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Cambridge City Council

Nine Wells local nature reserve

Nine Wells local nature reserve, off Granhams Road, Great Shelford CB22 5LQ

Nine Wells local nature reserve is a mix of woodland, scrub and water east of Trumpington. Its name refers to the number of chalk springs at the site, which are the source of the Hobson's Conduit waterway that flows through Cambridge.

The reserve was once a Site of Special Scientific Interest because it was home to some rare freshwater invertebrates. These were unfortunately lost during a drought in 1976. We plan to try to reintroduce these.

Animals and plants

The site is an important pitstop for many visiting migrating birds. Reed warblers regularly nest in the brook every summer, and you can spot redwings feeding in the hedgerows in the autumn. Grey partridges, yellowhammers, skylarks and linnets are regular visitors, too.

During the summer months many dragonflies and butterflies feed and take shelter in the open grassland areas.

The woodland contains some splendid mature beech trees. At the scrub level there are also some wonderful older spindles, whose sprawling growth habit creates fantastic conditions for invertebrates. They also provide the perfect conditions for the spindle ermine moth larvae to thrive.

Our work to manage and improve the reserve:

We manage the woodland and scrub to create small glades with plenty of regrowth to encourage a diversity of structure.

We keep the chalk watercourses clear of shade by regularly cutting back the overhanging vegetation. We monitor the water flow all year round to ensure that levels never reach a critical level.

This monitoring is vital to recreate suitable conditions for the rare invertebrates that were previously lost from the site, and which our long-term aim is to reintroduce.


You can access the reserve on foot on a footpath from Granham’s Road, a permissive path from Foster Road, or from the cycle path that runs between Shelford and Addenbrooke’s.

There is no road access to the reserve.

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