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

River bank restoration plans

January 16, 2014

We recently received the following from Guy Belcher the Nature Conservation Officer at Cambridge City Council

Plans for the river bank restoration are progressing well. See the drawing for the proposed works (Click to see the Proposed Plan) which are scheduled to begin in February 2014 and run through to the end of March. These works concentrate on the stretch prioritised for replacement, they do not impact upon the existing site moorings. 

The existing concrete piling has come to the end of its serviceability life and will be replaced with a naturally engineered solution to stabilise the bank and increase habitat value along the river. Please note a temporary stock fence will be required in the first growing season to enable the native marginal vegetation to establish. This will be removed by March 2015 at the latest. These restorative and temporary works are considered as permitted development under the Common S38 consent process. We have applied for the necessary Environment Agency and Cam Conservators consents. No trees will be lost as part of the scheme, but two willows adjacent to the bank are proposed for re-pollarding.

Should anyone require additional information please refer them to

Logan’s Meadow: Past, Present & Future

January 16, 2014
An interesting talk you might be interested in …
Nick Moir (vicar of St Andrew’s Chesterton) will speak on the meadow’s importance as a hub for the medieval village and manor, and Guy Belcher (Nature Conservation Officer at the city council) on the proposed water channel and reed bed.

St Andrew’s Hall

Tuesday 18 February  7.30-9.15pm
(beginning with a glass of wine/fruit juice)

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



What are your thoughts on the idea of a new bridge?

June 27, 2013

An open meeting to discuss a new bridge over the River Cam has been organized by Ian Manning, Cambridgeshire County Councillor for East Chesterton.

The bridge, which would form part of the so-called Chisholm Trail, would provide a link to the new Chesterton/Science Park rail station and could potentially have impact on Stourbridge Common.

The meeting will be held on 18 July from 7.30 pm – 8.30 pm at the Shirley School in Nuffield Road.  It will be run as a drop-in event, where Cllr Manning and county council officers will be on hand to discuss the issues and options.  Friends of Stourbridge Common are urged to go along and provide their input on:

· visual appearance of the bridge
· location of the bridge
· the location of the ‘landing’ points (i.e., should the bridge serve The Hallingway, Fen Road, etc.)
· design of the landpoints (i.e., steep or long slopes)

Residents will also be asked to look at the bridge in its wider context, such as considering onward journeys north via the new station and Chesterton and south of the river via Stourbridge Common and Newmarket Road.

River restoration talk

March 17, 2013

You might be interested in this wonderful talk on River Restoration in the Cam Valley by Rob Mungovan at the upcoming Cam Valley Forum AGM.

Non-members of the Cam Valley Forum are welcome to attend all or part of this meeting, which is on 4 April at 7.15 at the Trumpington Pavilion


River Restoration Talk

River Restoration Talk

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