YOU might not know that a water vole’s poo is green, or that bees like flowers we call weeds, but the children of Easterhouse do.

They know a lot about blackbirds, squirrels and ladybirds too, thanks to a new, free activity trail at Blairtummock Park.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how many of the animals on the trail we can spot,” explains Lily, who is seven, excitedly. “I'm going to REALLY keep my eyes peeled.”

Lily, from Easterhouse, along with three-year-old Theo from Springhill and Carntyne boys Bethel, seven, Brown, five, and Elihu, three, are some of the first young adventurers to explore the New Neighbours trail, developed by local children and artist Cara Rooney.

Glasgow Times: Cara Rooney with the guide

Packed with multi-sensory activities, storytelling and games, it encourages children to explore different habitats in the East End park, which is part of the Seven Lochs Wetlands, Scotland’s largest urban heritage and nature park between Glasgow and North Lanarkshire.

Over a series of workshops focusing on the importance of greenspaces for people and wildlife, as well as the small steps people can take to look after the park, Cara and the children came up with the characters in the guide, and its colourful, cheerful design.

Glasgow Times: L-R Ivan McKee MSP for Glasgow Provan, Margaret Janet McCormick of Platform, Simon Bilcock, of

“The workshops, with local groups including Platform’s holiday and art clubs, Pavillion’s youth club and Brighter East End (BEE), consisted of inspiration walks, taking visual notes of creatures, nature and possible activities in Blairtummock,” says Cara.

“We then used rolls of paper to create a collaborative map of Easterhouse and the park, embellishing it with imagined creatures, stories and collage.”

Glasgow Times: Theo, 3, from Springhill with mum Rebecca and grandad Jim

Initially, she adds, there was “low interest” in exploring nature, particularly in the park, which is seen as a through route for local people on their way to other destinations.

“There was also a limited understanding of the history of the location and why the park has been created – to help water voles, and the need for a flood protection area,” adds Cara.

Glasgow Times: Children from Easterhouse helped to create the trail

“We’re hoping we can connect local families to nature through the unique opportunity of seeing a new nature trail grow and bloom.

“It was so nice to see children and young people out drawing, making visual collections of seen insects, animals and landmarks.

“It will be great to see the trail in action with local residents and visitors to the area. As time goes on and the park grows taller, the space will welcome lots of new nature neighbours too."

Glasgow Times: The New Neighbours trail guides

Debbie McMahon, child and youth development co-ordinator for BEE (Brighter East End), said: “The children and young people have loved being involved in this project from the start, from initially exploring the area and taking part in workshops with Cara, to seeing their ideas and designs come to life in the booklet.

“They couldn't wait to show off the guide to their parents, telling them how they had helped to make it.”

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Councillor Ruairi Kelly, chairperson of the Seven Lochs Partnership and Glasgow City Council’s convener for neighbourhood services and assets, said: “We want the Seven Lochs Wetland Park to be a great place for people to discover the nature on their doorstep.

“Cara worked with kids from the local community to develop the Blairtummock Trail, which we hope will help others learn about the neighbourhood nature  they might meet on a walk round the park.”

Gerry Baldwin, chairperson of Blairtummock and Rogerfield Partnership and CEO of FUSE and Pavillion, said: “We hope that this is the start of a journey which will turn this area into an exciting asset for the children and families in the local community.”

Matt Addicott, artistic director of Platform, said: ‘Cara has worked closely with children and young people, listening to their ideas and imaginations.

“They have created a brilliant resource and we are excited to share and celebrate what they have made together. We hope people will head along, grab a guide and get active.”

You can check out the guide on the Seven Lochs website, via QR codes on posts on the trail or pick up a hard copy at Platform arts centre in Easterhouse.