A natural history of Cambridge

NatHistCam is a project to study the natural history of Cambridge, based on an 8 km x 8 km square which is roughly centred on Mill Road Cemetery.   There are maps of the area here. Our aims are to:

  • create a snapshot of the flora and fauna of Cambridge City and its immediate environs in a historical context; and
  • increase public awareness of the diversity of plants, animals and fungi in the city.

Based on our field studies, we shall publish papers and probably two books.

In each monad (1 km square) of the selected 64 squares, we have been  recording the presence of flowering plants, ferns, mosses and liverworts as well as amphibians and reptiles, birds, insects and other invertebrates, and mammals.

Survey work

The main fieldwork phase of the project has now come to an end and work is beginning on collating and analysing the data from all the surveys that have been done.

The January 2020 newsletter gives an overview of the project and highlights some of the initial results from the surveys.

More information on specific species and surveys are elsewhere on this website and in our blogs. Bob Jarman has provided more or less monthly blogs mainly on the birdlife of our area, while Olwen Williams has provided a monthly round-up of a selection of the many and varied sightings people have told her about. Both blogs will continue.

The book

Work has now begun on writing up the results of the surveys. The intention is to produce a book of about 120,000 words, with four major sections:

  • Physical and human setting, including geology and landscape, the development of the city and the  different habitats within it;
  • Animals, including birds, fish & herptiles, invertebrates and mammals, with a commentary on the character of our urban fauna;
  • Plants and fungi, including cryptogams and lichen, with a commentary on the character of our urban flora and fungi;
  • Sites and nature conservation

To contact us e-mail nathistcam@gmail.com .

Background to the project

A copy of the poster we exhibited at the Cambridge Natural History Society’s annual Conversazione last June, when we launched the project, is here.

The poster from the 2017 Conversazione is here.