Friends of Cherry Hinton Brook

Purple toadflax (Linaria purpurea), a plant of garden origin that seems quite at home along the Brook.

Diary dates

Sunday 29th September 2019 Litter pick on World Rivers Day
Sunday 24th November 2019 Litter pick with Cambridge Natural History Society

Latest Newsletter

The latest newsletter is issue 61

About Friends of Cherry Hinton Brook

Cherry Hinton Brook flows through the eastern suburbs of the City of Cambridge, UK. It rises near the nature reserves on Lime Kiln Hill and flows north-west through Coldhams Common to the River Cam. Kingfishers are commonly seen, symbolising the special nature of this pleasant green corridor.

The Brook and its adjacent footpaths link the people and wildlife of Cherry Hinton to Cambridge City, Coldhams Common and the River Cam. Snakey Path, which runs alongside the Brook from Daws Lane to Burnside, and on to Sainsbury’s supermarket, is a very busy route for walkers and cyclists.

Friends of Cherry Hinton Brook are a group of mainly local residents who banded together in June 2009, initially triggered by the need to clear the rubbish from the Brook and its environs, particularly between Cherry Hinton Hall and Sainsbury’s.

Our aims are:

What does FCHB do?

Keep the Brook and its surroundings clean and attractive: we organise regular litter picks in early Spring and late summer/autumn, and as part of the Rivercare network have equipment for this purpose. We also inform the City Council when any particular clearing or maintenance activities are needed.

Work with Sainsbury’s to improve the appearance and health of the Brook in this area: With the help of FCHB, Sainsbury’s has installed an interpretation board outside the store, put rubbish bins along the path between the Brook and the store, put up nest boxes and a bee hotel in the car park area, and tidied up the loading/unloading area behind the store which was a major source of litter. There is noticeable improvement but more work is still needed to make the area attractive and free from litter.

Provide information about the wildlife of the Brook: we have raised funding through a Sustainable City Grant for information boards to be installed at key points along the Brook to tell people about its value as a wildlife corridor.

Look after the wildlife of the Brook: FCHB members, with the help of experts such as the Cambridge Natural History Society, monitor the wild plants and animals of the brook and its surroundings. Did you know, for example, that the rare water vole has taken up residence here? Or, that in the spring, hundreds of frogs, toads and newts cross Burnside (Road) to breed in the Brook? We have helped to save many of these animals by putting up notices and even assisting them cross the road (the pavement edge often blocks their way).

Keep in touch with other organisations: we produce a newsletter on an occasional basis that gives more details about our concerns and activities. We liaise with many individuals and organisations including the Drainage Engineer, Nature Conservation Projects Officer and Street Scene at Cambridge City Council, the Territorial Army, Sainsbury’s, local allotments associations, Cherry Hinton Angling Club, Friends of Cherry Hinton Hall, Keep Britain Tidy and the Cambridge Natural History Society.

We have also made a submission for Cambridge City Council's Issues and Option Report, which is a preliminary step in the revision of the Local Plan. We have commented on option 40, which took a preliminary look at potential future uses of the Lakes and associated land south of Coldhams Lane. More recently we have responded to policy 15 of the draft local plan.

FCHB members are daily users of the route and have become its “eyes and ears”, reporting potential pollution, fly tipping, wildlife in distress and unusual wildlife sightings. Why don’t you join us?