Local people and interest groups are set to get the chance to shape the future of Coldhams Common, one of Cambridge’s popular open spaces.

A Cambridge City Council report, published today, recommends consulting residents and other interested individuals and groups on their priorities for the common through an issues and options paper.

This highlights the main things that concern local people about the common including grazing of cattle, recreational use, footpaths, waterways, dogs and the standard of maintenance.

The topics in the paper were flagged up in an earlier round of consultation involving residents, environmental groups, users of the common and other stakeholders.

Each issue in the paper is listed with a series of options to help consultees with their responses.

Responses to the consultation will be used to draft a management plan for the common which will focus on achieving a broad consensus among all users and others with an interest in the common.

Cllr Carina O’Reilly, Executive Councillor for City Centre and Public Places, said: “So many of us treasure Cambridge’s open spaces because they are part of what makes our city so special.

“We all use them in different ways and this of course leads to a range of views. So, I’d encourage anyone with an interest in Coldhams Common to look at our issues and options paper and to take this opportunity to tell us what they think.”

Cllr O’Reilly will decide on the recommendations in the report at Community Services Scrutiny Committee on 11 July. A draft management plan would be considered by the committee in the autumn.

1. Consultation on the issues and options for Coldhams Common will run until 1 September. Respondents can get in touch at www.cambridge.gov.uk/currentconsultations or email: parks@cambridge.gov.uk. For those who are not online a paper questionnaire can be requested by calling 01223 458520. General responses can be posted to Coldhams Common, Streets and Open Spaces Team, Cambridge City Council, Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 2AZ;

2. All reports to be presented to city council scrutiny committees are available on the council’s website: http://democracy.cambridge.gov.uk/ieDocHome.aspx 

3. Contacts

Cllr Carina O’Reilly (Labour), Executive Councillor for City Centre and Public Places, email: carinaoreilly@gmail.com, tel: 07791 227953

Cllr Andrea Reiner (Liberal Democrat), Opposition spokesperson, email: andrea.reiner@cambridge.gov.uk, tel: 07717 693858

Zoe Moghadas and Dave have made sure the Friends of Coldhams Common have been heard and at the first meeting of the new administration was to decide to take down part of the fence and to put a moratorium on grazing on part of Coldham’s Common.
(8-6-14 ) Dave says – Over the past year I have become a real supporter of our common, but now it seems matters are coming to a head between the Friends of Coldhams Common and the current administration.
Illegal Fence? 
FRIENDS OF COLDHAMS COMMON explain that there is an ‘illegal fence’ on our common.  This has been built to allow the council to expand grazing, with a huge loss of wildlife and access/resource for local people.

They claim the lack of consultation is apparently ‘illegal’ under the Common Purpose and relevant acts, and that this represents an appalling loss of democracy.

Labour’s Zoe Moghadas has been working with the Friends of Coldhams Common but CURRENTLY labour is not in control.

Cutting back the trees/bushes

Went out with Friends of Coldhams Common yesterday (5-4–14) to look at the area that the railway are proposing to cut back and fence.  I cannot understand why this needs to happen.  Surely they could think about putting their fence on the track side of the trees?

Update 10-4-14: the railway company have now agreed to suspend the cutting back of the trees/bushes but this needs to be properly sorted.


I cannot understand why anyone would want to cut back trees and undergrowth just for the sake of expediency.  The railway should talk to the ‘Friends of Coldhams Common’ and find a solution

Dear Friends

This is to let you know that Railtrack have (temporarily) backed down over their cutting down of 360m of trees and bushes at the height of the bird breeding season, which would have lead to the destruction of a large area of legally-protected nesting habitat, supporting species such as chiff-chaff, wren, dunnock, robin and blackcap.  Under intense pressure from Friends of Coldham’s Common and others, Cambridge City withdrew their previous consent for access across the common.

We are still trying to determine, who originally granted permission for the works to be carried out within the City Opens Spaces department, and which would have involved widespread felling on the common as well as on the railway.

Railtrack appear a bit surprised by the level of local concern, but were happy to discuss further. We are meeting with them at 2:00 on Wednesday 9 April to find a solution.

We are hoping that a fence can be erected without devastating felling, which might not be cattle proof, but keeps the track boundary secure to prevent trespass.  We will recommend removing the wooden fence to allow easier access and avoid driving vehicles repeatedly across the nature reserve.

Please let us know if you wish to attend.

Best wishes


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