Wild Weekend in Cambourne

C2BW Andy Abbott

At our first ever festival wildlife and music shared headline billing over a weekend of celebration and enjoyment

Cambourne to be Wild music festival was a first for the Trust, staged at Cambourne Business Park near the Wildlife Trust BCN HQ, as a celebration of wildlife and of Cambourne, and to reach out to a different audience.

Director of Business Development and Engagement, Kevin Hennessy said: "The idea of holding a festival came about because we wanted to engage with the people of Cambourne, and broaden understanding of the important work that we do in the neighbourhood. As well as Cambourne being our head office, we run a 90 hectare nature reserve here, which costs us around £50K per annum to maintain, yet many people in Cambourne don't know who we are, so the idea was to help change this. We run many events on different reserves throughout the year, most of which appeal to those with an interest in natural history. We wanted our festival to appeal to everyone, so made it a music festival, with beer and drinks tents, good food, plus lots of wildlife based activities. Hopefully many will have come away with a greater interest in the natural world.

"The main objective was to get our name out there, and become better known; hopefully more people will support us in the future, and over time the event may make a contribution to our costs. The second objective was of course for everyone to have lots of fun, and seeing the feedback we've received so far, we certainly achieved this - everyone who attended absolutely loved it. Huge thanks to all who helped, sponsored us, donated kit - and of course to all who bought tickets, came along and enjoyed themselves."

Cambourne to be Wild 2019

Magic Queen at Cambourne to be Wild 2019 - Sophie Busch

Preparing for a wildlife music festival takes much advance planning and meticulous organisation - from the music acts, sound equipment, staging, security, beer tents, health and safety etc. Having secured the site (many thanks to U + I) the empty field needed preparing: with two days to go the site was mowed, and next day 80 Trust staff got to work creating a festival site, from setting up marquees, a tipi, first aid tent, to festooning bunting - and cheering when the all important portable toilets and stage rigging eventually arrived. 

Over the two days all the bands (Sat: Magic Queen, John Verity, The Decades, Fiveska, Blue Thunder, Limited Time. Sun: Pulling up Daisies, Upwood Ukuleles, Fenboy3 and Timeline) provided fabulous entertainment with a rousing blend of ska, rock, blues and folk, while Trust staff, volunteers and community groups ran activities  - children were captivated by small mammals, weaved willow crowns, filled in quizzes, discovered their amphibian names, and tied pledges of their future hopes for nature to the Wilder Future tree. 

See online gallery below (click to enlarge), and in the Cambridge Independent here

Thank you to our sponsors

With grateful thanks to all our sponsors (see below) and thanks also to Cambourne army and RAF cadets, Cambourne Parish Council, Cambridge Organics, OpticronCambridge Building Society, South Cambs District Council, Winvic, U+I and Vine House Farm.

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A little owl (Athene noctua) sits on a post - Luke Massey/2020VISION

Cambourne Nature Reserve

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