Melwood is a small part of the narrow belt of woodland which runs alongside the River Mel to the east of Meldreth. It occupies the land immediately behind Meldreth Primary School and is owned by Cambridgeshire County Council. In turn it has been leased to Meldreth Parish Council and has been managed by a small group of volunteers, The Melwood Conservation Group, since 2003.
Access is afforded by the footpath which runs parallel with the River Mel (Footpath 6) with entry via the kissing gate at the bottom of Flambards Close, from the path running alongside Topcliffe’s Mill in North End, or via the footbridge which was installed in 2010 on the bottom of garden of the British Queen.
Melwood is not an ancient wood. The majority of the woodland beside the River Mel is owned by the riparian owners living on Meldreth High Street and is actually an extension of their gardens beyond the river. Some of the garden extensions were cultivated in the past and some were used as orchards. Over the years they have become neglected and as a result a mixture of trees have grown up, including a number of old fruit trees. The bulk of the woodland though is silver birch, ash, sycamore, beech and hawthorn.
To the north of Melwood is an open space, Mel Meadow, which is the garden extension of 70, High Street, Meldreth and this piece of land is also managed by the Melwood Conservation Group. It is sown with wild flowers and is occasionally used for events such as music evenings, barbecues and children’s activities.
Melwood has been granted Local Nature Reserve (LNR) status by Cambridgeshire County Council and is thus protected from development and preserved for future generations.
There are two sets of photographs below. The first shows Melwood through the seasons, the second shows some of the flora and fauna which live in the wood. All of the photographs displayed were taken in Melwood. Click on any of the photos to display a larger image.
Melwood Conservation Group set up its own website in 2013 and this includes the Management Plan and various species lists.