Current Projects

The Cambridge Nature Network aims to enable the recovery of nature in the Cambridge area. The vision of the network is to have significant areas of downland, fens, meadows, waterways, and woodlands in and around Cambridge, that are interconnected with other nature sites and corridors. These larger spaces for nature and their improved connectivity will allow animals and plants to circulate and thrive and will provide more green spaces for people to enjoy nature on their doorstep.

The Nature Network is a long-term vision that will be achieved over many decades through the ongoing delivery of new projects. You can find information about current and previous projects below.

Each of these projects will create new or better habitats for nature and they range in scope and scale from the large-scale conversion of farmland to small community projects. The range of organisations and people involved in these projects is really inspiring and includes local charities, local authorities, community groups, local landowners and farmers, universities and colleges, schools, contractors and individual people helping to plant trees and sow seeds. Collectively these projects and the efforts of those involved will make a difference over time.

For information about individual projects please contact the delivery organisation. If you would like to suggest a project or see your project added, please contact nature@cambridgeppf.org

Project: Expand Wandlebury Country Park with the purchase of a meadow to provide public access and improve habitat quality.

Location: Wandlebury Country Park, Gog Magog Hills. CB22 3AE.

Organisations: Cambridge Past, Present & Future

When: 2020-22

Outcomes: Create 0.81 hectares of public access chalk grassland (previously private land). Contractors will install 450m of stock-proof fencing, a cattle trough and 5 gates. The area will be under long-term management for chalk grassland, enabling it to be grazed which is necessary to achieve the desired habitat. The public will be able to use the meadow, including a wonderful view over Cambridge.

Funders: Green Recovery Challenge Fund, Cambridge Past Present & Future

Keeper’s Meadow – Before project completion

Project: Expand Wandlebury Country Park with the purchase of land for new habitat creation. Plant and provide access to a new woodland.

Location: Wandlebury Country Park, Gog Magog Hills. CB22 3AE.

Organisations: Cambridge Past, Present & Future

When: 2021-22

Outcomes: Create 0.81 hectares of new woodland with a new path and install fencing (previously private farmland). Volunteers will plant 1130 trees and shrubs, will undertake aftercare and will install fencing.

Funders: Green Recovery Challenge Fund, Cambridge Past, Present & Future

Volunteer tree planting day – new woodland

Project: Convert farmland in Coton Countryside Reserve to a mixture of new habitats to increase biodiversity and improve habitat quality.

Location: Coton Countryside Reserve, Grantchester Rd, Cambridge. CB23 7PZ.

Organisations: Cambridge Past, Present & Future

When: 2022-23

Outcomes: Convert 0.81 hectares of sheep pasture to a mixture of new woodland, scrub, orchard and rough grassland (already public access). Volunteers will plant 1130 trees and shrubs and will undertake aftercare. The public will be able to use the new mixture of habitats as well as walk through a beautiful new woodland ride.

Funders: Green Recovery Challenge Fund, Cambridge Past, Present & Future

Manor Field – Before project completion

Project: Rewilding project to improve habitat quality and provide public access.

Location: Coton Countryside Reserve, Grantchester Rd, Cambridge. CB23 7PZ.

Organisations: Cambridge Past, Present & Future

When: 2021-22

Outcomes: Provide public access to and improve habitat quality of 2.23 hectares of meadow and scrub (currently no public access). Contractors will install 750m of stock-proof fencing, a cattle trough and 3 gates as well as undertake scrub control. Volunteers will also help with scrub management. The grassland will be under new long-term management for lowland meadow habitat and scrub, enabling it to be grazed which is necessary to achieve the desired habitat. The community will be able to enjoy this wildlife rich habitat.

Funders: Green Recovery Challenge Fund, Cambridge Past, Present & Future

Long Meadow – Before project completion

Project: Reedbed creation on a Local Nature Reserve within the city. This will expand the existing LNR to allow species that inhabit this area to thrive. This will create opportunities for the public to see species such as otter, water vole and kingfisher.

Location: Logan’s Meadow, Chesterton, Cambridge. CB4 1DL.

Organisations: Cambridge City Council

When: 2021-22

Outcomes: Convert amenity grassland into a reedbed to expand the Local Nature Reserve. Contractors will dig a new reedbed and move the spoil off-site. A new reedbed will be planted with reeds by volunteers, creating a beautiful habitat for wildlife to thrive and the public to enjoy.

Funders: Green Recovery Challenge Fund, Cambridge City Council

Logan’s Meadow – Before project completion

Project: Wetland creation on Stourbridge Common to improve water quality in critically important and rare chalk stream habitat.

Location: Stourbridge Common, Cambridge. CB5 8HY.

Organisations: Cambridge City Council

When: 2021-22

Outcomes: Create 0.08 hectares of new wetland to help improve water quality in adjacent Coldham’s Brook Chalk Stream. Contractor will dig a new wetland area and install temporary fencing to protect from cattle. The wetland will be planted with native aquatic species by volunteers.

Funders: Green Recovery Challenge Fund, Cambridge City Council

Project: Trial the restoration of ecologically rich grassland habitats in the city.

Locations: Midsummer Common, Stourbridge Common, Logan’s Meadow, Coldham’s Common and Barnwell Meadows.

Organisations: Cambridge City Council and Cambridge Past, Present & Future

When: 2021-22

Outcomes: Trial the restoration of 0.61 hectares (in total) of ecologically rich grassland in 5 separate locations, which will be accessible to the public. The grasslands are currently of low ecological value and so the top layer will be stripped off and reseeded with wildflower meadow mix. Plots will be monitored and maintained so that they can establish. If these trials are successful then this work could be scaled up to help improve the ecological value of the commons and meadows in and around the city.

Funders: Green Recovery Challenge Fund, Cambridge City Council, Cambridge Past, Present & Future

Project: Restoration and remedial works to veteran trees within a city centre parkland.

Location: Sheep’s Green

Organisations: Cambridge City Council

When: 2021-22

Outcomes: Restore and conduct remedial works to 58 veteran trees across 8.7 hectares of habitat. Contractors will carry out pollarding works to strengthen the trees and open up the canopy to provide light to ground flora.

Funders: Natural England – Nature Recovery Project , Cambridge City Council

Project: Woodland habitat creation on amenity grass in Cambridge City.

Location: Logan’s Meadow, Chesterton, Cambridge. CB4 1DL.

Organisations: Cambridge City Council

When: 2021-22

Outcomes: Create 0.48 hectares of woodland habitat to improve habitat quality and for the public to enjoy. Trees planted by the local community.

Funders: Natural England – Nature Recovery Project, Cambridge City Council

Logan’s Meadow – Before project completion
Volunteer tree planting day – 250 trees planted

Project: Expand Wandlebury Country Park through land purchase and convert arable farmland into nature rich chalk grassland and woodland that can be enjoyed by the public.

Location: Wandlebury Country Park, Gog Magog Hills. CB22 3AE.

Organisations: Cambridge Past, Present & Future

When: 2020-22

Outcomes: Create 9.4 hectares of chalk grassland and 0.69 hectares of woodland and scrub on arable land. The public will have access to these beautiful grasslands and native woodland. Contractors will install 1500m of livestock fencing with eight gates and three cattle troughs so that the habitat can be maintained by grazing over the long term. The ground will be prepared and wildflower seeds. Volunteers will plant trees.

Funders: Natural England – Nature Recovery Project, Cambridge Past, Present & Future

Proposed woodland and scrub area – before project completion

Project: Convert a horse paddock near Coton into a woodland to increase biodiversity and for public benefit. A woodland ride will allow access through the woodland between Cambridge Road and Madingley Road.

Location: Coton, 52°12’54.5″N 0°03’50.4″E

Organisations: Cambridge Past, Present & Future

When: 2021-22

Outcomes: Create 1.77 hectares of woodland with the addition of 200 metres of permissive access paths with provision of gates and signage. Volunteers will plant 2200 trees.

Funders: Natural England – Nature Recovery Project, Cambridge Past Present & Future

Madingley Paddock – before project completion
Madingley Paddock – volunteer tree planting day

Project: Convert farmland in Coton Countryside Reserve to a new woodland to increase biodiversity, link habitats and reduce noise and air pollution from the M11.

Location: Coton Countryside Reserve, Grantchester Rd, Cambridge. CB23 7PZ.

Organisations: Cambridge Past, Present & Future

When: 2021

Outcomes: Create 0.31 hectares of woodland near the M11. Volunteers to plant 400 trees.

Funders: Natural England – Nature Recovery Project, Cambridge Past, Present & Future, Woodland Trust (free trees scheme)

CCR woodland site – before project completion
CCR woodland site – volunteer tree planting day (with canine helper!)

Project: Convert significant area of arable farmland in the Gog Magog Hills to create a mixture of chalk grassland meadow, scrub and woodland.

Location: Lower Valley Farm, Fulbourn area, next to Roman Road

Organisations: Cambridgeshire County Council

When: 2021-23

Outcomes: The County Council is progressing the creation of 60 hectares of chalk grassland across an arable farm. This will include: installing fencing, gates and drinking troughs (including water supply), carrying out ground preparation and sowing seeds and planting trees, scrub and hedgerows. The land will be under new long-term management enabling it to be grazed which is necessary to achieve the desired habitat.

Funders:

Project: On the Verge will deliver a ‘School Meadow Project’ in five schools.

Locations: Milton Rd Primary School, Chesterton Community College, Arbury Primary School, North Cambridge Academy, St Bede’s School.

Organisation: On the Verge Cambridge

When: 2021-22

Outcomes: Convert lawn areas into wildflower habitat, involving ground preparation and seeding with native seed mix. Plant spring bulbs. Create log piles, bug houses and beetle banks. Install bat/bird boxes. OTV, school staff and school children to carry out this project.

Funders: Natural England – Nature Recovery Project

Arbury Primary School – bee banks created and soil readied for wildflower seeds

Progress at Arbury Primary School showing the creation of bee banks and a wildflower habitat.

Project: Natural Cambridgeshire (NC) offers grants of up to £1k for community groups to carry out nature improvement projects in parks, such as tree planting. Natural England funding will offer support to NC for two of the community groups’ projects

Locations: 1. Orchard Park, Community Projects in Parks, Cambridge Co-housing.
2. East Meadow, Midsummer Common, Cambridge.

Organisations: Natural Cambridgeshire & Future Parks

When: 2021-22

Outcomes: 1. Cambridge Co-housing will support the purchase of bulbs and plants to create wildlife rich habitats within the local green spaces.
2. Mid-Summer Common Feasibility Study, Eastern Meadow Nature Area will support the restoration of the historic habitat.

Funders: Natural England – Nature Recovery Project

Cambridge Co-housing project – volunteers planting bulbs and trees

Project: Convert arable land in the Barton area to a new grassland meadow; increasing biodiversity, linking habitats and improving habitat quality.

Location: Bird’s Farm, Barton.

Organisation: Wild Farms Trust

When: 2021-22

Outcomes: Create 4 hectares of a mosaic of neutral grassland and scrub on former arable land. Carry out ground preparation and sow seeds for a beautiful wildlife rich meadow.

Funders: Natural England – Nature Recovery Project, Wild Farms Trust

Project: Convert arable land in the Fulbourn area to a new chalk grassland meadow; increasing biodiversity, linking habitats and improving habitat quality to allow threatened chalk grassland species to thrive.

Location: Fulbourn Fen, Stonebridge Lane, Fulbourn, Cambridge CB21 5BW.

Organisation: The Wildlife Trusts BCN

When: 2021-22

Outcomes: Create 3 hectares of chalk grassland on former arable land as an extension to the SSSI. Carry out the BNG assessment. Install fencing, gates and drinking troughs (including water supply). Carry out ground preparation and sow seeds. Write 30-year management plan. The land will be under new long-term management for chalk grassland habitat, enabling it to be grazed which is necessary to achieve the desired habitat.

Funders: Natural England – Nature Recovery Project, Wildlife Trust BCN

Project: A series of small-scale interventions on drainage channels feeding the Bin Brook: mini wetlands, slow the flow log jams and silt traps. This will improve the habitat and also help to improve water quality.

Location: Coton Countryside Reserve

Organisation: Norfolk Rivers Trust and Cambridge Past, Present & Future

When: 2021-22

Outcomes: These projects have been identified from a feasibility study carried out to address water quality and flooding issues in the Bin Brook catchment. Work includes design of features and obtaining consents, digger to create features and planting of new wetland by volunteers. Also coppicing vegetation to allow light to reach the Brook.

Funders: Natural England – Nature Recovery Project, Cambridge Past, Present & Future

Project: A series of small-scale interventions to improve habitats for increased biodiversity around Histon and Impington.

Location: Histon and Impington villages.

Organisation: Histon and Impington Parish Council

When: 2021-22

Outcomes: Undertake baseline measurement of biodiversity at selected sites. Improve 3.6 hectares of habitat including installing bird & bat boxes, creation of small structures to provide habitat for small mammals, lizards, beetles etc., sowing wildflowers, replacing coarse grass species with finer, more biodiversity-friendly grasses and winter mowing in meadows to encourage plant diversity. Create and improve 300m of hedgerows to improve habitat for biodiversity.

Funders: Natural England – Nature Recovery Project

Project: Engage with landowners covering the land between Roman Road SSSI, Devils Dyke SSSI and Fleam Dyke SSSI and develop landscape scale management plans.

Location: Roman Road SSSI, Devils Dyke SSSI and Fleam Dyke SSSI.

Organisations: Cambridgeshire County Council

When: 2021-22

Outcomes: To increase biodiversity and habitat connectivity to allow internationally important chalk grassland species to thrive, such as rare Chalkhill Blue butterflies and goat-scented Lizard Orchids.

Funders: Natural England – Nature Recovery Project