Our history and achievements
A group of local businessmen, town councillors, aldermen, masters of colleges, academics and city officials founded our organisation in 1928 – calling themselves the Cambridge Preservation Society. Concerned about post war building programmes, their aim was to create an organisation that could campaign vigorously to protect the character, setting and amenity of Cambridge as a historical city of global importance. The objective was not to be a thorn in the side of local authorities but to work with them and keep a vigilant eye on new developments. Over the years we’ve achieved a lot. Major accomplishments include:
- Protecting Grantchester Meadows from development through the purchase of restrictive covenants in the 1930s
- Saving the Gog Magog Hills from the threat of housing development in the 1930s
- Instigating the creation of the Cambridge Green Belt
- Acquiring the Wandlebury Estate in the 1950s and establishing Cambridge’s first country park
- Being appointed guardian of the Leper Chapel by Cambridge University
- Saving Hinxton Mill from demolition and restoring it to its former glory
- Purchasing Bourn Mill with a cash gift awarded to the charity
- Creating Coton Countryside Reserve – demonstrating that Green Belt land can be managed with imagination to balance agriculture, wildlife conservation and public access
- Contributing to the 2006 Green Infrastructure Strategy to encourage the creation of additional green open spaces across Cambridgeshire.
Today our small but highly effective team remains actively involved in local planning matters, contributing to debates and discussions about how best to grow the city while retaining its special character. Our drive to create a sustainable future for Cambridge is also reflected in our conservation and education work – where we invest significant amounts of time and money.
Read more about our history in ‘Planners and Preservationists’ by Anthony Cooper. Contact us for a free copy. There are also a number of publications about the history of Wandlebury available for a small charge.