People in Cambridge can now enjoy an extra six acres of countryside. The “Lost Meadows” at Coton Countryside Reserve were opened to the public for the first time on 13 June 2022, to coincide with the Cambridge Nature Festival.

The Reserve is owned and cared for by local charity Cambridge Past, Present & Future, and the meadows were opened by their Chair, Ros Aveling, who is delighted:

It’s wonderful to be able to open this beautiful meadow for people to enjoy. Thanks to the hard work of our team and the grants that supported the work, over the next few years we will see this area of the Reserve transform into vibrant, wildlife-rich habitats.

Over the past 6 months work has taken place to install fencing, gates and a footbridge as well as a new pond, tree planting and scrub control. This means that the meadows can be opened to the public as well as grazing animals, which will help to maintain the meadows and improve the habitat.

Natalie Lambert, Cambridge Nature Network Officer, explains why this is important:

the Reserve covers 300 acres on the western edge of Cambridge and is a mixture of meadows, woodland and farmland with miles of paths. The plan for the Reserve is to create more habitat for nature and more green space for the growing population of Cambridge to enjoy, and this will help to deliver the vision for the Cambridge Nature Network, which is a large-scale initiative to enable nature to recover in the Cambridge area.

Work was carried out by local volunteers, staff of the charity, Norfolk Rivers Trust and contractors and has been supported by grants for the Cambridge Nature Network from the government’s Green Recovery Fund and Natural England’s Nature Recovery Programme.

The meadows can be found on the western edge of the reserve and accessed from Beryl's Bridge.