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Wellcome Genome Campus

The Wellcome Genome Campus is set in the idyllic grounds of the Hinxton Hall estate, south of Cambridge. The Campus plays host to scientific research, courses and conferences, and a publicly-accessible nature reserve.

Buildings and grounds of the South Field Extension. Credit: Wellcome Library, London

The Sanger Institute and European Bioinformatics Institute

In 1996, new buildings were constructed for the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory's European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI). To accommodate new research programmes, a major extension (the South Field Project) was completed in April 2005.

The buildings of the South Field Project are low rise and have been carefully designed to blend in with the landscaped surroundings. The new facilities include laboratories, a data centre, research support facilities and staff amenities (restaurant, gym and sports hall, and new surface and underground car parking).

Hinxton Hall and the Wellcome Genome Campus Conference Centre

The original Hinxton Hall, a grade II listed building (the earliest parts of which date from 1748), was renovated by the Wellcome Trust and now forms part of the Wellcome Genome Campus Conference Centre. Its stable block has been transformed into a superb auditorium and meeting room complex.

The Wellcome Genome Campus Conference Centre hosts meetings and conferences as part of its Advanced Courses and Scientific Conferences programme. Additionally, its auditorium and conference rooms are available for booking for business meetings and conferences.

Wetlands Nature Reserve

The grounds include a Wetlands Nature Reserve, with a public footpath that links the Campus with the local villages of Hinxton and Ickleton.

Winner of a natural heritage award, the Reserve is a peaceful and diverse natural environment open for all to enjoy.

A wildlife haven
The six-hectare (15-acre) site has been specially created to provide a range of habitats for a range of plant and animal species. The Reserve includes several niche environments, each suitable for a specific set of animal and plant species.

These include a dry grassland meadow area, ponds and aquatic/marginal areas around them, and a shrub and woodland area. Artificial otter holts have been built along the river bank, while a World War II pillbox has been adapted for use by bats.

History of the Reserve
Work began on the Reserve in 2003. Originally, the area was flat grazing pastureland. Some 15 000 tonnes of soil were moved to create a series of mounds and ponds (which were filled naturally). Around 10 000 trees and shrubs were planted to provide a range of new habitats for wild animals, birds and insects.

The Reserve provides a natural flood-relief mechanism, by acting as a large sponge and storing rainwater during periods of heavy rainfall: as the water table drops, the water slowly drains away, thereby reducing the likelihood of downstream flooding.

Management of the site
A Community Conservation Group has been set up to work with the Campus to manage the site from a conservation perspective. A five-year management plan [PDF 1.13MB], drawn up by the Cambridge Green Belt Project, outlines the key objectives for the Reserve and how ecological goals are to be met.

More information
If you would like further information on the Wetlands Nature Reserve, please contact:

Jayne Proctor
Facilities Manager
Hinxton Hall
Wellcome Genome Campus
Cambridge CB10 1RQ

T 01223 495159

Wellcome Trust, Gibbs Building, 215 Euston Road, London NW1 2BE, UK T:+44 (0)20 7611 8888