800 Wood - The University of Cambridge
Lockhart Garratt Ltd has managed the woodlands belonging to Cambridge University since 1998. The University owns approx 65ha of woodland, including Madingley Wood SSSI and the historic woodlands surrounding Madingley Hall.
In 2007 the University's Rural Surveyor Rachel Buckingham-Howard, asked LGL to design and implement the planting of a 10ha field to commemorate the 800th anniversary of the University of Cambridge. The project's primary objective was to produce a new native woodland design to mirror and extend the adjacent Madingley Wood SSSI. The project also required LGL to manage the contractor tender process, supervise the planting and maintenance programmes, design and produce interpretation boards and involve local stakeholder groups.
LGL secured grant funding from the Forestry Commission, SITA Trust and Cambridge City Council which contributed towards the planting, maintenance, signage, gates and access improvements. Over 15,000 trees and shrubs were planted in March 2008, with the assistance of 35 local school children who also helped with the design of a special sign to mark their planting area. As the project evolved, LGL conducted tours for members of Madingley Parish Council and the Madingley Historic Gardens Group to ensure the local community was kept up to date with developments.
On 20th April 2009 the woodland, christened '800 Wood', was officially opened to the public by the Chancellor of Cambridge University, HRH the Duke of Edinburgh. LGL was invited to play a key part in the day, discussing the design of the new woodland with the Chancellor and giving him a brief tour of the site. Public interest in the project ensured the event was well attended and LGL ran tours for the public until late into the evening.
The woodland is well used by the public and will be managed by LGL with this in mind, with volunteer days organised to educate the public about the benefit and importance of woodland management operations. The adjacent Madingley SSSI has been used for study by the University since the early 1970s and it is hoped that 800 Wood will be used in the same way.
As part of the University's 800 anniversary celebrations Lockhart Garratt worked with me to assist in the layout and design, secured grant funding and managed the planting and maintenance of the largest wood the University has ever planted. Nothing was too much trouble whether it was dealing with school children on tree planting days, preparing interpretation boards or helping with our Royal visit on the open day when the wood was opened to the public. I would not hesitate to recommend them.
Rachel Buckingham-Howard, Rural Surveyor, Cambridge University