Friends of Cherry Hinton Hall group website

Cherry Hinton Hall Bulletin – May 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:

City Farm feasibility study

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.

Since the February bulletin, the consultant engaged by Cambridge City Council met with the key stakeholders including the Friends Group, City Farm and the Folk Festival management.   This was to ensure each had the opportunity to input and that the report could be prepared as fair and balanced as possible taking into account all the views.

The recommendations from the study report will be taken forward by Officers at Community Services Scrutiny Committee on 30th June 2011 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 feasibility report is in its final stages and will be available shortly in the public domain. A further report will then be prepared by Streets and Open Spaces Officers for committee, this available for public viewing two weeks prior to the date of the meeting. Please visit

Parkfit fitness classes at Cherry Hinton Hall

You may have seen recent national press stories relating to fitness businesses using parks across the country to host their classes.

Cambridge City Council have received an approach from a Hertfordshire based fitness company – Parkfit who requested to run their classes in the Hall grounds.

This use has been permitted on a trial basis of 6 months in return for a quarterly fee. The classes run on a Tuesday and Thursday evening and on Saturday mornings. If you are interested in partaking please contact Parkfit directly.

Paddling pool operating dates

Each year the hall paddling pool is open from late May Bank Holiday Monday to the second Sunday of September, this year is this is Monday 30th May to Sunday 11th September.

The City Council are often asked why the pools can’t be opened earlier, particularly if we have a spell of good weather, as has been the case this year.

To open the pools requires detailed preparation work as well as incurring daily running costs in terms of maintenance visits. This has to be programmed in order that the facility is open on a pre-planned. Unfortunately it is not a straightforward task to fill pools up overnight with the forecast of good weather. Each year there is considerable variance and the decision to open in the last weekend of May presents the best the chance of serving users during the peak summer months including the summer school holidays when the facility is extremely busy.

The following summarises the completed, current and forthcoming projects;

Work recently completed

  • The first community action day was held on Saturday 26th March 2011 and was a great success. Approximately 30 people of all ages undertook various tasks including seed sowing and plug planting a new wildflower meadow near the pond area as well as setting new Coir plants in the water close to the pond-dipping platform.
  • A new piece of play equipment ‘The Explorer Dome with a double slide’ This innovative piece of play equipment has replaced the old tower play piece that was vandalised.
  • A series of interpretation panels funded by The Big Lottery Grant were installed around the pond area giving information on the various flora and fauna which can be seen. A special pond dipping board and tray holders has been installed near the new platform to enable dipping trays to be placed and the invertebrates identified using the interpretation panel incorporated.
  • Bespoke wildlife themed benches have also been installed near the natural play area.

Work currently in progress

  • In the former propagation area, currently inaccessible to the general public, a small area of scrub has been cleared to facilitate a new area for youths at the Folk Festival. It is likely that this area will be put to grass before the festival.
  • Fencing improvements along the weir section of the channel running along the rear of Forest Road boundaries. There is currently a gate being manufactured gate and until installation there is a temporary fence enclosing the site to ensure public safety.

Forthcoming work:

  • Planning will continue throughout 2011 on elements of the masterplan that are deliverable outside the former propagation area, this until such time as the previously mentioned committee decision is known.
  • 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
  • Tree planting is an important structural part of the masterplan and the Council has been allocated money specifically for city wide tree planting for the next four years. Cherry Hinton Hall has been provisionally scheduled during the first phase this winter.

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

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