Harlton Clunch Pit
Harlton Clunch Pit is supported by:


Situated due south of High Street, Harlton, The Clunch Pit is a sloping area of 1.51 hectares of mixed woodland that is owned by Harlton Parish Council. The elevation falls from 63 m above sea level in the south to 48 m above sea level in the northern section of the wood.

Mention of the clunch (a form of clay/chalk used regionally as a building material) from this pit is made in relation to the building of Cambridge castle and the Enclosure Act as applied to Harlton in the early 19th century.

Located at Ordnance Survey grid reference TL390520, the wood is traversed by a public right of way that starts as a public track that runs from High Street, Harlton adjacent to the Harlton Parish Council notice board. This track is owned by Cambridgeshire County Council highways department. After about 270 metres the track becomes a public footpath at the entrance to The Clunch Pit which then snakes south through the wood until crossing the southern boundary as shown below.


In consideration of both the ecological well being of the area and their duty of care, Harlton Parish Council commissioned a survey of the area. Undertaken throughout 2011, the survey set out to assess the current conditions and make recommendations as to how the area could be managed in a sustainable way into the future.

The report arising from the survey was presented to Harlton Parish Council in 2011. In addition to the recommendations for regeneration made within the report consideration may also be given to declaring the area a Local Nature Reserve.

Further information regarding Local Nature Reserves can be found at http://www.lnr.naturalengland.org.uk/Special/lnr/lnr_search.asp

The Forestry Commission is the government department responsible in England for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woods and forests and increasing their value to society and the environment. Further information can be found at www.forestry.gov.uk/england

Harlton Parish Council would welcome constructive suggestions as to how others would wish the future of the Clunch Pit to be managed so as to ensure its survival as an amenity for future generations. Suggestions may be left at clerk@harltonparishcouncil.org.uk

Ecological Management Plan:



Report 2011

Appendix 1, Table 1 – Tree Survey, December 2013

Appendix 2
Tree Location Plan

Public Access & Use
Public access is currently allowed to all areas of the wood. However, as will be seen from the contents of the report, the extent and manner of this, when coupled with other factors, is causing significant deterioration to the ecology of area.

In order to reduce the impact of high usage and to ensure the safety of all, Harlton Parish Council does not allow the following in respect of The Clunch Pit:

  • Use of motor vehicles of any sort apart from those used by the disabled
  • Cycling
  • Fire Lighting
  • Camping
  • Fixing or suspending of ropes or other materials from trees
  • Cutting of trees or flora
  • Removal of wood, flora or other material
  • Dumping of waste of any form
  • Planting of trees, shrubs or other flora
  • Excavation

Dog owners are also requested to clear up after their dogs. A bin for dogs’ waste is provided in High Street, Harlton, adjacent to the Harlton Parish Council notice board.

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