Know before you go
Parking informationThe reserve is easily accessed by bike or public transport. Parking available at Trumpington Park + Ride
Grazing animalsGrazing animals may be onsite in spring and summer, please follow signs on the reserve
Wide, secure pathways. Riverside paths may be wet in winter.
There is a permissive bridleway in some areas of the reserve. Horse riders, please follow permissive bridleway signs.
There are wide, accessible pathways throughout the reserve.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen all year
Best time to visitThroughout the year
About the reserve
This expansive nature reserve and country park sits alongside the River Cam and Byron’s Pool Local Nature Reserve, straddling both sides of the M11. Created for wildlife and for people, it is a place to discover and enjoy nature, explore diverse habitats and wander by the river and through flower-filled meadows. There is a Wildlife Trust office and garden, allotments, and a range of interpretation features and handcarved nature sculptures throughout the site.
Trumpington Meadows has been occupied for centuries. It has been home to Roman and Saxon settlements, a famous plant-breeding facility, a prisoner-of-war camp, coprolite pits and arable fields. There is plenty of natural space for walking, cycling and wildlife-watching. The flowering meadows are truly spectacular in summer, shimmering with wildflowers such as knapweed, field scabious, bird’s foot trefoil, ox-eye daisy and salad burnet. Butterflies float over the meadow flowers, while dragonflies and damselflies dip and dance along the river. The riverside offers beautiful spots to walk and look out for otters and kingfishers.
The area is replete with culture and history due to its connection to the river (where Lord Byron once swam) and nearby Grantchester, home to poet Rupert Brooke and frequented by writers, intellectuals and scientists.
The grasslands are managed through grazing and haycutting to benefit wildlife. Hedges and scrub are kept in good condition through regular management and trees such as willow are pollarded on a rotational cycle. New gravel shoals have raised the river bed to narrow the channel and increase the flow, encouraging brown trout and other fish to thrive.
Senior Ranger Becky Green explains how the dog zones at Trumpington Meadows Nature Reserve in Cambridgeshire are designed to make the reserve enjoyable for people and their dogs while protecting wildlife.