Along with the adjacent Byron’s Pool Local Nature Reserve, Granchester Meadows, Paradise Local Nature Reserve and Coe Fen/Sheep’s Green, Trumpington Meadows will create a linked series of wildlife areas all the way to the city centre of Cambridge. Over 100 acres of wild flower meadow, 25 acres of woodland and over 4 km of hedgerow will be created, providing habitats for a wide range of flora and fauna.
The area is already home to skylarks, kingfishers, brown trout and otters, not to mention a myriad range of insects, from butterflies in the meadows to dragonflies on the river.
Along the River Cam, on the edge of the Country Park, a river restoration project (led by South Cambridgeshire District Council) has helped to reinstate natural features lost in previous river engineering works. Gravel shoals have been created in the river, which in places has also been narrowed to create a faster flow. This removes accumulated silt and provides a cleaner river bed for aquatic insects and fish, which in turn will feed the kingfishers and otters. The flood plain meadow ditches have also been cleared so that they once again fulfil their purpose of storing water at times of high rainfall and flooding.
Acknowledgements go to Cambridgeshire Horizons, Environment Agency, Wild Trout Trust, Trumpington Meadows Land Company, Cam Valley Forum and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Biodiversity Partnership who funded this piece of work.
Adjacent to the country park, areas of productive farmland have been retained that will continue to grow food we eat such as wheat, beans and potatoes. But even here the creation of hedgerows and field margins will provide space for wildlife, including the brown hare and birds such as yellowhammers and linnets.
In future it is planned that some of the meadows will provide hay for horses and be grazed by local cows. Where the meadows are cut, but it is not suitable for hay, it is planned to compost the cut grass, so that what nature provides is not wasted.