Are you going?

September 12, 2014

To Stourbridge Fair …

it’s this weekend. Saturday 13th September at the Leper Chapel from midday … we’ll see you there.

All you need to know is here on the Cambridge Past Present and Future website.


Guerilla gardening … veg patch on the common

May 6, 2014

Guerilla gardening on the Common …

You may have noticed that some rather enterprising soul has taken advantage of the redundant tree guard to the right of the Green Dragon bridge and started a small veg patch.

It’s the first time this has happened on the Common and makes great use of the space inside one of the soon to be removed tree guards where tree planting had failed due to vandalism.

However, we’re informed by one of the City Council Green Spaces Officers that the garden is to be removed shortly. Which is the right thing to do, Stourbridge Common is now a Local Nature Reserve as well as being common land and a shared public space and as such can’t be dug up by individuals for private purposes. It sets a precedent which just isn’t tenable.

FoSC committee member Ellie Stoneley is talking about the guerilla veg patch on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire on 6th May, and the rows of very neatly planted potatoes (we think) have attracted wider attention across the internet and from passers by.


guerilla gardening 2 guerilla gardening 3 guerilla gardening

Litter Pick and the Big Dig

March 14, 2014

We’re looking forward to the Stourbridge Common litter pick on 22 March 2014.

Meet at 10 am near the Riverside entrance of the Common to be issued with gloves, bags, and litter-pickers and to listen to a Health & Safety talk. We will finish by noon, it’s always fun and is a great way to meet other people who enjoy Stourbridge Common and help keep it safe and litter free for all its many users.

Another set of events that may be of interest (although there is partial overlap with our own litter pick):

Local charity Cambridge Carbon Footprint is helping co-ordinate a national community gardening event called The Big Dig.  They have three orchards and gardens where they would love volunteers to come along for a an hour or two to help them get ready for the growing season. Midsummer Common Community Orchard and Trumpington Community Orchard will be giving a warm welcome to volunteers on Saturday 22nd March 10am – 1pm and Empty Common Community Garden will be welcoming volunteers on Sunday 23rd March 10am – 1pm. Foraged fresh soup will be available to try, cake will be on offer and there will be a range of activities for all abilities (including a ukelele band dropping by to liven things up) . No need to book, just turn up.  For further details please do take a look at

Bird Boxes on Stourbridge Common

February 4, 2014
Guy Belcher from Cambridge City Council and ‘a few volunteers’ got together on Monday 27th January and installed 22-24 boxes in the belt of trees that borders the industrial estate. 
These are German brand Schwegler nest boxes made of ‘woodcrete’ a natural product made from 75% wood and 25% ‘natural additives’ to allow air permeability.  There are over 8.5 million Schwegler woodcrete nest boxes installed in Europe, US, Canada.
We helped put up a mix of boxes:  larger holes for great/blue/coal/crested tits, as well as sparrows and bats.  Boxes with smaller holes for marsh/blue/coal tits and possibly wrens.
Lisa, one of the FoSC volunteers says, “It was quite nice that as soon as a box went up, a great tit took up residence immediately. Also, bat boxes are placed to catch the sun, and I like the kind of ‘semi-detached’ situation with the two boxes next to each other.”
Putting up the next boxes

Putting up the next boxes


seeing how the Bat can get into the box

seeing how the Bat can get into the box

in situ

in situ

open for business

open for business

Help us install next boxes

January 17, 2014

On Monday, 27 January, Guy Belcher, the City’s Nature Conservation Officer will be installing new nest boxes for smaller birds and bat boxes on Stourbridge Common along the industrial estate tree belt (kestrel and tawny owl boxes have already been installed).

If you’d like to come along to help out or just watch, please meet at 10.30 at the Oyster Row Entrance.  All materials provided.

Penny Ferry to be demolished

September 12, 2013

Very sad to report the news that the Appeal was upheld and the decision has been made to allow the demolition of the Penny Ferry (Pike and Eel) pub which opens the way for the building of 5 luxury homes along the river front.

The campaign to save the Penny Ferry/Pike and Eel pub was fought by 13 organisations who joined together, including Old Chesterton Residents Association, Cambridge Past, Present and Future, Friends of Stourbridge Common, CAMRA and rowers.   Clare Blair, a member of OCRA and Friends of Stourbridge Common, said on behalf of all the campaigners:


“Of course we are very disappointed. The Inspector’s judgement goes against an unprecedented number of community organisations both locally and city wide, the hundreds of residents who supported the campaign and the considered view of city councillors who listened carefully to all arguments.  We have fought for two years to save a wonderful piece of Cambridge’s history which will now be lost to expensive private housing of poor and overbearing design which will add nothing to our heritage.

Far too many pubs have been lost to developers keen to maximise their profits.  Had some of the current local and national protections for pubs been in place two years ago when the application was first made, we might have been able to save this one for future generations to enjoy. It certainly defies common sense to say that this very special riverside pub could never be run profitably.  Planning has to do better for Cambridge than this in the future.”



This decision will be discussed at the FoSC AGM on 13th September.

To read the full decision and costs application clink on the links below (PDF files)


Appeal Decision

Costs Decision



FoSC AGM coming up

August 22, 2013

The Friends of Stourbridge Common will hold their Annual General Meeting on Friday 13 September at St. Andrew’s Hall Chesterton at 7 pm.

We will have refreshments and a short AGM, followed by talks by Cllr Martin Curtis, Leader of the County Council, on cycling and the Common and by Dr. Louise Bacon of the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Environmental Records Centre on the Centre’s work and how it relates to the Common.

We do hope to see you there for what will be an interesting and enjoyable evening.

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