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Cambridge City Council

Statements on mowing on Midsummer Common and tree cutting related to Darwin Green

23 May 2023

The below statements were issued in response to enquiries from the media about: Mowing on Midsummer Common; Tree cutting related to the new development at Darwin Green; and Tree cutting during nesting season related to the new development at Darwin Green.

Mowing on Midsummer Common

A Cambridge City Council spokesperson said: “Midsummer Common is one of the city’s historic grazing commons and is managed by the council for the benefit of both people and wildlife. The site is also an important public open space, which is enjoyed by residents and visitors in a variety of different ways including for exercise, leisure, dog-walking and sometimes for large-scale organised events. The grass on this area of the site has been mown ahead of this year’s annual Strawberry Fair event, so that the space is safe to use for those preparing the site and attending the fair, which takes place on 3 June.

“Midsummer Common is also an important grassland habitat, and was purposefully left uncut during early spring, to allow the creeping buttercup to flower, for the enjoyment of people and benefit of insects. The council has also retained areas of nettle and cow parsley on the site, as they are also an important source of nectar and food for insects. Both species are being managed by the council to ensure they don’t spread and dominate the site. The council is managing the wall barley on the site, which has become widespread in recent years, to, once again, prevent it from spreading and dominating.

“The council has been undertaking a grassland restoration trial on an area of Midsummer Common, with the aim of increasing grassland species interest and so the area’s overall habitat value. The trial work is being delivered in partnership with the Wildlife Trust, with funding from the Natural England administered Green Recovery Fund; and secured in partnership with the Cambridge Nature Network.

“The council fully recognises the importance of a healthy and biodiverse environment for the city’s future prosperity and the wellbeing of all who live, work and study here, as set out in our Biodiversity Strategy 2022-30 [PDF, 2.5MB]. For more details about how the council is working to improve biodiversity in the city visit

Tree cutting related to the new development at Darwin Green

A Greater Cambridge Shared Planning spokesperson said: "Approval was given to redesign the junction, including widening the highway, in order to enable better access to the new site. This was required by the County Council as the highways authority and a consultee on such planning applications. The new site will deliver an extensive, high quality landscaping network, which will allow for new trees and foliage. Good quality cycling infrastructure is a necessary component of our growth sites."

A Cambridge City Council spokesperson said: “Where undertaking permitted and planned development work of this nature, it is advisable to avoid the nesting season, and where it can’t and a project is time sensitive, bird nesting surveys should be undertaken prior to any work being carried out to show that no birds would be harmed. We are aware that the relevant surveys have been conducted on behalf of the developer prior to work starting.”