Toft Village Website

Cambridgeshire, England

Background

Comberton Village College on the outskirts of Comberton lies within Toft Parish Boundaries. There are a number of businesses within the village and there is a strong farming influence.

Much of Toft is listed as a conservation area where development is strictly controlled to ensure that any changes are in keeping with the existing rural character of the village. In addition, Toft’s low level of service provision means that it is classified for “infill” development only in areas within the village framework.

Getting to Toft

By Road

Toft is located on the B1046 between Comberton and Longstowe.

From the South or North : M11 to junction 12, turn onto the A603 towards Sandy, then right onto the B1046 signposted to Toft.

From the East: A14 onto A428; at first roundabout turn left and then immediately left. Turn right into Hardwick, signposted for Hardwick and Toft.

From the West: A428 to roundabout signposted for Hardwick and Dry Drayton. Turn right and then immediately left. Turn right into Hardwick, signposted for Hardwick and Toft.

Nearest airport

London Stansted Airport, located at Junction 8 of the M11

Nearest railway station

Cambridge, located on the east side of the City of Cambridge - access by car from the station is via the ring round and the A1134 to Madingley. By public transport, take a bus to bus station and then a bus to Toft.

Royston - located on the north side of Royston - access to Toft from Royston is via the A1198 North. There is no direct public transport route to Toft from Royston.

A Toft Poem

TOFT - The Magic Village, by Barbara Wilson

TOFT, the magic village, lies on a gentle rise,
Its feet are cool in a running brook, its head looks to the skies
Over open fields of fertile land, tended for many years
By generations who understood and cherished what was there

To all those people passing through it's just another place
With a forty-mile speed limit and an ordinary face,
And to others who live round about it's just a funny name
Seen on a sign-post or a map, without a claim to fame.

But if you are very lucky, a strange compelling hand
Reaches out to draw you, until you understand
That you are meant to come and live in this especial place,
And all your fears just melt away as you feel its warm embrace

For every face is friendly and every word is kind
And there's a strange contentment which soothes the troubled mind,
And gently eases sadness and lifts the solitude
Of those bereaved or in despair, and brings them fortitude.

All villages are their people, a wondrous motley mix
Of ages, wins and failures, talents and hidden gifts
Of artistry, and doggedness, of joy and love and tears,
That often breed fierce discords which echo through the years.

But when that Dane so long ago built his homestead here
He struck a spring of harmony that still runs bright and clear
Into the hearts and minds of those who live beneath the spell
of TOFT, the magic homestead, where warmth and welcome dwell.

Flora & Fauna

Allotment Management

Toft Allotments are a small and unusual wildlife area to the north of Toft. They have been allowed to overgrow and consequently formed an important area of semi-natural habitat. The Cambridge Green Belt Project was invited to visit the site to survey and then make recommendations for future management. The site provides suitable habitat for a range of species including butterflies, invertebrates and birds. The site lies in the middle of intensive arable land where there is little interest making this site an important area of semi- natural habitat. The site has been left for a number of years and has developed a mature habitat with a mix of grassland and scrub. It is under threat of becoming dominated by ranker more vigorous species such as horsetail and bramble. There are a number of species, such as black knapweed and this year 8+ common spotted orchids, which are indicative of an interesting developing grassland. The site overall is relatively small.

The site links to a number of other important habitats through a tree line, down to a dry streambed which then leads to a County Wildlife Site and finally to a SSSI woodland to the north and to the south to a community woodland. The site therefore plays an important role as a landscape feature for wildlife movements across the area and an oasis for wildlife in an otherwise intensively managed arable landscape. The allotments have great potential to develop as a wildlife and amenity area for the residents of Toft. A path has already been mown around the site to allow access through it. This could be extended to include a small picnic area at the entrance of the site for a quiet amenity area.

There is a need to manage all parts of the site to retain current interest and to enhance the site for wildlife. At present there is a real need to control the spread of scrub and horsetail to prevent these from taking over the site resulting in a loss of interest of the developing grassland and lower growing herbs. The aim of management will be to increase botanical and structural diversity by reducing the dominance of coarse competitive species, thereby improving the wildlife and amenity value of the site.

The Cambridge Green Belt Project volunteers visited the site in February of this year to help kick start work at the site. Bramble and scrub were cut back at the south of the site to open up the grassland area. The Volunteers will be back again on 25th August to cut the more open grassland areas and tackle some more bramble. If you would like to join us please meet us on site at 10:00am. We will work until about 3:30pm so please bring a packed lunch!

For further information or details please contact Naomi Brookes, Cambridge Green Belt Project Manager on 01954 713530 or email naomi.brookes@wildlifebcnp.org Further details about the Project and other volunteer opportunities can be found on our website at www.greenbeltproject.org.uk

Toft Wood

As part of the Millennium celebrations, the Parish Council worked with the Woodland Trust to plant Toft Wood, which can be found at the bottom of Miller’s Road in Toft.

The wood was planned with an unplanted area in the centre which it is hoped will provide an area for dancing and picnics in the years to come when the trees are more mature. The wood attracts many people from Toft and surrounding villages, many of whom bring their dogs. However, dog fouling in the area has been a subject of concern for the Council which is working with the Woodland Trust to develop a strategy to resolve the issue which all users of the wood will find acceptable.

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