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24 projects near completion under vision for Cambridge Nature Network





Twenty-four projects to benefit nature in the Cambridge region will have been completed by the end of March

They are part of efforts to deliver a National Nature Recovery Network, and will be discussed at a free panel discussion on Thursday (November 3).

Cambridge PPF estate manager Ed Wombwell with Cambridge Nature Network officer Natalie Lambert at Wandlebury Country Park. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge PPF estate manager Ed Wombwell with Cambridge Nature Network officer Natalie Lambert at Wandlebury Country Park. Picture: Keith Heppell

The discussion, hosted by the conservation charity Cambridge Past, Present & Future, will explore the work on the Cambridge Nature Network, which includes the creation of a new wetland at Logan’s Meadow designed to make it more resilient to climate change and benefit species such as water voles, kingfishers and otters.

Some 1,630 trees were planted at Wandlebury Country Park, where 0.64 hectares of land was purchased and is being managed to improve the quality of the rare chalk grassland habitat.

A new Wandlebury viewpoint at sunset. Picture: Cambridge PPF (60310532)
A new Wandlebury viewpoint at sunset. Picture: Cambridge PPF (60310532)

Landscaping works and seeding are planned at Stourbridge Common, Coldham’s Common, Barnwell Meadows and Midsummer Common to create better wetland and meadow habitat for flowers and insects, while a rewilding project involving volunteers is under way at Coton Reserve which will create meadow, woodland and pond habitats.

The projects also include:

  • Veteran tree restoration at Sheep’s Green;
  • Habitat creation and intervention in Histon and Impington, with hedgerows restored and bird and bat boxes installed;
  • The conversion of 725 square metres of school land at five schools - Milton Road, Queen Emma, Arbury Primary, Netherhall and St Bede’s - into wildflower meadows, with associated educational activities; and
  • Community bulb and fruit bush planting in Orchard Park.
Cambridge Nature Network officer Natalie Lambert at Wandlebury Country Park. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge Nature Network officer Natalie Lambert at Wandlebury Country Park. Picture: Keith Heppell

Natalie Lambert, Cambridge Nature Network officer, said: “Transformational work is taking place to help nature and our communities. We want people to understand the power of collaborative action and encourage people to think about how they can play their part.

Eighteen of the projects have been completed or are near completion already, with the rest due to be finished by the end of March to aid the area’s resilience to climate change, while restoring areas of downland, fens, meadows, waterways and woodlands.

The Cambridge Nature Network was launched in 2021 to help nature can thrive and provide wild places for people to enjoy on their doorstep.

The Friends of Logan’s Meadow planting trees in December 2021
The Friends of Logan’s Meadow planting trees in December 2021

Grants from the government’s Green Recovery Fund and Natural England’s Nature Recovery Programme have kick started the Cambridge Nature Network vision.

Completed projects include creating new woodlands, wetlands and meadows, working with school children to provide nature in their grounds, helping landowners and communities take their own action and connecting people to nature through a Cambridge Nature Festival.

Charities, councils, community groups, landowners, schools, contractors and individuals have been involved, and more details on their work are available at cambridgenaturenetwork.org.

A family planting trees. Picture: Friend’s of Logan’s Meadow (60310530)
A family planting trees. Picture: Friend’s of Logan’s Meadow (60310530)

Natalie added: “There are lots of other projects that we would like to be able to deliver that could make a real difference to our wildlife and our communities, so we are looking at ways we can raise the funds for these. We can all play a part in nature’s recovery.

“I would really encourage people and local businesses to take a look at the website to find out what is going on and consider how they could help.”

The panel discussion takes place at 7.15pm on Thursday, November 3 at the David Attenborough Building in Cambridge. The event is free, but tickets must be booked in advance at cambridgeppf.org.



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