In the late 1930s, the Gog Magog Hills were threatened with house building. We ran a ‘Save the Gogs’ campaign to buy the land in order to protect it. We failed to raise enough money but we were able to defeat the developer through the planning system. However, the money raised came in handy and thanks to the generosity of Terence Gray, who owned the Wandlebury Estate, the charity was able to purchase Wandlebury for the public in 1954.

An enormous amount of work was required to put Wandlebury into a suitable condition for the public and some difficult decisions had to be made, such as the demolition of the manor house due to the costs of restoring it.

On 1 August 1959, Wandlebury was officially opened to the public by Sir Henry Willink, who was chairman of the charity at the time. The Open Day entertainment included a gymkhana, archery display, morris dancing, history talks and vintage cars.

Since that time, Wandlebury must have received well over a million visits from people coming to enjoy the outdoors and heritage. It has become a well-loved Cambridge institution, with several generations of families bringing their children to climb trees, run around the Iron-Age ditch, look for trolls under the bridge and hunt sticks.

The hard work did not stop once the Park was opened. Since that time, we have converted arable fields into wildflower meadows and new woodlands. We have planted over 11,000 trees, including the beech avenues enjoyed today. We have converted a derelict stable into a thriving outdoor education centre and we have created paths, installed benches and built a wildlife hide.

The unsung work that the charity also carries out should not be forgotten. For 60 years we have been picking litter, emptying bins, cleaning toilets, mowing paths and keeping order.

We have been able to carry out all this work for public benefit with the help of many gifts, grants, donations, legacies and car parking fees. A State of the UK Public Parks report has highlighted a decline in the condition of parks and green spaces as a result of public funding cuts. Places like Wandlebury can’t be taken for granted. Caring for this wonderful parkland is a significant undertaking for a local charity. We receive no government or council funding for the day-to-day running of the Park so we need all the help we can get. Please help Wandlebury if you can by becoming a member of the charity, making a donation, volunteering your time to help or taking part in our events.

You can find out 2,000 years of history at Wandlebury by clicking here.