Coton Countryside Reserve -

Cambridge's new open space

View of Cambridge from Coton Countryside Reserve

The Countryside Reserve offers a great chance to experience changing seasons within a working farm environment and has one of the best local panoramic views across countryside, including the historic skyline of Cambridge and Coton village.


Ash Dieback Disease

Like many local land managers CambridgePPF is sad to see yet another tree disease taking hold in East Anglia/ UK.

We are checking our sites and woodlands and to date we have not yet found any young or old plantings being affected by the Chalara fungus.

However we will be vigilant and further on the lookout - particularly when ash trees are back in leaf in spring 2013. For best background information, identification images and recent updates from the Government - please click here.


Bridging the Gap

Please support us to create a link between west Coton village and the Coton Countryside Reserve.

We have already achieved 2/3 of our fundraising target and have planning permission.

Please support us to raise the remaining 1/3!
Coton Countryside Reserve - leaflet front page Walkers at Coton Countryside Reserve - CambridgePPF  

Coton Countryside Reserve

For new Visitor Guide and newly waymarked routes - please here. [2.5MB]


See also further below for more information about the Reserve.


orchard view

Big Lottery

A grant for the Coton Countryside Reserve will help to create another orchard.

For details - please click here.

Big Lottery



Our web-based questionnaire is now closed.

During 2011 we will undertake on site visitor surveys. Alternatively please contact us to let us have your thoughts.

questionnaire CambridgePPF Coton C Reserve Jan 2011


The Coton Reserve

Covering well over 300 acres (120ha) of pasture and agricultural land, the Reserve is located near the village of Coton to the west of Cambridge. With its open sky, large fields and tall hedges there is always interest - wildlife, landscape views and changing skies.

Willow Trees - Coton Countryside reserve

This is an exciting project to develop a new wildlife and farm reserve. Phase 1 was completed in summer 2008. We have created more woodlands, hedge plantings, hay meadows and an orchard corner. The farming operations are designed to be wildlife enhancing and new routes have been introduced to give walkers, cyclists, joggers, disabled persons and horse riders access to the diverse habitats. There is a hilltop picnic area. Thanks to links with adjacent public footpaths and bridleways Coton Countryside reserve is an accessible local green space.


In the 1930s The Society acquired farm land in what is now the Green Belt, at the edge of the City. Initially non-native Weeping Willows, Turkey Oaks and Perry Pears were planted to improve the landscape and some public access was provided. The Second World War, halted further works. Other activities then required the Society's resources but in the late 1990s the Green Spaces Committee of the Society became the driving force behind the Reserve project. The new Countryside Reserve was planned; support was gathered and planning permission obtained in 2003, followed by initial funding for Phase 1 improvement works.

Our Sponsors and Supporters

Volunteers working at Coton

We are grateful to all those who have supported the Phase I improvement works.

Looking after Coton Countryside Reserve - How you can help

More work and support required.

We now plan to continue the work to make further improvements. We are planning large and small works and are looking for funding, sponsorship and support for projects such as:

  • Car park - Phase 2 - surfacing of 50 more spaces
  • Reserve Centre - housing a ranger base, public toilets, education rooms and visitor information centre
  • Site furniture - informal benches and seats
  • Informal Fitness Trail - informal exercise stations linking with Coton Village and West Cambridge Athletic Club
  • Paths and sustainable access - further improvements and linkage with the village and local bus network; further information boards.
  • Boundary improvements - including M11 noise reduction
  • Directional signage - improvement of way markers
  • Pond - pond dipping deck for schools and groups at the heart of the Reserve
  • Surveys and management plans - covering wildlife conservation and historical research
  • Habitat improvements - (Phase 2) - including specific habitats such as the riverine wildlife improvements along Bin Brook corridor and ditches; wetland area near brook
  • Maintenance equipment and machinery - including tractor, trailer and other accessories, etc
  • Farm ranger post - salary support to enable better practical conservation and visitor management including environmental education.
Coton notice board

Finding Coton Countryside Reserve

Please use sustainable transport to reach the Coton Countryside Reserve

Foot: Public Footpaths from West Cambridge, Newnham, Coton and Barton.

Bike: Coton Footpath (Harcamlow Way or Wimpole Way); cycle racks are at both main entrances

Bus: use local buses - Citi 4 ( Camborne bus, stop at Coton Turn); or use sightseeing bus and then walk along main road through the village.

Car & Motorbike: access from Barton Road A603 (near M11 Junction 12) to Grantchester Road leading to Coton; ¾ mile from junction use visitor's Martin Car Park on the right (north of Wheatcases Barn & Cottages).

Visiting the Reserve

Coton gate Within the last few years more diverse wildlife habitats have been created, including woodlands and hedge plantings; new hay meadows and an orchard. Wildlife-friendly farming operations and new recreational routes for walkers, cyclists, joggers, disabled persons and horse riders have been introduced. These link with adjacent public footpaths and bridleways - in all making the Reserve an accessible and more enjoyable major public green space.

Guided Walks: Throughout the year we provide guided walks to give deeper insight into the countryside reserve, its wildlife and management

Special Events: We have a programme of events suitable for all ages throughout the year. Please see our Coton Countryside Reserve events page for details.

Group Visits: We welcome visits by groups, schools and other organisations. For further information go to our Education page. To book a visit please e-mail or call the Cambridge Past, Present & Future Office (Tel: 01223 243830)

Coton - Rowans Hill

Car park opening times:

9.00am and 6.00pm (end March to end October - British Summer Time);
9.00am to 4.00pm in winter (early November to end March).
Closure of gates may be earlier if too dark and gates may be shut before 4.00pm in December, January and February.
Please check notices on the day.
Please also note that the opening hours may be reviewed from time to time.

At the moment parking is free - please consider joining Cambridge PPF to support its activities and the Reserve. Keep your vehicle safe and do not leave any valuables items on display - thieves operate in the area!

Warning! If the gates are locked and your car is left on site, we may not be able to unlock the gates until the next morning.

Coton Map Enlarged view of Coton mapEnlarged view [+]

Image produced from the Ordnance Survey Get-a-map service. Image reproduced with kind permission of Ordnance Survey and Ordnance Survey of Northern Ireland.

If you encounter problems please contact us.

Detail location: Post code CB23 7PZ or Ordnance Survey grid reference: TL 414577GB.

Landrover and tools

Volunteering at Coton Reserve

Would you like to help the work of Cambridge Past, Present & Future? We are always glad to hear from people who can spare even an hour or two to help. Volunteer support is essential to shape and maintain the Coton Reserve and in particular help is required for surveys of wildlife; practical conservation tasks and research on the history and archaeology of the site. Please go to our Volunteering page for more information about volunteering or other opportunities to help Cambridge Past, Present & Future.

Reserve Rules

Primarily to protect the local wildlife, please keep to the paths and your dog on the lead at all times. For detailed rules - please refer to Park Rules.

Cambridge Past, Present & Future