Tuesday, 7 June 2011

CambridgePPF celebrates £10,000 lottery windfall

Local conservation charity Cambridge Past Present & Future (CambridgePPF) is celebrating after receiving a £10,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund’s Awards for All – the non-departmental public body that gives out millions of pounds from the National Lottery to good causes and community groups that improve health, education and the environment.

CambridgePPF plans to invest the money at Coton Countryside Reserve – its outdoor centre on the western fringes of the city, which is open for the public to explore throughout the year.

The money received from the Big Lottery fund will help pay for a brand new planting scheme at Coton. Over the next year CambridgePPF wants to plant 100 fruit trees on site, recreating the mosaic of orchards that once existed to the west of Cambridge. The project will consist of a linear orchard area alongside an existing 6 metre wide path and a clump orchard near an existing concrete farm track. The latter will include fruit and nut trees with a glade in the centre and 100 metres of hedgerow containing hazel, filberts, cobnuts and much more.

The remaining money will be used to supplement associated planting, pasture and meadow developments projects at Coton, the creation of interpretation boards and seating designed by local craftsmen and women.

Carolin Göhler, CEO of CambridgePPF said: “Cambridgeshire orchards are only 20% of what it was in the 1950s. Unfortunately orchards are still being lost through redevelopment, neglect, or conversion to paddocks and arable land. This is having a dramatic effect on the local landscape and a detrimental effect on its biodiversity. Our planting scheme will enhance insect and bird diversity, replicate known traditional orchards lost in this area west of Cambridge and help conserve genetic diversity in locally rare and old fruit tree cultivars. In time we want the orchard to become a resource for residents of Cambridge in its own right offering education opportunities and producing food. With the help of the Big Lottery Fund we can start to make our plans a reality and in time for people to enjoy wonderful orchard areas.”

As well as a cash injection from the Big Lottery Fund, CambridgePPF’s orchard project at Coton has also received funding from South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Community Orchards Programme and Cambridge City Council.

In 2004 Coton Countryside Reserve was established as a working farm with public access and wildlife benefits on land owned by CambridgePPF. The 120ha Reserve is close to local villages and Cambridge City and is a major recreational area for the Cambridge Sub-region.

As development gets underway there will be opportunities for members of the public to become involved in community planting activities on site. Anyone interested in learning more about the site can do so at the weekend. On Sunday 12th June, CambridgePPF is taking part in the nationwide Open Farm Sunday scheme. From 11am to 4pm, the charity will be staging a day of activities including: the chance to meet the Coton farmer plus CambridgePPF staff and volunteers; guided walks and talks; an exhibition in the barn; and the chance to make scarecrows and see various pieces of farm machinery and equipment on display.

Go to  for more information.

- ends -

About Cambridge Past, Present and Future (CambridgePPF)
Founded as Cambridge Preservation Society in 1928, CambridgePPF is a registered charity campaigning to keep Cambridge and its surroundings special by positively influencing planning developments, delivering environmental education and managing the green spaces and historic buildings in its care. Its diverse property portfolio includes Wandlebury Country Park and its Iron Age Ring; Coton Countryside Reserve; Barnwell Leper Chapel; Bourn Windmill plus various wildlife sites and historic buildings. Key achievements include protecting sites such as Grantchester Meadows, the Gog Magog Hills and Wandlebury Estate from development and helping to establish the Cambridge Green Belt in the 1960s. CambridgePPF has a growing membership, which makes a vital contribution to the cost of conserving, managing and developing its sites. With its HQ at Wandlebury, CambridgePPF has a mix of busy full and part-time staff and is run by a Board of Trustees together with Advisory Committees staffed by dedicated volunteers. For more information about CambridgePPF and benefits of membership:

About Coton Countryside Reserve
In the 1930s CambridgePPF (then known as the Cambridge Preservation Society) acquired farm land in what is now part of the city’s Green Belt. At the time, initial steps were taken to improve the landscape by planting a number of non-native trees and developing public access. However, major works were halted by the onset of the Second World War. Further development was then affected by the charity’s purchase of land to the south of Cambridge. This enormous undertaking, which monopolised the charity’s resources, resulted in the creation of Wandlebury Country Park – an outdoor resource that many Cambridgeshire residents now hold in dear affection.
In the late 1990s, CambridgePPF turned its attention back to Coton, gathering support and attracting funding. In 2003 the charity gained planning permission to create a brand new countryside reserve. Since then the reserve has benefitted from an initial grant towards the planning stage (Marshall of Cambridge Ltd, 2003) and support from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM, 2004-2006). In 2004 a Countryside Stewardship Scheme was agreed with DEFRA (2004 to 2014). Futher support was also gained from South Cambridgeshire District Council for woodland and hedge planting; Cambridgeshire County Council; EDF Energy (to attract kestrels); and an anonymous donation of a pick-up truck to aid site management. Most recent improvement works included the completion of the Phase One Martin Car Park in memory of the late Miss Audrey Martin and a wildlife pond with picnic area funded by WREN (Waste Recycling Group Ltd through the Landfill Communities Fund).
With the help of the Trumpington Farm Company, CambridgePPF is now entering the second phase of development at Coton.
For more information about CambridgePPF, the Coton Countryside Reserve or to make a donation
to the charity, become a volunteer or donate to the orchard project, please contact us:
enquiries [at] or visit our website

Big Lottery – Awards for All
Awards for All is a Lottery grants scheme funding small, local community-based projects in the UK.

Orchard Project – “This is a project by an incorporated charity in Cambridgeshire. The group will use the funding to develop and plant an orchard. This will replicate traditional orchards and provide an area where the local community can learn about food production.”
£9,887.00 have been awarded to support this project by Awards for All: England.
For more information please visit

Labels: , , ,


Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home