Making the right connections

When it comes to creating new areas of wildlife habitat and building a strong sense of community the Northern Corridor Community Volunteers are on the right track. Based in North Lanarkshire they can point to an impressive catalogue of pollinator-friendly actions, and much more besides.

Their aim is promoting, protecting and nurturing greenspace for community well-being in the villages of the Northern Corridor in North Lanarkshire.  They do this with a wonderful variety of projects which range from planting pollinator friendly native shrubs and wildflowers along a local path, to litter-picking and community growing, through to the production of information boards which highlight the importance of biodiversity

This wonderful community initiative has a big interest in the local environment and emphasised this by signing up to the Keep Scotland Beautiful ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ scheme which acknowledges and assists groups that seek to add value to their communities.

Now, listing all of the positive steps that the Northern Corridor Community Volunteers have taken would require more than a short blog, so below we have focussed on a few highlights to give a flavour of what they have achieved.

Working in partnership with the Seven Lochs wetland park they group has created eight pollinator habitats on areas of greenspace in Muirhead and Chryston. They have also worked with a local nursery group planting trees and pollinator friendly shrubs in their grounds, and have created a pollinator-friendly garden at a local community centre including a bug hotel which is much loved by the local children.

The group has recognised an opportunity in creating a new woodland using techniques which will restore natural plant communities on the woodland floor which in turn will prove extremely beneficial to pollinators.

That foresight is a hallmark of the group’s activities. They have lobbied their council for more relaxed cutting regimes on amenity grasslands and verges, the intention being to allow wildflowers to thrive, and pollinators to benefit.

Connectivity for pollinator species is high on the agenda these days and in Gartcosh the group stepped in to create a biodiversity area at the local station  – removing dogwood and replanting with native trees and flowering shrubs to support pollinators. In Chryston they complemented that approach by planting a wildflower and tree nursery to ensure a sustainable local supply of pollinator forage for the future.

That ‘eye to the future’ is evident in their involvement with ecological surveys and work with school groups. The recent award of £3000 from the Young Placechangers Ideas Fund is a welcome boost in this regard, and will enable the creation of a forest garden and help engage Youth groups in improving the environmental and biodiversity prospects of the area. Given that we faced a twin-challenge on the climate and biodiversity fronts this is excellent news.

With informal woodlands walks, a strong connection with Paths for All, and walking groups established in Moodiesburn their ambitions to embrace the health benefits of engaging with nature are clear. Plans for the future include a ‘Grow-Cook-Share’ healthy eating and food sharing scheme as well as the creation of an active travel hub.

The group certainly adopt nature-friendly practices at every turn. A good example came with their Woodland Creation Scheme where the use of natural grazing deterrents such as hawthorn and blackthorn is being employed to keep inquisitive roe deer at bay. 

As the above demonstrates this is a team that makes connections and plans for the future. I expect we will hear a lot more about the work of the Northern Corridor Community Volunteers in the future.

Find out more about the group on their website @ www.ourgreenspace.org

Follow the group’s activities on facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/groups/NCCVols/