Local charity celebrates a decade of investment at Coton Countryside Reserve

22nd May 2014Coton Countryside ReserveCorporate supportFundingGreen Belt

Around fifty people gathered at Coton Countryside Reserve on Wednesday night to help Cambridge Past Present & Future (CambridgePPF) celebrate a decade of investment at the site, which it owns and manages as a working farm with multiple public access routes.

The event – kindly sponsored by Carter Jonas and Birketts – included an exhibition and a BBQ for members of the charity. There was also a guided walk to the top of Red Meadow Hill for a quiz (supported by the Blue Lion in Hardwick), which culminated at sunset with the lighting of the charity’s celebration beacon.

Coton Countryside Reserve is a 300-acre site located in the city’s Green Belt and is the second major green space in the CambridgePPF property portfolio – alongside Wandlebury Country Park.

Over the last ten years CambridgePPF has made major improvements at Coton with the help of its members, volunteers, local businesses, various funders and grant making bodies. Achievements include:

  • Doubling the number of recreational routes through the reserve, creating new links with West Cambridge and Coton village
  • Installing essential bridges and bridleways, and creating a spine route for cyclists, runners, horse riders, wheelchair and pram users
  • Planting more than 1.5 miles of hedgerow; 10,000 trees and shrubs; and in excess of 200 traditional fruit trees located in two orchards and dotted around the site
  • Creating six hectares of new meadows and pastures
  • Building a seasonal pond and installing multiple bird boxes
  • Introducing enhanced farming practices with new field margins to attract insects; stubbled fields; rough corners and skylark plots
  • Implementing the first phase of a visitor car park with picnic areas, a balancing pond and a viewing deck.

Carolin Gohler, CEO of CambridgePPF, said: “As Cambridge continues to grow, the availability of green, tranquil spaces, to which people can escape, will become increasingly important. The founders of our charity realised this a long time ago – acquiring land at Coton back in the 1930s. The last decade has seen us transform the Reserve, making changes that will have a positive effect on the environment for many years to come. If you haven’t visited the Reserve before, I’d recommend a trip out to see it this summer so you can find out more about our work. It’s the perfect place for a stroll and a picnic and there are some glorious hilltop views across to the city and local countryside.”

CambridgePPF continues to enhance the environment at Coton Countryside Reserve. The charity is currently working hard to finish the construction of a brand new bridge across the Bin Brook – creating a new access route into the site from the village. In the future the charity would also like to secure funding for more seats; the installation of a compost toilet; and eventually a modest Reserve Centre.

If you are interested in sponsoring one of these projects, or would like to know more about the proposals and CambridgePPF’s work at Coton Countryside Reserve – including how to become a member – please contact: Mary Nealon at CambridgePPF by email: development@cambridgeppf.org or on: 01223 243830.


Cambridge Past, Present & Future are pleased to be working with Cambridge web designers ibe, who kindly donated the design of this site.


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