create installations that reflect natural areas of Cumbernauld, and the important role that they play within the community; each piece is a representation of both the artist and local community group involved in its creation.
Ian McKenzie in front of Living Window Artworks Cumbernauld
The ‘Living Windows’ are designed to represent the many significant green spaces associated with the town, and to encourage both local people and visitors to engage with, and be aware of, the natural world within near proximity, which they may otherwise not have noticed. Often a lack of connectivity means that the potential that these green spaces have is not fully able to be utilised by wildlife or local people. Therefore, Cumbernauld Living Landscape projects are endeavouring to ensure that these areas are fully integrated, and will be able to flourish both now and in the future.
The exhibits are designed to attract the attention and captivate the imagination of visitors, whilst promoting the value of natural spaces. They are intended to reflect spaces around Cumbernauld including Cumbernauld Glen Wildlife Reserve, Palacerigg Country Park and many more important local locations. The project planners are also interested to learn more about the way in which these areas are integrated into local people’s lives, and to understand the variety of different uses that they provide for the community.
Cumbernauld Living Landscape is also endeavouring to preserve, improve and reconnect the green spaces of the town by conducting a number of carefully designed woodland and lowland peat bog projects, while also seeking to further connect communities with their local natural areas. For a full description of their work, and to learn more about the ‘Living Windows’ project, please visit the following website: www.cumbernauldlivinglandscape.org.uk
Over the next 6 weeks, these exhibits can be enjoyed by visitors to Cumbernauld and Antonine shopping centres. The project is also encouraging people to share their experiences of natural experiences in Cumbernauld, which you can do by posting to the Cumbernauld Living Landscape Facebook page or by tweeting @Scotwildlife with #LivingWindow.
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