Brewery Field Project

The Story so Far

In 2010 the Parish council purchased a 1.67 hectare of agricultural land (known as Brewery field), to give Duxford the park and green space needed. Following consultations and presentations to the village in May 2017 the council agreed that Brewery field would be developed as a wildlife haven and recreation park.

  • August 2017:  the Brewery Field Facebook page was created
  • September 2017:  the Parish Council appointed Sarah Ashworth to create a design.
  • October 2017Archaeology RheeSearch Group carried out magnetometry and resistivity surveys on the site.  Results can be found on their website under “What we’ve done/ Duxford”.
  • January 2018: following a presentation to the Annual Parish Meeting, the plans for change of use were submitted to south Cambs planning and received approval in April 2018.
  • February 2018:  with help and advice from the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, we had the exciting news that the Parish Council had been successful in their funding application to the Landfill Communities Fund and would receive £50,000 from Amey to complete our project.
  • March 2018:  a contractor was appointed to construct 2 pedestrian and 1 vehicle entrance onto the field.
  • August 2018Friends of Duxford Green Spaces was formed, enabling us to apply for funding not available to Parish Councils and through its charitable status, receive gift aid on donations.
  • September 2018:  the Parish Council unanimously agreed to appoint local company Hortiservices to carry out the landscaping work.
  • November 2018:  once again following assistance from the Cambridgeshire Community Foundation,  FODGS received a grant of £4000 from the Dulverton Trust.
  • February 2019:  the Parish Council agreed to fund the landscaping works, pending the draw-down of the Amey loan (only available on completion of the works).
  • April 2019:  the contractor constructed 3 entrances onto the field, though did not complete the eastern (Elms Close) entrance as quoted.
  • May 2019:  a pyramid orchid was found growing on the field.
  • June 2019Hortiservices began landscaping works.
  • August 2019:  the first memorial oak tree, in memory of local man Mathew Smyth was planted.
  • September 2019:  The pond was filled by our local farmer,  the first memorial bench was installed in the nectar garden, completing landscaping works with the exception of final shaping of the chalk mound.
  • November 2019:  The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) “I dig trees” initiative awarded us 100 free trees.  These were planted by volunteers.  On the 29th November, each class of the Duxford C of E primary school planted a tree on their Wellbeing Day and the schoolchildren will continue to monitor and care for them over the years.
  • December 2019:  around 40 larger trees were planted and staked.  These were purchased using the Amey grant funds and are all native trees.  Butler Bros. of Whittlesford brought in material for the chalk mound and also dug out a wet area (the Swale), which was lined with plastic adjacent to the pond overflow.
  • The date for our open day was set at Sunday April 26th 2020.
  • January 2020:  another 35 trees were planted in the orchard area, including apples, pears, gages and plums.  Already looking forward to our first juice pressing!
  • February 2020 – the mound was planted with chalk loving plants to attract butterflies
  • March 2020 – COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent lockdown meant we have had to indefinitely postpone our open day and delay the extension of the gravel pathway.
  • April 2020 – weather is glorious with little rain, which means regular watering of our new trees to give them a strong start.  Thanks to Ashley, our consultant ecologist and his tractor, we are able to do this, but we must continue fundraising to bring water on site.  The second telegraph pole is in place and we just need Openreach to rewire and remove the old pole, then the tarmac can be laid.  This month too, the Amey grant for £50K is being paid as all elements of the intitial project have now been completed.
  • May 2020 – hot weather continues and lockdown has eased slightly. We continue to water twice weekly – we need rain! We have cut the grass, leaving some areas long for pollinators. The dipping deck gates are fitted and we are now back to one telegraph pole, properly wired up.
  • June 2020 – The pond has been filled – thanks to Russell Smith Farms! The pavement has been laid, though we are still waiting for Highways to sign off the work. The grass has been cut again and we are about to order seating for various points around the site. The welcome rain didn’t last long and we are watering regularly again. Hortiservices laid the 2 new sections of gravel path, helping all users to access both entrances and the dipping deck.
  • Autumn 2020 – benches have been installed and a new 1000l water butt attached to the bike rack. We have also realised that unaccompanied mobility vehicle users are not able to access the site easily, so we are looking at ways to improve the western entrance.
  • Winter 2020 – Sarah is organising Brewery Field Fridays, volunteer afternoons to help with tasks on site. These have to be socially distanced pairs until the current lockdown is over. Two new benches are planned – one for the dipping deck area and another for next to the gravel path on the south side.
  • Spring 2021 – Three large water tanks were purchased and generously filled by some of the Elms Close residents. Three picnic benches arrived and in June, the exercise equipment and shelter were installed on the southwest corner and one of the water tanks was relocated to collect rain from the shelter roof.
  • Autumn 2021 – we mowed the whole area, including the long meadow and clippings were cleared to the back of the site.
  • Spring 2022 – a maintenance contract was put out to tender and started 1st April, though volunteers still look after the nectar garden. Our beautiful new info sign was installed, illustrated by local artist Caroline Merrifield.
  • Summer 2022 – in July, the Parish Council agreed to fund a borehole, up to a cost of £10K. Our own supply of fresh, untreated water was available just 2 weeks later, ensuring the viability of our trees and shrubs into the hot dry future. We do not need an abstraction licence provided that we draw less that 20m3 per day and our needs will be significantly less. Russell Smith Farms topped up the pond again and most of the ‘donated’ goldfish have been caught and re-homed, protecting our precious invertebrate population.
  • Autumn 2022 – a short film about Brewery Field is now available on YouTube. This film was funded by the Duxford Parish Council art fund.
  • Winter 22/23 – a new notice board was installed next to the orchard and the sign on the corner was reskinned as the new “Welcome to Brewery Field” sign. – thanks to Hortiservices for donating the hardware. Plans are coming on for our open day and Festival of Nature on the 20th May.
  • Spring 2023 – with the help of the Duxford Allotmenteers, we planted 150 new hedge and tree saplings to fill some gaps and bulk up our hedges. Thanks to TCV “I dig trees” for donating the trees – they will be included in the Queen’s Green Canopy.
  • 20th May 2023 – the Brewery Field Festival of Nature

With sincere and heartfelt thanks to the following organisations and individuals for helping us to get where we are today:

  • The Cambridgeshire Community Foundation, for their help and advice in finding suitable funding
  • Duxford Parish Council for supporting the project and interim funding pending drawdown of the Amey grant.
  • Amey and the Landfill Communities Fund for their generous grant of £50K;
  • The Dulverton Trust, for their grant of £4K;
  • Ashley Arbon M.B.E for botanical expertise, grass cutting, enthusiasm, effort and equipment, for sharing his invaluable contacts and for his general expertise in all things green;
  • Sarah Ashworth and Rob Smit of Hortiservices for their enthusiasm, time and effort beyond the remit of their contracts;
  • Archaeology RheeSearch Group  for the survey;
  • All the committed members of Friends of Duxford Green Spaces for their financial support;
  • Russell Smith Farms for filling the pond in record time from  reserves;
  • Everyone who uses our easyfundraising link to do their online shopping – this has raised over £942 so far – at no cost to the shoppers!
  • The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) “I dig trees” for 200 free trees
  • Our amazing volunteers who have helped with planting and caring for the trees and shrubs and looking after the nectar garden;
  • Everyone who has donated plants for the site;
  • Mercer tree surgeons for offering woodchip;
  • Local company SMT (Volvo), for donating 20 volunteer days during working hours;
  • Colin Butler of Butler Bros. Whittlesford for his time and effort in creating the chalk mound.

Why not join us?

Join the Friends of Duxford Green Spaces and help complete and improve this wonderful wildlife haven and recreation area for all to enjoy.   Sign up for membership here or contact us via our contact page for further details.

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