A natural history of Cambridge

NatHistCam was a project which studied the natural history of Cambridge, based on an 8 km x 8 km square roughly centred on Mill Road Cemetery.   The book reporting on the results  was published this autumn by  Pisces Publications. It is part of their ‘Nature of …’ series and is softback, 328 pages and with lots of pictures. Now available  from NatureBureau.

Major sections of the book cover:

  • The genesis of the project, a description of the study area and the habitats found within it;
  • Physical and human setting, including geology and landscape and the development of the city;
  • Plants and fungi, including cryptogams and lichen, their distribution in the study area, their habitats and surveys of domestic gardens, Mistletoe, Orchids, roadsides and walls;
  • Animals, including butterflies and moths, beetles and bugs, dragon- and damselflies and other invertebrates, fish, amphibians and reptiles; and birds and mammals;
  • Sites of interest including the Botanic Garden, cemeteries and churchyards, college grounds and Hobson’s Brook;
  • The final sections talk about protected sites  and nature conservation and puts Cambridge’s natural history into a wider context.

Background to the project

NatHistCam is a project which studied 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 were 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.

 The fieldwork phase of the project has now come to an end and the data from all the surveys that have been done has been collated and analysed and a book reporting on the results will  be published this summer. The January 2020 newsletter gives an overview of the project and highlights some initial results from the surveys.

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

The poster from the 2017 Conversazione is here.

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.

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