Take a walk on the Broadwood

BROADWOOD Loch in Cumbernauld is a popular outdoor space for the local community with eight out of ten people who use the site doing so on a weekly or daily basis according to research from Central Scotland Forest Trust (CSFT).

In particular, nine out of ten respondents use the greenspace for leisure walks whilst other widespread uses include general relaxation (36 per cent), dog walking (33 per cent), and wildlife watching (28 per cent).

The environmental charity’s local consultation project on Broadwood Loch in Cumbarnauld aimed to identify the reaction to proposals for the woodland, as well as ascertain the priority areas of improvement for the local community.

In addition to more sedate uses of the site, the findings also revealed the space provides an important backdrop for achieving health benefits, as more than half of the sample (52 per cent) use Broadwood Loch for health walks and more than one third (34 per cent) use the location for active exercise. The site also offers a valuable environment for families with 35 per cent using it for family time and 23 per cent for children’s play.

Mike Batley, sustainable development officer at CSFT, said: “Our community consultation project has provided us with a greater understanding of the importance of Broadwood Loch to the local community, as well as the range of activities the site is used for.

“The survey has revealed the variety of motivations people have for using the woodland including relaxation, health and environmental benefits amongst others, and we are encouraged by the fact that eight out of ten respondents have said they will be even more likely to use the area if their preferred improvements for the site take place.

“We strongly value the opinion of the local community and will endeavour to incorporate the constructive feedback within our plans. Feedback on the consultation and recommendations for early action will be given at the Cumbernauld Environment Society’s November meeting.”

The Broadwood Loch project is a partnership between CSFT and North Lanarkshire Council and the proposals seek to deliver a range of improvements to the woodland area, ranging from enhanced signage and interpretation to the creation of natural play and fenced picnic areas.

For further information about the Broadwood Loch survey, please contact Mike Batley at CSFT on [email protected]

For further information on CSFT, please visit www.csft.org.uk