Eco-friendly boost for villages


Three villages are to receive an eco-friendly boost after securing Pride of Place grants from East Cambridgeshire District Council.

Fordham is set to be awash with wildflowers next spring after receiving £2200 to spend on native plant bulbs and rewilding seeds.

Grants for £1000 each have also been awarded to Bottisham’s Holy Trinity Church to spend on spring bulbs, summer flower seeds and a wooden bench, and to Cheveley Parish Council to plant native trees.

Cllr Sonia Walsh, parish councillor and leader of Environmental Fordham, a working party set up by the parish council, said the grant will build on work undertaken over the past 18 months.

“Within that time, we’ve erected 28 bird boxes, 1 swift box in the louvres of the church tower and 2 owl boxes.  Bug hotels have also been located by log piles. 

“This year we strategically cut and let our grass verges grow to allow for pollination and insect growth. In readiness for next year, we are in the process of obtaining permissions to rotavate and set wildflower seeds and plants throughout Fordham, which all members of the community will be able to enjoy.”

The group has already received a Bronze Award for its work relating to biodiversity and the environment and won the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Association of Local Councils’ Environment Project of the Year in 2022.

Bottisham’s grant will assist the Parochial Church Council with their ongoing work to make the churchyard more eco-friendly as they progress their application for the Bronze Certificate for the Wildlife Trust’s Cambridgeshire Churchyard Conservation Awards.

Dr Stuart Field, Churchwarden of Holy Trinity said, “In the autumn of 2022 we planted over 700 spring bulbs which gave a magnificent display in the ‘Spring Meadow’ area of the churchyard. This year we plan to sow more and a greater variety of bulbs in this area as well as wildflower seed in our summer flower area and rattle seed to reduce the grass and create a further area of biodiversity. Our hope is to take care of God’s creation, promote biodiversity and create a sanctuary for wildlife in our community.”

A bench will be placed alongside a public footpath which runs through the churchyard.

In Cheveley the money is to be spent on repopulating the recreation ground with native trees after a number were removed due to death and decay.

Cllr Julia Huffer, Fordham district councillor and environmental champion at the council, said: “I am so proud of the hard work each of these three villages are putting in to enhance and promote biodiversity for the benefit of everyone.”

East Cambridgeshire District Council is making up to £15,000 available for environmentally friendly projects that create, tidy up or enhance somewhere special in local communities.

Applicants must either be a parish council, or a non-profit group or organisation which is either based in East Cambridgeshire or benefits East Cambridgeshire residents.

For full terms and conditions visit the Pride of Place page on the council’s website.