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Cambridge City Council

River Cam CAN Project launched with local partners

15 September 2023

Cambridge Past, Present & Future have announced the start of a new project to help nature and climate in Cambridge, thanks to a £495,000 grant award from The National Lottery Community Fund’s Climate Action Fund. The River Cam CAN (Climate Action through Nature) Project will support communities near the river to work on initiatives that will benefit them and the environment.

The new two-year project is being managed by local charity Cambridge Past, Present & Future, and aims to raise awareness of the challenges faced by the River Cam and inspire and support people to take action to help. 

The project will be delivered by a partnership of local organisations including Abbey People, Cambridge City Council, Cambridge Past, Present & Future, CoFarm and Water Sensitive Cambridge. They will be supported by the national charity Climate Outreach. 

Rowers on the River Cam

Cllr Sam Carling, Executive Councillor for Open Spaces and City Services said, “Cambridge City Council will be working to deliver a project called ‘DiversiTree’, centred on a community-based approach to managing veteran trees growing on the riverbank which ensures that they continue to thrive. Veteran trees are important in supporting biodiversity and providing habitats for animals, not to mention their cultural and historic value. We hope to engage tree owners, residents and visitors so that we can all enjoy the trees and understand the importance they have as well as how to care for them.

"Part of the project will involve conducting a tree survey, talking to landowners who have veteran trees on their land, and hosting workshops on how to manage the trees. There will also be events open to members of the local community, including those from underrepresented backgrounds – caring for the environment is a community effort and we hope that by educating residents and landowners we can give them the right tools to do just that. 

"Increasing our tree stock in the city and protecting existing trees – including veteran trees – are both critical to our Tree Strategy as a council, which is why we are thrilled to be working with partners on this and why we’re so pleased that funding has been awarded to deliver this project in addition to others that will bring together local communities in caring for the River Cam to help address the environmental challenges that the river is facing.”

Read more about the wider River Cam CAN project.