Coton Countryside Reserve

Covering more than 300 acres (120ha) of pasture and agricultural land, Coton Countryside Reserve offers quiet recreational opportunities for local people within a working farm environment. Managed to enhance the local landscape and benefit wildlife, it’s a great place to experience the changing seasons with wildlife habitats, a hilltop picnic area, panoramic views, and routes for walkers, cyclists, runners, disabled people and horse riders that link to adjacent public footpaths and bridleways.

Visitor information
7 days, dawn to dusk
Car parkPicnic siteDogs on leads welcomeDisabled access through most of the siteWalksDisabled access through most of the siteInformation point


Opening hours and getting here

Open: From 9am to 6pm during British Summer Time (end of March to end of October). From 9am to 4pm during winter (early November to end of March).

Location: Post code CB23 7PZ or Ordnance Survey grid reference: TL 414577GB.

Admission: Entry to the reserve is free of charge as are many of the guided walks and events held on site. However, donations to support the enrichment of the reserve are appreciated.

Parking: Free parking is available in the Martin Car Park. Approach the reserve along Grantchester Road; ¾ mile from the M11 / Barton Road junction and you’ll see the car park on your right hand side. Gates may closer earlier from December to March. Please check notices on the day. Keep your vehicle safe on site. Do not leave any valuables on display. NB: If the gates are locked and your car is left on site, we may not be able to unlock the gates until the next morning.

Other modes of transport: Visitors to Coton Countryside Reserve are encouraged to use sustainable modes of transport. If you are travelling on foot there are public paths fromWest Cambridge, Newnham, Coton and Barton. By bike use Coton Footpath (Harcamlow Way or Wimpole Way); cycle racks are available at both main entrances. By bus, use the Citi 4 service (Camborne bus, stop at Coton turn); or use sightseeing bus and then walk along main road through the village.

Park rules: Download a copy of our Reserve rules, and our new dog guidance which help to keep this special green space a happy safe place for visitors and wildlife.

What's on

History of Coton Countryside Reserve

In the 1930s, using money from a legacy provided by Professor George M Trevelyan, CambridgePPF acquired farmland at Coton to help prevent urban sprawl. Immediate steps were taken to improve the landscape but work halted with the onset of World War II. In the years that followed the charity turned its attention to acquiring and improving land south of Cambridge in the Gog Magog Hills – now Wandlebury Country Park.

In the late 1990s CambridgePPF turned its attention back to Coton, gaining planning permission to create a new reserve. Financial support was received from Marshalls of Cambridge Ltd and grants were obtained from central and local government, the University of Cambridge, businesses and individuals including Miss Audrey Martin, who left a generous legacy donation.

In 2010 a new farm tenant was appointed. Trumpington Farm Company now works the land in a wildlife-friendly way, adhering to Countryside Stewardship and Entry Level Schemes administered by Natural England. New access points and recreational routes have been introduced for walkers, cyclists, joggers, pram users, disabled people and horse riders, creating a major public green space within easy reach of Cambridge and nearby villages.

Look out for

Over the years we’ve worked hard at Coton to introduce more diverse habitats including woodlands and hedges, new hay meadows and an orchard. Look out for our new species list – coming soon.

Download our Coton Countryside Reserve map in advance to help you plan your visit.

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.

Consultation on proposed improvements at the Coton Countryside Reserve

We are most grateful to all those who got involved with our consultation meetings and responded to our questionaire. We will be considering all the contributions made and will report our progress from time to time via the website, enewsletters and our members newsletter. Sign up for our once a month enewsletter

Latest News

Revive yourself this January with Cambridge Past, Present and Future

1st Jan 2017EnvironmentalEventsHistoric buildingsPeopleCoton Countryside ReserveWandlebury Country Park

The celebrations are over for another year – you’ve eaten your fill of turkey, cleared up the wrapping paper and probably had one mince pie […] Read

Spring has sprung at Wandlebury

23rd Mar 2016Education and learningEnvironmentalEventsFundraisingGreen BeltHistoric buildingsPlanningVolunteeringBourn MillCoton Countryside ReserveHinxton WatermillLeper ChapelWandlebury Country Park

You can see our March enewsletter by clicking on the link to find out about some of the activities since our last newsletter. Click to […] Read

Event News:A colourful month of autumn activities with Cambridge Past, Present and Future

28th Sep 2015Education and learningEnvironmentalEventsHistoric buildingsHistoryCoton Countryside ReserveHinxton WatermillWandlebury Country Park

Be sure to join local charity CambridgePPF this October for a variety of nature-based family events in the spectacular outdoors. As the days draw in […] Read

Gallery from Coton Countryside Reserve

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

Back to top