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Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Tree planting ceremony shows how Coton Countryside Reserve is growing

Cambridge Past, Present & Future marks major milestone and thanks local volunteers.


CambridgePPF, volunteers and Charles Hewitson celebrate the planting of 10,000 trees and shrubs at the Coton Reserve

On Friday 26 November 2010, local charity Cambridge Past, Present and Future (CambridgePPF) held a ceremonial tree planting at its Coton Countryside Reserve to the west of Cambridge. The event marked the growth of the site and the achievements of volunteers who have invested more than 1000 hours in its creation over the last six years. Attendees included village residents, charity staff and trustees plus Charles Hewitson, from regional law firm Hewitsons.

The first trees were planted at Coton in Autumn 2004 in an area of land adjacent to the public footpath that connects the village to the city. Since then 15 different community planting events have taken place and more than 10,000 young trees and shrubs have been transplanted to the site to fill hedgerow gaps, create woodland corners and establish an orchard.

With funding from organisations including South Cambridgeshire District Council and Natural England, as well as generous legacy donations, gifts from private donors and local people, the site has been transformed into a green space where members of the public can admire spectacular views of Cambridge set against a rich backdrop of foliage and flowers.
Charles Hewitson, who attended the event on behalf of regional law firm Hewitsons, and who handled a substantial legacy donation to the reserve, said: “I was very pleased to be able to attend the event and represent the late Audrey Martin whose generosity has enabled the reserve to be enjoyed by future generations. She would have been delighted with what has been achieved through her support”.

Friday’s planting ceremony included a short walk around the reserve, which gave attendees the chance to look at how the site has taken shape and hear about future plans for the land. CambridgePPF is currently working on a master plan for the Coton Countryside Reserve that will add significant value for local people and wildlife.

Carolin Göhler, CEO of CambridgePPF said: “We cannot express enough gratitude for the support we have received in the development of the Coton Countryside Reserve. The hard work and commitment of local residents and volunteers from across Cambridge has created a major rural resource for the village and county as a whole. Over the next 6 to 12 months we have some very exciting plans for the site that will enhance the landscape and guarantee that the space we have created can be enjoyed for many years to come.”

Public bodies and organisations involved in the growth of Coton to date include: The Growth Area Grant Fund, South Cambridgeshire District Council, Natural England (Countryside Stewardship Scheme); and Waste Recycling Group Ltd through the Landfill Communities Fund.

If you would like to become a volunteer at Coton Countryside Reserve or make a donation to help enhance the site please contact the CambridgePPF office on 01223 243830.

The team is always looking for funding, sponsorship and support for projects ranging from the creation of an informal fitness trail to money to purchase essential maintenance equipment, plants and site furniture including benches.

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