Future of country park and nature reserve at Trumpington Meadows secured
The ownership of the country park and nature reserve at Trumpington Meadows is to be transferred to the Wildlife Trust in a move that will keep the green space available for the community.
Grosvenor Property UK and the Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) have agreed the terms for a financial endowment to the Wildlife Trust to secure the future of the 148-acre country park and nature reserve within a 1,200-home neighbourhood in Cambridge.
It comes as the partners celebrate 10 years since the first residents were welcomed to the development, which is now reaching maturity as a thriving community on the southern fringe of the city.
Martin Baker, conservation manager at the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire, said: “When developers, planners and conservationists work together we can create homes for people and high-quality space for nature – Trumpington Meadows is a great example of this.
“We took agricultural land with little wildlife present and have transformed it into a reserve where wildflowers, butterflies and birds are thriving. It’s also hugely popular with local people, even more so recently when green spaces close to our homes became vital for all our wellbeing.
“We hope it inspires other developers to create partnerships early in the planning process with their local Wildlife Trust.”
The country park was delivered as part of the redevelopment of the area and spans wildflower meadows, riverside habitats and woodland areas.
The success of conservation efforts has seen species return to the site quicker than expected. Former potato testing fields are now home to a range of flora and fauna, including European otters, Small Blue (the UK’s smallest butterfly) and skylarks, one of the country’s most endangered farmland bird species.
Impact assessments show a 46 per cent biodiversity net gain since construction started over 10 years ago.
The Wildlife Trust has maintained the country park and nature reserve since 2015 but its partnership with Grosvenor and USS goes back to 2008, when the trust was selected to help shape the green spaces at Trumpington Meadows. The endowment will pay for the trust to undertake the maintenance of the park for an indefinite period.
Andy Sharpe, director, strategic land, Grosvenor, said: “Trumpington Meadows shows what can be achieved when developers are ambitious with their environmental goals, bringing in expert partners like the Wildlife Trust who have the skills and expertise needed to practically deliver them.
“The lessons learnt at Trumpington Meadows will help us to continue to build sustainably and achieve our business-wide biodiversity commitments.
“It isn’t typical for developers to give away a patch of land this size, but in this case it is absolutely the right call.
“The country park is a valuable community asset and this agreement will safeguard this green space for generations to come.”