Streamlining Cambridgeshire Pastures

Streamlining Cambridgeshire Pastures

Wansford Pasture new gates by Aidan Matthews

Two Cambridgeshire pastures have been connected by the creation of a culvert, thanks to funding from the Augean Community Fund, which now allows livestock to pass between the two

Wansford and Standen’s Pastures, near Peterborough, are adjoining pastures, managed as one nature reserve but separated by a stream. The limestone and wet grassland habitats - home to flat rush, fen bedstraw, orchids and cowslips - are nationally scarce and uncommon in Cambridgeshire. The site needs to be grazed as, if unmanaged, the grasslands will become dominated by vigorous grasses and rushes and over time the site would lose its botanical interest. However, cattle and sheep are unable move across the stream and need to be taken through Wansford village in order to graze both sides; a time consuming and inconvenient process.

Thanks to the funding of £13,800 from the Augean Community Fund, the Trust have now successfully created a culvert, with associated fencing and gate, to enable cattle to move between both the pastures, avoiding the need to transport them on trailers through the village. Grazing will reduce tall grasses and rank vegetation, enabling the plants associated with limestone and wet grassland to thrive. In addition, essential tree work has been carried out and the site's interpretation enhanced – allowing greater engagement with the visiting public.

West Cambridgeshire Reserves Manager Aidan Matthews said: “We are very grateful to the Augean Fund for their support with the site infrastructure improvements and habitat management at Wansford and Standen’s pastures. They have helped us improve the connectivity of the sites by funding the installation of a culvert to cross the stream on the county boundary. The grant funding has also allowed us to perform essential tree surgery works to a few mature trees across the site and improve the security of the site for grazing animals, which are an essential tool for the management of this important site.”