Friends of Cherry Hinton Hall group website

August Cherry Hinton Hall Bulletin

August 2011

The Cherry Hinton Hall Bulletin is designed to keep visitors to the park informed of any recent, current and up and coming works. It also provides news of any events which may be happening as well as other interesting information about the park.

Latest News:

City Farm feasibility study

A report was taken to Community Services Scrutiny Committee on 30th June 2011 detailing the outcomes from the City Farm feasibility study and subsequently making recommendations for approval.

The main outcomes of the study concluded;

A city farm was not feasible at Cherry Hinton Hall. The main reasons cited were:

  • Incompatibility with Folk Festival
  • Strong support for the masterplan during 2010 and therefore the likelihood of wider community support for a farm being gained.
  • The risk implications to the council should the City Farm venture not be successful.

The decision and approval of recommendations made by Officers at Committee means that the Masterplan is to be developed in its current format.

The next stage of this will be making a full project appraisal of the scheme. This means looking more into the detail of the sketched Masterplan and apportioning realistic costs which can be submitted with the funding bids, needed for project progression.

New gate at front entrance

During the last Friends group meeting I attended on 18th May 2011, the issue of public access to the park using the main driveway was raised. During busy periods when the car park reaches capacity visitors tend to park on the grass along the main driveway.

Many were concerned about the regularity of this occurrence and the safety implications it posed.

Initially it was agreed that signage would be a way forward but having given this consideration after the meeting and in discussion with Council Officers, it was agreed that the main entrance wooden farm gates ideally needed replacing.

To this end, and in liaison with the Friends group a new set of gates has been installed at the front entrance. Whilst the main reason for the change is based on safety they will also provide a welcoming improvement to the main entrance and the gates will be inscribed with the wording ‘Cherry Hinton Hall’ and have wrought iron detail in the form of leaves.

The new gates will be set in a new chicane arrangement. This will consist of one large day to day access gate being offset by a smaller width gate set out in a chicane style layout.

Both gates will be locked with the smaller gate predominately locked (other than when large delivery vehicles require access). The large gate can be open and shut by designated key/code holders only who require access to the service yard, the school, to service the paddling pool or for the ice cream concession.

The chicane is to enable pedestrian, cycle, wheelchair and buggy access when the gates are closed.

Work recently completed

  • In the former propagation area, currently inaccessible to the general public, a small area of scrub was cleared and turfed. This was in order to create a new area for a youth tent at the Folk Festival. This work was funded by the Folk Festival.
  • Two benches removed from elsewhere in the city have been re-located in the hall along the Daws Lane boundary.
  • A pre-Folk Festival tree inspection revealed one of the large ash trees in the centre of the park had several large cracks low down on the major stems. Secondary advice was sought and the tree was deemed to be high risk to the public. The potential danger was not just for the immediate festival attendees but for everyday users of the park. The tree has now been removed and plans will be made to replace it as part of the programme detailed below.

Work currently in progress

  • Tree planting is an important structural part of the masterplan and the Council has been allocated money specifically for citywide tree planting for the next four years. Cherry Hinton Hall has been provisionally scheduled during the first phase this winter. Work is currently underway with the aboricultural team to prioritise this work and agree the tree species. This is likely to be a phased planting programme across the next few years and the first area to be looked at is the Daws Lane boundary.
  • Gate installation – Cherry Hinton Road entrance – see above.
  • Good weather during this weeks folk festival has helped to mitigate the impact and damage to the hall grounds this year. The grassed areas which have turned yellow under the stress of having a marquee or roadway on top for a few days should recover themselves. As good practice and to help relieve compaction and to allow good air circulation within the root system there will be a day of aeration undertaken in early September.

Forthcoming work:

  • Work on the main adoptions to the park outlined in the masterplan are now being progressed following the Committee approval. At present a project appraisal is being costed to enable Officers to identify suitable funding streams in addition to some which are available through the Section 106 developer contributions fund already.
  • Bulb planting forms part of the Masterplan and the intention is to work with the Friends group to arrange another community action day during the autumn to help plant some bulbs.

Anthony French
Open Space Officer – Horticulture
Cambridge City Council
(01223 457000)

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