New Wildflower Area For Cumbernauld House Park

Cumbernauld House Park now features a new wildflower area, thanks to the work of the staff and pupils of Kildrum Primary School and a grant from Keep Scotland Beautiful.

A small area of the park, close to Cumbernauld Glen, has now been planted with a range of wildflower plug plants following a visit from senior pupils of Kildrum Primary School, who thoroughly enjoyed their visit to the park and getting their hands dirty to create this new wildflower area. The plants were purchased following a grant of £250 from Keep Scotland Beautiful, distributing funds from Tesco, following the implementation of the Scottish carrier bag charge.

150529 CHP Planting1

Six local groups, including the Friends of Cumbernauld House Park, were successful in securing £250 Keep Scotland Beautiful grants. Mark Bevan, Director at Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: “We’re delighted to have been able to award six groups in the Cumbernauld area with £250 each, to make small improvements in their local neighbourhoods. In total 200 grants have been awarded by Keep Scotland Beautiful, building on the support we already give to thousands of communities across Scotland”.

Adam Smith, Chair of the Friends of Cumbernauld House Park, said “We hope this section of the park will become a vibrant wildflower area, complimenting the fantastic character of Cumbernauld House Park and creating a haven for wildlife through improved biodiversity, and we thank Kildrum Primary School and Keep Scotland Beautiful for their invaluable assistance with this project”.

150529 CHP Planting2

The plug plant varieties now featured within the park include Red Campion, Wood Sage, Dog Violet, Meadowsweet, Wood Forget Me Not, Foxglove, Wood Avens, Cowslip, and Ragged Robin. Seeds were also sown from the Grow Wild campaign, in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, and include the varieties Yellow Rattle, and Meadow Buttercup, among others.

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Historical Intrigue at Cumbernauld Castle

A recent donation to the University of Toronto’s Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library included sixty historical charters, documents which typically made a grant of land, a number of which contained information on the former Cumbernauld Castle, which once stood within the area currently known as Cumbernauld House Park.

One of these charters, dated 3rd November 1421, was issued at Cumbernauld Castle and was used to formally grant James Fleming his father’s land, following allegations of murder, and was signed by his cousin, Malcolm Fleming, Lord of Biggar and holder of the barony of Cumbernauld.

Fleming Charter

Professor Michael Brown, Professor of Medieval Scottish History at the University of St Andrews, said “What was going on in November 1421 was no simple property deal but involved a degree of coercion of the lesser man, James Fleming, by his more powerful cousin. Direct evidence of the extent of this coercion is provided by a final document.

“In this, James Fleming clears Malcolm Fleming of Biggar and his accomplices of any part in the death of his father, Patrick Fleming, and agrees to end any hostility towards Malcolm.  This record makes clear that the land transactions were associated with the killing of their previous holder.

“It is surely not a huge stretch to suggest that Patrick Fleming had been killed in a dispute over his estates and that, after his death, his son was being forced to surrender the lands in question to a man implicated in the killing.

“There is undoubtedly more to this story to be revealed and the analysis of the other documents in the collection will be a vital part of this”.

Adam Smith, Chair of the Friends of Cumbernauld House Park, said “The discovery and analysis of these documents is fascinating and helps us to understand a little more about medieval life in Scotland, and the Cumbernauld area. Cumbernauld Castle is thought to have been an impressive structure with a rich history, and we hope to learn even more about the predecessor of Cumbernauld House in the near future”.

The charter collection is contributing to a project currently underway at the St Andrews Institute of Scottish Historical Research looking into the impact of the Flemish people on Scotland. Further details of the charter discovery, and more information on the Scotland and the Flemish People project, can be found online at

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Cumbernauld House Park Needs You

Over the last few years, the Friends of Cumbernauld House Park have been working to develop a number of exciting projects and to give Cumbernauld House Park the facilities, amenities, and the quality of access, it deserves.

Our planned projects currently include installation of an Outdoor Gym and construction of a new footpath. The Outdoor gym would be constructed with reinforced and treated wood, preserving the character of the park, and the new footpath would link Cumbernauld House with Park Way, unobtrusively following the treeline.

We will always respect the history and character of the park and we also hope to further explore its rich heritage with a community archaeology project, overseen by professionals, with the land entirely reinstated to a good quality following any temporary exacvation.

We welcome feedback on these projects, and any other suggestions of potential improvements, either in person at our public meetings, via our ‘Contact Us’ page, or on Facebook at

We urgently need volunteers to support our group by contributing as little as 1 hour per month. Please come to our next meeting, on Monday 9th March at 7pm in Cumbernauld Theatre, and help us to improve your park.

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Games Legacy Project For Cumbernauld House Park

The Friends of Cumbernauld House Park are delighted to announce the creation of a special Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Legacy wildflower area. In partnership with the Games’ Youth Legacy Ambassadors, a special event taking place this weekend will see over 300 seedballs planted within the park. These seedballs were created by visitors from all over the world who came to Glasgow during this year’s Commonwealth Games, said to have been the best Games ever.

On Saturday, 18th October, from 10am to 12pm, we will be hosting a community planting event in the park and anyone is invited to come along and help us to plant these seedballs, with no tools required. The wildflower area will be created along a small section of the eastern edge of the park, towards the entrance to Cumbernauld Glen from Meadow View.

As part of this fantastic Commonwealth Games Legacy project, we also expect to be presented with a special commemorative bench in the near future. This bench will be located close to the wildflower area and, from it’s elevated position, will offer fantastic views of the park and Cumbernauld House.

We thank everyone for their continued support of our work to improve and promote the park and we hope to see you on Saturday morning.

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Outdoor Gym Project Progresses

The proposed new Cumbernauld Outdoor Gym has taken a further step towards completion recently with positive discussions with North Lanarkshire Council indicating the project could potentially be funded from the Council’s Local Development Programme.

It is proposed that the gym will be comprised of ten items of timber fitness equipment, fitting in with the character of the park by using natural materials, and costing less than £20,000. It is planned for the gym to be located at the western edge of the park, next to the road turning to Cumbernauld Theatre. This location will ensure residents of the nearby Kildrum streets will not be disturbed, and views of (and from) Cumbernauld House will not be interrupted.

The project will include a new path, from the pedestrian gate entrance next to Cumbernauld House to the gym, and a new timber bridge over the Ha-Ha (medieval ditch). We hope to be working with the North Lanarkshire Council Restorative Justice Team and the Territorial Army Engineers respectively on these elements of the project.

The Friends of Cumbernauld House Park have been working on the Outdoor Gym project for almost one year, in association with coaches from Cumbernauld Colts, a local community football team. Preliminary consultation has included notification of the project on park notice boards, a Cumbernauld News article, discussion at monthly Friends of Cumbernauld House Park meetings, as well as mentions at meetings of Kildrum Community Council, Cumbernauld Environmental Society, and Cumbernauld Community Forum.

This is an excellent project which will ensure professional fitness equipment will be free for all local people and visitors of Cumbernauld House Park to use for the foreseeable future, boosting health and wellbeing in the town and fitting in with the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games legacy. We look forward to consulting further on this proposal once a provisional landscape plan is available.

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Community Planting Event

The Friends of Cumbernauld House Park invite local people to come along to their Community Planting Event in the park on Sunday 27th October from 11am. The event is being held as part of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Wild About Gardens Week and the Cumbernauld House Park activity is one of only six planting events being held throughout Central Scotland.

Adam Smith, Chair of the Friends of Cumbernauld House Park, said “We really hope as many people as possible come along to our Community Planting Event and help us to bring some colour to the park. We’ll be planting bulbs and saplings near our new parking area in Castle Way and hopefully this will create a more attractive and welcoming entrance at this section of the park”.

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Fun Day 2013

On Saturday 22nd June, the Friends of Cumbernauld Glen and the Friends of Cumbernauld House Park will be holding a Fun Day in the park from 12pm to 3pm.

There will be pet activities, face painting, wood carving, nature and wildlife walks, and historic tours of the park and glen, amongst other fun activities for adults and children alike.

All activities will take place at the bottom of Cumbernauld House Park, close to the entrance to Cumbernauld Glen. Free parking is available towards the rear of Cumbernauld House. We hope to see you there!

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Where’s Our Car Park

Frustrated community group, the Friends of Cumbernauld House Park, this week demanded action be taken to finalise a car park promised to the area two years ago. When North Lanarkshire Council granted planning permission for the conversion of, grade-A listed, Cumbernauld House, planning conditions clearly stated “the public car park for Cumbernauld House Park users plus access to the car park shall be formed and available for use prior to the occupation of the first residential unit”. The group believes at least one residential unit is now occupied but they are still waiting for the largest town park in North Lanarkshire to have a properly formed car park.

The original Design Statement submitted to North Lanarkshire Council for the Cumbernauld House development stated “CHB Developments (Cumbernauld House owners) have proposed that the remaining section of the west yard be designated as public car parking. This would provide approximately 43 public spaces, adjacent to the entrance to the allotments”. The Design Statement also displayed the proposed design for the car park, showing a properly formed car park, with lined spaces, and an overgrown area of planting removed to maximise available space, but none of this has been delivered.

Car Park Overgrowth

This area was to be removed and made accessible for parking

Repeated contact between the Friends of Cumbernauld House Park and North Lanarkshire Council have proved to be a waste of time as the car park area remains under the ownership of Cumbernauld House, with the owners unwilling to fulfil their planning obligations and eager for North Lanarkshire Council to take ownership of the land, something they won’t do while in its present condition.

North Lanarkshire Council have actually deemed the planning condition to be closed as the area is being used for parking but Adam Smith, Chair of the Friends of Cumbernauld House Park, said “The only reason the car park area is being used is because there is nowhere else to for the users of Cumbernauld House Park to leave their vehicles. The car park area is in an incredibly poor condition and; with inadequate lighting, trip hazards, and dense woodland; is a danger to personal safety. The access road is also riddled with potholes and presents a risk of serious damage to vehicles and the potential for injury. We need this car parking area, and the access road from the Wilderness Brae, to be upgraded to a reasonable standard as soon as possible, and we will be discussing this at our next meeting and AGM, which will take place on Monday 8th April at 7pm in Cumbernauld Theatre”.

Car Park Pot Hole

This pot hole is on the access road to the parking area

Another planning condition states that directional signage to the car park “shall be erected prior to the occupation of the first residential unit”. Until recently, the only signage in place was a faded piece of wood nailed to a tree. This has since been removed and now leaves no signage at all. This appears to be another planning condition which the Cumbernauld House owners have failed to carry out and which North Lanarkshire Council have failed to enforce.

In November last year, the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman upheld a complaint against North Lanarkshire Council for having failed to enforce planning conditions set on a residential development requiring the upgrading of an access road, and it appears North Lanarkshire Council may not have learned their lesson from previous mistakes.

Access Road Pot Holes

Pot holes on the access road from the Wilderness Brae

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AGM 2012/2013

Our next meeting, and AGM, will take place on Monday 8th April at 7pm in the lower bar of Cumbernauld Theatre. Guest speaker will be Ian McKenzie, from the Scottish Wildlife Trust, who will speak about the Cumbernauld Living Landscape Project. We will also discuss the proposed Community Archaeology Project to investigate the the former Cumbernauld Castle, as well as plans for promoting and improving Cumbernauld House Park further over the next year. All are welcome to attend and we hope to see you there.

Park Way Noticeboard 30/03/13

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Cumbernauld News Response

A recent Cumbernauld News article stated that our plans for a Community Archaeology project wasn’t feasible. Unfortunately the Cumbernauld News didn’t approach ourselves for a comment on the article and the below letter was submitted to them for publication in the next edition.


Last week’s Cumbernauld News reported on comments by John Kirkhope, a local architect, under the headline “Archaeological dig ‘unlikely to be a success’”. As Chair of the Friends of Cumbernauld House Park I was disappointed to read these comments from someone who has not attended any of our meetings or made any attempt to contact the group to find out more about our plans for a community archaeology project.

We hope to deliver a professionally supported, community-led archaeology project to investigate the former Cumbernauld Castle, delivered in an education and training environment with input from schools, community groups, and local individuals. We have taken advice from two professional archaeology firms, spoken with the Heritage Lottery Fund, and discussed the matter with North Lanarkshire Council, all of whom fully support our project.

We are delighted that the community have already shown great interest in our plans, with attendances at our monthly meetings having increased as a result and, despite the comments made last week, we will be pressing ahead with our attempts to develop a community archaeology project to investigate and explore the ruins of the former Cumbernauld Castle. Anyone who wants to find out more about the project, and about the work of the Friends of Cumbernauld House Park, is welcome to attend our next meeting and AGM on Monday 8th April in Cumbernauld Theatre at 7pm.

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