Ecology at Waterbeach

The starting point for the design of Waterbeach Barracks was the extraordinary landscape inherited from the Royal Engineers.

Much of this was man-made - from the square blocks of woodland to the triangular lake. We are working to protect and enhance the diverse habitats remaining since the military left, from grasslands to woodland and water features and the species they are home to.

How we're enhancing ecology

Waterbeach ecology habitats map

The vision for the development establishes 5 key habitat areas, alongside a network of new green spaces and corridors which connect these special places.

Throughout the development these 5 priority habitats will be protected, enhanced and established to provide a higher quality of biodiversity than existed before development takes place. This is known as biodiversity net gain.

Our priority habitat areas are bigger than 60 international rugby pitches

Read about our 5 priority areas and learn more about the species that live there, from bats to brown hares.

Golf course habitat aerial view

The former golf course

The former golf course supports a range of habitat areas including grassland, scrub, woodland, hedges, ditches and ponds.

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Lake and runway habitat aerial view

The lake and runway grassland

Beautiful and tranquil, the lakeside and runway are a patchwork of wetlands, meadows and woodland in the heart of Waterbeach Barracks.

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Western bund and car dyke habitat aerial view

Western bund and watercourse

The western boundary of the site includes a wide grassy bund with patches of scrub and scattered trees situated next to the historic watercourse, part of the Old Tillage network.

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Northern buffer habitat aerial view

Northern buffer

A large-scale habitat creation area situated along the northern boundary of the site, this will allow for links to existing fields and fenland to the north.

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Urban ecology

Alongside the natural landscape features, the urban areas of the development will include benefits for bats, hedgehogs, urban birds and other key species, and ensure new residents are never far from nature.

Waterbeach aerial view

What's happening in the habitat areas right now?

waterbeach ecology updates

Wild about beetles

November, 2021
Beetles are one of the many species we want to nurture here at Waterbeach Barracks. The ecology team has been busy creating places for beetles and other insects to thrive.

This week's focus is on building beetle banks, which are formed from mounds of earth and provide shady and sunny habitat and shelter for these unsung heroes!
Ecology News
Ecologist working on beetle bank

Interconnected habitats

All 5 priority habitat areas as set out above, connect to each other and with other green spaces to help wildlife move about effectively, at the same time as providing wonderful routes for horse riding, cycling and walks for everyone to enjoy. 

All of this is part of ensuring Waterbeach achieves a biodiversity net gain as well as being a great place to live, work or visit.