Friends of Cherry Hinton Hall group website

Cherry Hinton Hall Bulletin – February 2011

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

Latest News:

Community Action Day – 26 March 2011

With Community Engagement being prominent in our parks and open spaces and not least at Cherry Hinton Hall, a community action day has been set for Saturday 26th March 2011.

The invitation is open to all and tasks will include seed sowing and plug planting the new wildflower meadow near the pond area as well as setting new Coir plants in the water close to the pond-dipping platform.

Please meet by the pond at 10.00am, limited tools will be provided but with numbers unknown if you have hand trowels, spades or rakes please feel to bring them along.

City Farm feasibility study commissioned

At the Community Services Scrutiny Committee on 14th October one of the approved recommendations relating to the masterplan for the grounds was;

  • To accept the principle of a City Farm and to instruct officers to work with the City Farm Project to prepare a feasibility study for the hall and to consider other possible sites across the city that may be suitable to site a City Farm.

Following a meeting between the City Farm Organisation, Cherry Hinton Hall Friends Group and City Council Officers in November 2010 a brief was prepared and approved by those present to go out to tender to independent consultants that specialise in such studies.

The work has recently been awarded and the study is now underway engaging many different stakeholders. The study aims to ascertain whether Cherry Hinton Hall former propagation site could be used for a City Farm and will explore other site options across Cambridge where this may be possible.

From this study recommendations will be made as to the most suitable site and will be taken forward by Officers at Community Services Scrutiny Committee in the summer for a decision. The decision will either enable the masterplan to be developed in its current format or re-visited to incorporate a City Farm.

The following summarises the completed, current and forthcoming projects;

Work recently completed

  • Installation of a pond-dipping platform in the pond area. Funded by the Big Lottery grant the installation of this platform is the first element of the masterplan to be delivered. The platform is a valuable educational resource which can be used by all and by next spring/summer, with the introduction of aquatic plants close to the platform planned at the community action day on March 26th. Work to create a path leading to the platform has been undertaken allowing safe and easy access for all users.   Picket fencing aligns the path to prevent access to the banks either side, with young Hazel plants being put in on the bank side of the fence.
  • A Beech tree has been planted as a replacement for the one which was removed near the pedestrian crossing entrance on Cherry Hinton Road.

Work currently in progress

  • A series of interpretation panels funded by The Big Lottery Grant are due to be installed around the pond area giving information on the various flora and fauna which can be seen in and around the pond and natural area behind. A special pond dipping board and tray holders will be installed near the new platform to enable dipping trays to be placed and the invertebrates identified using the interpretation panel incorporated. The boards have been delivered and will be installed imminently.
  • The final part of the Big Lottery grant is to locate a wildflower meadow area with wildlife themed bespoke benches. The area identified has been cleared and is being readied for sowing and planting at the Community Action Day. One of the fore mentioned interpretation boards will be tailored to the species you may be able to see in the meadow area.
  • Installation of a chain link fence along the weir section of the channel running along the rear of Forest Road boundaries. Most of this work is now complete apart from a gate allowing access from Daws lane. This unfortunately needs to be manufactured specifically and will follow shortly to complete the work. Until this is installed there is a temporary fence enclosing the site to ensure public safety.

Forthcoming work:

  • A new piece of play equipment ‘The Explorer Dome with a double slide’ (see accompanying picture) has been delivered and is awaiting installation. This innovative piece of play equipment is to replace the old tower play piece that was vandalised. It will, as far as possible, occupy the same footprint. It is anticipated that installation will be during March.
  • Planning will continue throughout 2011 on elements of the masterplan that are deliverable outside the former propagation area including the creation of new wild flower areas in the front area of the hall.       It is likely that more community action days will follow.

Anthony French
Green Space Officer
Cambridge City Council
(01223 457000)

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