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News release from: 12/09/2023

Protecting wildlife and nature is a legacy of former Cottenham District Councillor

Protecting wildlife and nature is a legacy of former Cottenham District Councillor

Communities are being inspired to protect wildlife and nature as a legacy to the work of the late Cottenham councillor, Cllr Dr John Loveluck.

Cllr Dr John loveluck

Dr Loveluck was passionate about promoting community nature projects and protecting biodiversity in his local village.

Now, it is hoped his work, including tips and resources, can help inspire other villages and towns to follow Cottenham’s example to protect local wildlife.

Deputy Leader Cllr Brian Milnes said: “We hope John’s passion for community nature projects will live on through promoting his achievements. Many local communities in South Cambridgeshire are doing great work to help halt the decline in biodiversity and make more space for nature, but Cottenham is a particularly good example.

“Nature recovery work there has been successful in bringing together numerous partner organisations, funding opportunities and resident volunteer groups to achieve real gains for nature. Much of this was coordinated through Sustainable Cottenham’s nature recovery group, headed by the late Cllr Dr Loveluck.”

Councillors for the Cottenham ward, Cllr Annika Osborne and Cllr Eileen Wilson, said: “It is lovely to know that John's passion for the environment and biodiversity, which influenced his work as a Parish and District Councillor in Cottenham has left a positive legacy for other communities to follow in his memory.”

A variety of projects have been delivered in Cottenham with the enthusiastic support of partners including Cottenham Parish Council, the Scouts, and the New Life on the Old West (NLOW) project developed by Cambridgeshire ACRE and funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund.

Sustainable Cottenham also work with South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Zero Carbon Communities, and Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Communities. Cottenham projects include:

  • Crowlands moat which has great crested newts, mature trees and wild grass areas.
  • Reed clearing with volunteers from Sustainable Cottenham and the Scouts has increased the open water habitat favoured by great crested newts for breeding.
  • Creating a seasonal pond on the Parish’s old rec on Broad Lane to suit birds, amphibians and invertebrates. The ponds were designed by Natural England and created by NLOW, funded through the National Heritage Lottery fund. Local volunteers undertook hedge planting to provide a barrier and further habitat improvement.
  • The Parish-owned WARG field has wildflowers, grasses and bee orchids, as well as apple trees, and a newly hand-dug pond funded by The National lottery.
  • The Parish Council’s mowing policy has been changed to leave certain areas uncut in summer to allow plants to flourish.
  • Fen Reeves Wood is former agricultural land owned by Cottenham Parish Council. It is being managed for nature and improved access, with bulb planting, coppicing, path clearance, and bird box installation, undertaken by Sustainable Cottenham volunteers and Scouts, with plants, tools, and additional volunteers provided by the NLOW project.

yellow flowers

If you are interested in starting a nature recovery project in your area, then Biodiversity Grants are available through south Cambridgeshire district Council.  Some of the learnings from Cottenham Projects may help. Including:

  • Natural Cambridgeshire’s local nature recovery toolkit to help identify potential habitats and projects.
  • Ponds dug with machinery may require planning permission check with the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning
  • Freshwater Habitats Trust provide advice on pond creation and maintenance.
  • Use existing local voluntary groups such as Scouts.
  • Nature recovery is a process, not a one-off event so plan next steps.

For more useful links read the District Council’s Cottenham Community Nature blog