What is Cambridge Wild?
- A programme of wild places - and wildlife-related events in July in Cambridge. We especially like them to be free to access for all ages and abilities. We don't currently have any funds to support these but can help promote them and, maybe, find extra volunteers (see below).
- An informal network of people and groups interested in wild spaces, wildlife and how people interact with them - we are based in and around Cambridge and most of us are volunteers (see below).
- A portal to other resources (see below). Two-page summary list to print.
Programme of events in July 2017
We are still working on this but might have a bit of a 'pollinator' focus this year. In the meantime, this is what we have gathered:
- Cambridge Natural History Society - have a visit to Wandlebury on 5 July and a Field study at Coldham's Common on 20 July (events page).
- Friends of Cherry Hinton Brook will do one or more nature walk(s) along the brook (dates to be arranged). Free.
- Friends of Rock Road Library are thinking about having a wildlife-themed activity but will need more volunteers to run it - do get in contact with them.
- Nightingale garden and Wulfstan Way - we will do a bat walk and overnight moth trap (on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 July) and some mini-beast hunting (on Sunday 9 July). We will do something 'pollinator' at Wulfstan Way shops around the new rain gardens (on Saturday 15 July). Free. A4 poster.
- Orchard Park - will do a wildlife safari (on Sunday 9 July - activities page)
- Wildlife Trust - Cambridge Local Group: East Pit glow-worm survey - Weds 26 July from 10.15pm; Guided walk - Orwell Clunch Pit SSSI, Saturday 8 July 10 am to 12. Small charge.
- Wildlife Trust - at Trumpington Meadows - Lovely Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) on Friday 7 (2 to 4pm and 9pm) and Saturday 8 July (8 to 9am). Fornightly Foray Thursday 20 July. Small charge.
- Wildlife Trust and Scudamores: Bat punt safaris - Friday evenings from May to September (really good!). There is a charge for this but it benefits the Trust.
Informal network of people and groups
All are welcome to join in our Facebook page. Places and groups that formally took part in the July 'weekend' in 2016 include
- Empty Common Community Garden;
- Friends of Cherry Hinton Brook;
- Friends of Rock Road Library;
- Nightingale Gardeners (this website), part of Queen Edith's in Bloom (affiliated with the RHS), part of Queen Edith's Community Forum. They are proud to be Volunteers for Streets and Open Spaces in the City Council, supervised by Guy Belcher the Biodiversity Officer. In 2016, biodiversity, gardening and access improvements in the garden have been funded by S106 funding via the South Area Committee.
- Sustrans - who supported the walks along Cherry Hinton Brook
Portal to other resources
Local listings of wild places - and projects
- Cambridge colleges have wonderful gardens, some formal, some quite wild, some alongside the river, and most open, at least sometimes, to the general public. There are, however, restrictions during exam time and Kings' College charges non-residents for admission.
- Local Nature Reserves - owned and managed by either/or City Council or local Wildlife Trust. There are also smaller City Wildlife Sites, but some of these aren't accessible to the public. Lots of opportunities for supported volunteering: Barnwell East; Barnwell West; Bramblefields; Byron's Pool; Coldham's Common; Logan's Meadow; Nine Wells; Paradise; Sheep's Green and Coe Fen; Stourbridge Common; West Pit
- Wildlife Trust nature reserves in Cambs: Beechwoods; Cherry Hinton Chalk Pits; Fulbourn Fen; Skaters' Meadow; Trumpington Meadows
Local events and regular activities including bioblitzes and citizen science
- Bioblitz Cambridge - annual (July) event - but not in 2017 - (see Museum of Zoology website).
- Hobson's Brook Bioblitz - starting in June 2017.
- Conversazione - annual (June) event in the Zoology Dept (free to enter), with lots of displays and opportunity to see what local individuals and groups are getting up to (see CNHS website).
Local groups, attached to wild places
- Abbey People - neighbourhood association for North East part of Cambridge. Projects include the Margaret Wright Community Orchard, by the football stadium. Frequent events throughout the year. Would love more volunteers.
- Cambridge City Council - including Tree Strategy (about why trees matter and how they will be looked after); Guide to 'Greening your garden'.
- Cambridge Past, Present and Future. Manage Wandlebury Country Park and Coton Countryside Reserve and look after the Leper Chapel, Bourn Mill and Hinxton Mill.
- Cambridge University Botanic Garden.
- Christ's Pieces Residents Association.
- Empty Common Community Garden - wildlife friendly food- and community-growing at the end of a City Council allotment site and next to Hobson's Brook. Frequent activities and they would love more volunteers.
- Friends of Bramblefields. Bramblefields is one of the city’s local nature reserves.
- Friends of Cherry Hinton Brook - well-established group with many activities during the year, including nature walks, litter picking, biodiversity monitoring.
- Friends of Cherry Hinton Hall - very active group with frequent activities.
- Friends of Coldham's Common.
- Friends of Coleridge Rec - can't find a website.
- Friends of Ditton Meadows.
- Friends of Histon Road Cemetery.
- Friends of Histon Road Rec - not sure this is the best website.
- Friends of Nightingale Park - no website currently. The Nightingale community garden project is turning a disused bowling green into a garden for everyone to enjoy.
- Friends of Midsummer Common - have a large community orchard, next to a wild common by the River Cam.
- Friends of Mill Road Cemetery.
- Friends of Milton Country Park.
- Friends of Rock Road Library - has a small community garden in the front and back of the branch library (with a heritage-variety orchard), created and managed by volunteers. They like to garden in a way that is wildlife friendly. Some events of interest during the year. Would love more volunteers.
- Friends of Stourbridge Common.
- Friends of the Roman Road and Fleam Dyke. The Roman Road and Fleam Dyke are important archaeological sites as well as valuable chalk grassland habitat.
- Hobson's Conduit Trust - very established group, involved in custodianship of this important water supply to Cambridge - exciting new projects in development - and a new website expected soonish.
- Jesus Green Association.
- Magog Down. The Magog Down is an area for restoration, conservation and informal recreation on the Gog Magog Hills just south of the boundary of the City of Cambridge. It is owned and managed by the Magog Trust and covers 163.5 acres of previously intensively farmed arable land.
- Orchard Park Wildlife Project - community group in a new development in North Cambridge. Frequent activities and would love more volunteers.
- Queen Edith's in Bloom - new RHS-affiliated group, part of Queen Edith's Community Forum, aiming to make this area of South Cambridge better for wildlife and people. Projects include Nightingale Garden (this website), 'a biodiverse garden for everyone to enjoy' in a former bowling green in a City Council recreation ground near Addenbrooke's (which includes annual - and a perennial Pictorial Meadows). For Summer 2017, a new RHS-funded Greening Grey Britain project: Wulfstan Way Raingardens, with 28th Cambridge cubs and the RHS Outreach team.
- Trumpington Community Orchard - well-established orchard created and managed by a community group. Frequent events and they would love more volunteers.
Local groups with specialist interest and/or attached to habitats
- Action for Swifts - national but local to us.
- Anglia Ruskin University Wildlife Society.
- Beds, Cambs and Northants Wildlife Trust - create and look after lots of wild places - fantastic people and website. Do take out a membership - you get really nice magazines too!
- British Bryological Society - Cambridge branch. Mosses and liverworts.
- Butterfly Conservation - Cambs and Essex branch. Butterflies and moths.
- Cam Catchment Partnership. The river Cam and its tributaries.
- Cambridge Conservation Initiative.
- Cambridge Conservation Volunteers. Lots of opportunities for practical work.
- Cambridge Conservation Forum. An active network of over 50 conservation-related member organisations and institutions based in and around Cambridge.
- Cam and Ely Ouse Catchment Partnership (CamEO). The Rivers Cam and Ouse and their tributaries.
- Cambridgeshire Bat Group (website coming soon).
- Cambridgeshire Bird Club - 'promotes the study, recording and conservation of birds in Cambridgeshire and encourages a wider interest in natural history and the protection of county wildlife habitats'.
- Cambridgeshire Geological Society.
- Cambridgeshire Lichens (can't find a website).
- Cambridgeshire Mammal Group.
- Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Amphibian and Reptile Group (CPARG).
- Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Biodiversity Partnership.
- Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Environmental Records Centre (CPERC).
- Cambridge Natural History Society: Talks, excursions and survey work.
- Cambridge University Nature Society. Organised by students.
- Cam Valley Forum.
- Conservators of the River Cam. Manage the River Cam.
- Countryside Restoration Trust. Promotes wildlife-friendly farming and campaigns for a living, working countryside. Manages Lark Rise Farm in Barton.
- NatHistCam project - surveying the flora and fauna of the city.
- RSPB Cambridge Local Group. A great way to meet friendly, like-minded people in your area while learning more about birds and wildlife.
- South Cambs Fungi Group (Melbourn Mushroom Club).
- U3A naturalists The U3A provides educational and social activities to those no longer in full-time employment, including courses on botany and natural history (see under ‘science’).
- University of Cambridge - Museum/Department of Zoology.
National and local Citizen Science events, by month
- January: RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.
- February: National Nest Box Week - from British Trust for Ornithology.
- March/April: In Cambridge, community sowing of Pictorial Meadows.
- May: Bee Count.
- June: popular time for bioblitzes.
- July: Cambridge Wild mini-festival in Cambridge.
- August: Big Butterfly Count.
- October: RHS/Wildlife Trust Wild About Gardens week.
National - apps
National groups, local places, citizen science resources
- Bat Conservation Trust: Bat things for kids; Encouraging bats in the garden.
- Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland: do an annual New Year plant hunt.
- British Hedgehog Preservation Society: hedgehog homes; wildlife gardening.
- British Trust for Ornithology: nest box info.
- British wild flowers: includes common names and photos.
- Bumblebee Conservation Trust: small independent charity - with lots of online information.
- Butterfly Conservation.
- Earthworm Society of Britain: worms in compost survey.
- Flora Locale - for wildflower grasslands.
- Friends of Earth Bee World.
- Hymettus: undertakes research and is the leading source of advice on the conservation of bees, wasps, ants and other invertebrates in the British Isles. It has lots of good information sheets on individual bee species but also general ones about bee hotels, gardening in the different seasons for bees and winter-active bumblebees.
- Ladybird survey: ladybird ID; larvae ID.
- National Trust: Cambridgeshire: Anglesey Abbey Gardens and Lode Mill; Wicken Fen; Wimpole Estate.
- Open Air Laboratories (OPAL): Polli:Nation; Habitat, plant and pollinator guide; Support guide; Recording sheet; Biodiversity survey; Survey booklet; Hedgerow ID guide; invertebrate ID guide; Recording sheet; Bug count; Bugs survey booklet; Species quest; Bugs count survey sheet; Water surveys; Water survey booklet; Freshwater invertebrate ID guide; Amphibian guide; Dragonflies ID guide; Duckweeds guide; OPALometer; Water survey recording sheet.
- Rivers Trust.
- RSPB: Big Garden Birdwatch; about green woodpeckers; grow flowers for birds; Outdoor resources for schools - including spot-it sheets; Bird ID; Birds and mammals; Wildlife ID.
- The English Hedgerows Trust - has very useful 'good practice guide'.
- The Mammal Society.
- The Tree Council: Tree Wardens (there isn't a Cambridge group listed);
- Wildlife Trusts: wildflowers; Lowland calcareous grassland.
National resources for sustainable and wildlife-friendly gardening (and making community gardens)
- Artful rainwater design book.
- Brogdale has very useful guides on fruit trees including rootstocks, training espalier trees, cordons, fans, how to use tensioning kits etc.
- Cambridge City Council: Saving Water.
- B&Q Community Re-use scheme.
- Butterfly Conservation: tips for butterfly- and moth-friendly gardening.
- Eco-gardening - rain gardens (BBC gardening blog by Nigel Dunnett).
- Eden Project Guide to Green Spaces - online version - really excellent.
- Gardeners World online: compost bins from pallets.
- Garden Organic: Heritage Seed Library: 'saving our vegetable heritage'.
- Grow wild: how to collect and store seeds.
- Green roof training.
- Small green roofs - low-tech options for greener living.
- Raingardens.info: including free Rain gardens printable guide;
- Royal Horticultural Society (RHS): Alternatives to peat; Anglia in Bloom; Britain in Bloom; Campaign for School gardening; Communities; Drought-resistant gardening; Gardening in a changing world; Greening Grey Britain - community action; It's Your Neighbourhood (IYN) scheme; Water use in gardens.
- RSPB: give your mower a rest; grow a wildflower meadow; Reptile and hibernacula instructions; start composting.
- The Scythe Association: news story on Bumblebee Conservation Trust website.
- The Sensory Trust - useful resources about accessibility and inclusivity.
- Somerset Waste Partnership: making compost bins; - this uses bought wood.
- Susdrain - about sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) - for professionals.
- Water Blues, Green Solutions DVD and website - full of inspiring things about the 'science of our environment and art of design' - like 'downspout planters', rain gardens, pocket parks, porous pavements, tree pits...
- Waterwise East.
- Woodland Trust webpage on wildlife-friendly trees.
- Wormery FAQs.
National - especially for young people
- Barcode Ecology - blog written by local nature enthusiast Megan Shersby.
- BBC breathing places: ladybird teaching resources; making a sweep net; ladybird dominoes; word search.
- A Focus on Nature - youth nature network (for those under 30 and mostly over 16 or 18).
- Garden organic: lacewing hotels; ladybird house.
- Learning Through Landscapes: useful 'risk assessments' for outdoor learning including cooking, gardening.
- Royal Horticultural Society (RHS): bulb planting with children; Campaign for School gardening; Communities; Wild About Gardens - Stars of the Night - bat-friendly gardening.
- RSPB: Outdoor resources for schools - including spot-it sheets; Bee B&B; Bird ID; Birds and mammals; Bug hotels; Flowering plants; grow flowers for butterflies; Minibeasts1; Minibeasts 2; Minibeast ID; Flowering plants; Ponds; Tracks and signs; Trees and shrubs; Wildlife ID.
- Wildlife Trust: Nature Detectives: Creepy crawly palaces; Caterpillar hunt; Sensory box for babies and toddlers; 20 things to do with sticks; Ladybird ID; Nightflying moths; Pond dipping; Summer flowers ID.
Last updated: 14 June 2017