Upwood Meadows restoration work complete

Upwood entrance by Aidan Matthews

A local Wind Farm Fund has helped improve access at this popular Cambridgeshire nature reserve

Heavy rain at Easter time coupled with high usage during spring's glorious bluebell season led to unavoidable major damage at Upwood Meadows' site entrance. Thanks to funding from the Ramsey Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund, the Trust have now been able to replace the entrance fencing, as well as repairing damage to the car park surface.

Staff and volunteers worked with local contractors to complete the works in early summer. More than 20 tons of recycled road surface were imported to create the surface with additional drainage pipes being installed to carry floodwater away to the ditch network rather than into the nearby meadow. The very weathered site fencing was removed and fresh materials installed; the original field gates (hung over 20 years ago) were replaced with new gates and the hang posts were fashioned from oak timber harvested from Hayley Wood.

The Meadows, near Huntingdon, contain a superb example of the range of wildflowers species to be found on unimproved grassland in lowland England. Bentley Meadow is a very important field containing a population of more than 6,000 green winged orchids and has historically donated seed to enrich the other local meadows as part of the national Coronation Meadows scheme. Nearby Lady's Wood is one of the most popular bluebell woods in Cambridgeshire - both sites are visited by many hundreds of people in April and May.