And suddenly it’s September…

Although you wouldn’t think it when we are all sweltering away in 30*C! As usual, even though there’s been rain elsewhere, the Duxford microclimate has stayed obstinately dry – thank heavens we now have the borehole. This time I need to say a huge thanks to Lewis (who is doing his Duke of Edinburgh Bronze award) and dad Nick – we got all the trees watered and will go back to do the small shrubs and the Nectar Garden if we don’t get some showers. The pond is really low again, but I won’t top it up from the borehole just to evaporate into the atmosphere – it will eventually find its level.

The little orchard trees were pruned earlier this year (thanks to Dom from the wonderful Cambridge Cofarm), so bore little fruit – the thinking is to let them get stronger first, but we’ve had some wonderful sunsets and now the meadow has been mown and cleared in time for this weekend’s airshow.

The Nectar Garden is still full of flowers, providing much needed sustenance for our pollinators. With all the ivy beginning to flower in the hedgerows, there should be plenty of food until the end of the year.

A couple of weeks ago FODGS purchased 2 huge bags of well rotted horse manure from Madingley Mulch and our wonderful team of volunteers fed every tree and shrub with it. S.P. Landscapes gave us 2 huge loads of woodchip and this has been spread around on top of the mulch. This will feed the trees and also stop them drying out. Thanks so much to all of you!

Just fabulous….

I hope you managed to get to our Festival of Nature – it was such a wonderful day with the sun shining, families smiling and a HUGE amount of information from our speakers and stall holders. I have to say thank you to so many people:

Our excellent speakers: Councillors Peter McDonald and Pippa Heylings for opening the event, actors Emma Lowndes & Jason Merrells for telling the Story of Brewery Field, Ashley Arbon MBE, ecologist and biodiversity expert, Dick Newall from Action for Swifts, and Iain Webb from the local Wildlife Trust

Our neighbours who provided power: Barbara & Malcolm, Lizzy & family

Mike & Tinneke Butler for offering parking on their property

Some of the super-efficient organising team, Ian, Gillian, Sarah, Jen (our marvelous MC) and Heather. Thanks also to Nick, who supervised the children’s sports events and Giles who couldn’t be there for the event.

The amazing volunteers, some of whom had to stay put all day: Paul, Phil, Matt, Sue, Gisela, Roy, Joanne & Nick, Liz & Fred and Dan & Nina.

Mrs Suzanne Blackbourne-Maze for judging the cake competition

The delicious hospitality providers: The Duxford Plough, The Wandering Yak, Cider InCider, The Teapod

Our lovely stall holders and woodcrafters: Tony, Maureen, Sally & Mary from the Duxford Allotment Society, Debbie & Sarah from Nature’s Posy, Mike from Cambs & Essex Butterfly Conservation, Iain & Paul from The local Wildlife Trust, Dick & Bruce from Action for Swifts, Fay The Woodland Haberdasher, Olly Moses woodcraft, Mick Thwaites of Woodlark landscaping (who left us the wonderful legacy fence), Hannah of Triplekissdesigns eco friendly greetings cards, Ben & Dan On the Verge & Pesticide Free Cambridge

Are you READY?

Just a few days until our wonderful Festival of Nature – and the weather is improving! Gates open at 1230.

We have an amazing, interesting line up for you – will you pledge to turn a bit of your garden over to nature? Maybe you’ll enter the Duxford Bake-Off, or the Pollinating Posy competition? Or both?

Entries must be handed in by 2pm for numbering and display. Winners will be announced around 4pm. All cakes will be sold off and proceeds will go to Friends of Duxford Green Spaces.

Please pot up and bring spare plants from your garden – you can swap them and donate to FODGS.

Less than a month to go….!

We are ramping up the preparations for our FREE Festival of Nature on Saturday 20th May. Posters are going up around the village and flyers will be left with local hospitality venues.

We have fingers and toes crossed for good weather on the day, but you can be sure of lots of interesting talks, walks and stalls on the day whatever the elements bring us.

There will be something for everyone, from the Teddy Bears’ Picnic to craft demos and gardening tips.

Mario from The Plough will be providing the bar and there will be tea & cake and food on sale.

You’ll be able to enter Flowers from your Garden into our competition, swap plants and learn all sorts of useful tips and tricks to encourage pollinators and ensure that your allotment, garden, patio or window ledge is not only green and eco-friendly, but productive too. We’ll show you how to improve biodiversity and join your garden up to our Duxford Nature Corridors.

You can also enter your favourite home-baked cake into the great Duxford Bake-Off. We have craft demos and talks on all kinds of wildlife, flora and fauna – more detailed info on these a bit nearer the time.


New sign is a big success!

Our beautiful new sign is now in place on the corner of Hunts Road and St John’s Street – thanks so much to Sarah Ashworth for the design, to Hortiservices for giving us their old sign and to The Cambridge Sign Company for a really quick and efficient installation.

We are cracking on with preparations for the BREWERY FIELD FESTIVAL OF NATURE on Saturday 20th May (1230 – 1830). Watch this space for more info, but expect to be wowed by all sorts of things green and sustainable, including talks, walks, craft demonstrations, engaging competitions for both adults and children, stalls and hospitality.

There is limited parking in the village, so if you are coming from outside the village, please plan to arrive on foot, by bicycle or by public transport.

It’s going to be a fun day and we’d love you to join us. If you can find the time to help – either with preparation and planning or on the day – please get in touch by emailing

We are now finalising our Biodiversity Strategy for Duxford Parish and had an inspirational day at the Whittlesford Eco Hub, meeting lots of like-minded people from all over Cambridgeshire – it’s fantastic to see how much is going on at grass roots level!

Brewery Field Fishing Competition!

Even though many of the goldfish were fished out last summer, the few remaining have been making hay and have now become (at least) 13. They will be eating all our newt and dragonfly lava, so once again we need your help, and this time there is a prize!

  1. Sign up by emailing: (messages will be checked on Mondays).
  2. Catch a fish with a line or a net (you must hold a rod licence to catch with a line).
  3. Take a picture of you with the goldfish. You can then rehome it.
  4. Email us with the good news and attach your picture.
  5. The winner will receive their prize at the Brewery Field Biodiversity Focus Day on Saturday 20th May.
  6. If you cannot rehome the goldfish, we will put you in touch with people who want to take them.
  7. If you want free goldfish and you have a suitable pond, please let us know by emailing the same address, confirming agreement to share your email address.

A New Year brings New Challenges…

It could be easy to feel downhearted at the end of a year that has been so difficult for so many: the cost of living is soaring and the organisations that keep our country running are struggling to cope. All we can do is to be there for those around us, whether they be family, friends or strangers.

We also urgently need to do our bit for the planet, even small actions can have big wins.

Friends of Duxford Green Spaces, with the blessing of Duxford Parish Council, has come up with a plan to improve biodiversity in the Parish – we will be doing all we can to increase the flora and fauna in the parish – this includes mowing the verges less frequently, planting meadow plants and creating more habitat for birds, insects and small mammals. We will be helping you to do the same in your gardens and business premises.

We are planning an event on Saturday 20th May on Brewery Field, to showcase our plans and hopefully show some early wins. We never did have our opening event as it was cancelled during lockdown, so this will be a great opportunity to come together on the field and celebrate everything that has been achieved in just over 3 years.

If you have something green, sustainable and eco friendly to showcase or sell, whether it is a craft, a trade or some other skill, please get in touch at and book your stall!

…and suddenly we’re in September!

After the driest, hottest summer for many years, there’s a lot to report. We had around 3 months with almost no rain at all, combined with unprecedented temperatures. The pond was more like a puddle.

The trees and shrubs were failing, as was the strength of the few volunteers who were valiantly lugging buckets of water around in ridiculous temperatures.

Something drastic was needed and thankfully Duxford Parish Council agreed to fund a borehole on the site. Careful negotiation and super quick service from Anglian Pumping Services meant that just 2 weeks after the decision, we had water on tap – it was nothing short of miraculous! We bought a generator (to work the underground pump) and 100m of hosepipe, and now we can water whenever we wish – what a difference 2 weeks made. For those that are interested, they hit water at 9m and drilled down to 20m.

Thanks to Russell Smith Farms, who once again topped up the pond for us (we have a limit on the amount of water we can draw without an abstraction licence).

Most of the goldfish have been caught and re-homed, but some remain and the goldfish lobby is fighting back, putting up signs that caused much hilarity – as well as a little hysteria – on social media!

Our orchard has produced some lovely fruit and hopefully next year the trees will be strong enough that we won’t need to remove so much of it.

The recent rain has helped us enormously and now we are fully prepared for the next dry season!

Glorious June!

Our fabulous new info sign is now in place – thanks so much to Caroline Merrifield our talented local artist for providing the artwork.

The pollinators are busy doing their job in the nectar garden, which is in full bloom and glorious colour.

Outside the garden, the orchard is beginning to fruit and as well as the poppies, we have many different native wild flowers, to attract the attention of butterflies and bees.

Three goldfish have been caught, including one that was pregnant, big thanks to the local lads who fished them out – please have another go and get rid of all of them. The water level is very low at the moment, but our local farm manager (Russell Smith Farms) has kindly promised to top it up when he has finished irrigating the nearby potato field.

We hope to be able to hold an open event in September and hopefully at the same time we can unveil “The Brewers” a set of sculptures created using art fund money by a local artist, using a chainsaw and little else – watch this space!

Too little water and too many fish!

Where is the rain? Sarah and Barbara planted more pollinating plants in the Nectar Garden about a month ago, and since then we have had no rain. Even the trees are looking a little peaky and they should be strong enough by now not to need watering.

I went with the trolley and trugs to collect water from the containers attached to the bicycle and teen shelters, only to find that the one on the teen shelter had been emptied (for the 3rd time!) and much of the guttering had been pulled down. The one next to the bike shelter had had its lock broken, but still had enough water for me to water the plants and a few of the orchard trees.

This is the third time we’ve lost all the water and our plants are suffering. Any ideas how we can engage our youngsters’ interest so that they look after the space instead of hurting it?

We can repair the guttering, but the loss of water is a problem – we get so little rain here in the Duxford micro-climate and we have no natural water source, so collecting what little rain we have is essential.

Still on the subject of water, one or two well-meaning people have been adding fish to the Brewery Field wildlife pond – this is not a good thing.

Fish dramatically change the dynamic of a pond, eating the larvae and generally muddying the water. We have taken the advice of our experts and want to keep the Brewery Field pond evolving naturally.

Please don’t add wildlife to the wildlife pond!