Category Archives: Field studies

24th September field studies

There is a CNHS field studies visit to Hobson’s Park on Sunday, September 24. This is one of our monthly visits to the broad area of Great Kneighton, also known as Clay Farm. The visits are designed to record the flora and fauna of the area and to introduce it to participants.

This visit will concentrate on plant galls and lichens. There are many gall causers and the first step is to identify a plant stem or leaf that looks a bit odd. Lichens are harder to identify and we’ll probably be restricted to a few common lichens unless an expert comes along as well. We’ll also record anything else of interest that we see.

Meet at the Trumpington (Foster Road) stop on the Guided Busway (TL451547), at 2:00pm. [Note this is not the P&R stop]

We will walk through the community garden to Hobson’s Park, where we will make a circular walk. All welcome, suitable for beginners.

For those that find grid references difficult try which allows you to use other co-ordinate systems.

Autumn events

Field studies

The field studies in the Great Kneighton area,including Hobson’s Park and the Addenbrooke’s site, continue but there have been some changes to the dates. They now are:

September 24 – field studies, galls & lichens, 2pm
October 15 – field studies, fungi, 2pm
November 5 – field studies, bryophytes, 11am

Details of meeting places will be circulated to those on his mailing list by Jonathan Shanklin. To join the mailing list please email him via webmaster [at] to be added to the list. He points out that Outlook has started to reject CNHS emails as spam for several members. If you are not receiving our weekly emails it is up to you to check with your service provider and adjust your settings.

In addition to the field studies, there is a Fungal Foray at the Botanic Gardens on October 14th.

Autumn talks

These will recommence with an in-person talk, in the David Attenborough Building, on October 12th. More details will be posted soon.

Talks will then be alternately on-line via Zoom and in person. The in-person talks are October 12th and 26th, and November 9th and 23rd.

A Seasonal Social is being planned for December 7th.

Magog Down visit 15th June

On Thursday, June 15 we will visit Magog Down. Rather than concentrate on the chalk grassland, we will quickly climb the hill and look at some of the arable margins on the east side. The heatwave, drought or cold snap of last year seems to have suited many ruderal species, so we might find some of the rarer plants not seen for a while.

Meet at the noticeboard by the cycle stands at 6:30pm.

It is a relatively easy cycle ride, though there is a hill! Continue past Addenbrooke’s, the Babraham Road P&R and the roundabout and turn right about half way up the hill.

The Backs field studies 28th August

Our field studies visits to the Backs continue on Sunday, August 28.  This is an afternoon excursion and we will be visiting Clare College, parts of the Backs and some churchyards. 

College visits mean that booking is required, as group numbers are limited by the colleges.  If you would like to come, please contact Jonathan Shanklin ( who will place you in an appropriate place on the list, with priority given to CNHS members.  If you are successful in booking you will receive details of where and when to meet. 

The field studies aim to record the natural history of the area, and this one will focus on the flora, though we will try and identify other things as well.  They also aim to introduce members to this natural history and how to identify species.  With the continuing drought, it is currently a question of identifying the dead plants!

New Year’s Day walk

We will be visiting the Backs for our field studies in 2022. I hope to include some college grounds, but this will depend on whatever Covid guidance is in force, both nationally and for the colleges.

Visits begin with the traditional New Year’s Day walk to find plants in flower – provided that outdoor gatherings are still permitted, meet outside the west door of Gt St Mary’s church at 1:00pm if you would like to take part.

Cambridge is a Covid hotspot, so please maintain social distance during the walk.

October Field Studies

A small party of members met at Bryon’s Pool for the October field studies visit to Trumpington Meadows.  The weather was mild and whilst there had been a little morning rain the afternoon was dry.  Jonathan had done a quick recce and thought that there might be a struggle to find many fungi, but was proved wrong.  The report of this visit, and reports from previous visits to Trumpington Meadows are elsewhere on this website in the Trumpington Meadows 2021 Diary.

The next visit is scheduled for Sunday 28th November and will focus on bryophytes. CNHS members and those on the CNHS mailing lists will be sent details of meeting place and time.

Waxcaps at Trumpington Meadows

Outdoor events

There are three outdoor events in the CNHS autumn programme.

Saturday 16th October: Fungal foray at the Botanic Garden Booking essential and limited to 15 participants. To book, please email Jonathan Shanklin <>

Sunday 17th October: Field study at Trumpington Meadows. This will focus on fungi.

Sunday 28th November: Field study at Trumpington Meadows. This will start at 11 a.m. to look at bryophytes (mosses and liverworts).

Members and those on the mailing list will be emailed details.

Trumpington Meadows report

The report of the visit to Trumpington Meadows on Sunday 22nd August is now available on the Trumpington Meadows 2021 Diary webpage. Jonathan Shanklin, who organises and leads the field studies, reports that “The highlight here [the Byron’s Pool meadow] was however a Wasp Spider, with the yellow bands more cream coloured than usual. It captured a cricket whilst we watched, quickly immobilising it and returning to its web.” Reports of the visits in May, June and July are available on the same page.

The next visit is scheduled for Sunday 26th September when the focus will be on trying to identify lichens and galls. For details of the visit and meeting place, join the CNHS mailing list by contacting webmaster [at] . Please make sure that your server doesn’t block bulk mailings.

For those interested in how the area has changed, the diary of the CNHS survey visits in 2012 is also available here and there was a report in Nature in Cambridgeshire volume 55. This is the annual journal of local natural history, with articles on a wide range of topics. An index to the first 50 issues is available on their website and back copies can be downloaded as pdfs.

Trumpington Meadows field study

With the nights beginning to draw in our visits to Trumpington Meadows return to Sunday afternoons. Our next field studies visit is on Sunday, August 22, meeting at 2pm at the Byron’s Pool car park, by the cycle stands TL438548 CB2 9LJ.

It is an easy cycle ride from Cambridge: Trumpington Road, then Church Lane and Grantchester Road. If you cross the river you’ve gone too far. The Cyclestreets route planner shows the distance as three miles from Cambridge Market and can be used to plan other routes.

The field studies visits aim to record the flora and fauna of the area and introduce participants to it. Although the flowering season is drawing to an end, there will still be many species in flower and if the weather is fine we might see butterflies and other insects. The going is fairly easy and often on paths. All welcome. Wet weather is currently forecast, but that may change in the coming days.

Trumpington Meadows Field Studies

Our next field studies visit to Trumpington Meadows takes place on Thursday, July 22, meeting at 6:30pm.  These visits aim to record the flora and some of the fauna of Trumpington Meadows, and introduce beginners to our local wildlife. 

Meet at the entrance opposite Addenbrooke’s Road on the Hauxton Road out of Cambridge TL441539 – see

All welcome – it is helpful if you can let Jonathan Shanklin (jdsh [AT] know if you plan to come.