Current consultation on proposed improvements at the Coton Countryside Reserve
Consultation – February to 11 March 2015
We recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Coton Countryside Reserve. It is time to review the site or master plan for the Reserve as we consider enhancements benefitting farming operations, wildlife as well as visitors to the Reserve.
We are about to join Natural England’s Higher Level Stewardship Scheme, ensuring further improvements to farming operations. This will benefit rarer farmland birds as well as insects, mammals and other wildlife. In the next 2 years the scheme will create more than 3ha of new meadows and some small woodland areas, planting more than 2,000 trees and shrubs. The creation of two further liner orchards is planned with 60 fruit and nut trees.
We are keen to make other improvements including:
- the completion of the Martin Car Park and provision of a public toilet – see our fundraising appeal,
- extending the Reserve by creating an improved landscape and wildlife corridor along the Public Right of Way to Newnham (east of the M11)
- a little later on, the first phase of a Reserve Centre – a small barn housing maintenance tools and equipment for staff and volunteers
- further dog runs
- a noise barrier along the M11 motorway.
For the purposes and objectives of the Reserve Purposes and operations consultationJan2015
Click for a draft master plan (phase 3)
For a draft programme highlighting priorities and initial ideas Outline programme – revJan15.
Have we missed anything?
Your thoughts and views on a variety of topics are most welcome – such as:
- public access and facilities
- farming operations
- landscape and amenity
- wildlife enhancements
- income generation
- community involvement
- educational and other activities
- other ideas welcome?
We have an online questionnaire – please get involved – visit the link by 11th March 2015 complete the
- on-line questionnaire – click here.
– e-mail questionnaire Qs- rev 27Jan15on-line Ver- WORD us firstname.lastname@example.org
– write questionnaire Qs- rev 27Jan15on-lineVER-WORD to Philip Robson, CambridgePPF, Wandlebury Ring, Gog Magog Hills, Babraham CB22 3AE.
Support our work at Coton
We’ve got great ambitions for Coton Countryside Reserve – a site that we’ve been working hard to improve since 2004. We are most grateful to local people who have got involved in conservation activities as we work to develop the Reserve.
With the right funding and volunteer support in place we’d like to – Appeal 2014/15:
- Priority Scheme – a compost toilet – not having a toilet on site is one of the major constraints for visitors to the Reserve (young and old) and the proposed environmental toilet will enable more people to enjoy the Reserve – please contribute to our current appeal.
- rustic benches, seats and picnic tables – using mostly durable oak these will be placed along principal routes through the Reserve and at locations with great views. These will be locally sourced and are handmade.
- replacement of the old bridge over Bin Brook (Clark’s Bridge) – built just around World War II this bridge has severely deteriorated and needs full replacement. Along a popular route over the Bin Brook and it is intended that the replacement bridge will only cater for pedestrians and link two public footpaths.
… and also:
- Create a bigger car park with 50 more spaces
- Build a modest reserve centre with a ranger base, toilets and education rooms
- Set up an informal fitness trail with exercise stations linking Coton village and the West Cambridge Athletic Club
- Create more paths and sustainable access routes linking the village and local bus network
- Introduce further information boards, directional signage and way markers
- Make boundary improvements including reducing noise along the M11 corridor
- Enhance the pond creating a dipping deck for schools and visiting groups
- Expand our wildlife conservation and historical research
- Undertake phase two of habitat improvements including riverine wildlife improvements along the Bin Brook corridor and ditches; and in the wetland area near the brook
- Purchase additional equipment and machinery including a tractor, trailer and other accessories
- Create a farm ranger post
We’re always keen to hear from people who can spare an hour or two of their time to volunteer; or who would like to make a donation to help fund specific projects or purchase essential items. Becoming a member of CambridgePPF also helps support the upkeep of Coton.