With the first new residents moving into Waterbeach this year we are equally proud of the five key habitat areas which have been identified to protect and enhance ecology around the site:

  1. The western bund provides grassland, wetland and trees/shrubs that will be transformed to benefit species including butterflies, moths, common lizard, birds and bats. Enhancements to the Old Tillage waterway, which connects the River Cam to the Old West River and the Fens, will help species like water vole and otter commute through the area.
  2. In the northern parkland, arable fields will be transformed into species-rich grassland and parklands with traditional wetland areas.
  3. The lake and runway grassland will provide a patchwork of wetlands, meadows and woodland at the heart of Waterbeach that will be enhanced to support the kingfishers already using the area, as well as a range of key species groups such as reptiles, bats and amphibians.
  4. The grassland, bunkers and specimen trees of the Royal Engineer’s old golf course have created an amazing backdrop to this important habitat area, creating a rich and diverse home for a wide range of species. This will be further enhanced to support our priority species.
  5. Waterbeach has been designed so wildlife habitats connect throughout the urban ecology - from hedgehog highways through gardens to swift and bat boxes on the homes. Wildlife-friendly gardening booklets in welcome packs and nature walks with ecologist will help new residents find out more about local nature and how their gardens can be designed to support wildlife.

Dedicated paths and educational trails have already started to be delivered to provide controlled access for people to enjoy nature without disturbing the mosaic of habitats created.

These habitats will continue to evolve as they are enhanced and managed. Delivery against the biodiversity strategy and Biodiversity Net Gain Action Plan will be independently monitored by the Wildlife Trust and the local authority ecology team.