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Forty years ago, on 1 July 1978, Peterborough’s beloved green space Ferry Meadows Country Park was officially opened. To mark this milestone 40th birthday we are having a summer of celebrations in the Park including two weekend-long festivals, a new children’s trail around the Park, Nene Park branded ale and gin and special commemorative pin badges.

Cultural Weekend

Our celebrations kicked off on Saturday 30 June and Sunday 1 July, with our 40th birthday Cultural Weekend on Coney Meadow, just behind the Visitor Centre. The sun shone throughout the weekend and around 8,000 people dropped in at some point to listen to music, take part in activities, sample the climbing wall and browse the craft marquee. Take a look at our video of the event and have a read about what was going on.


The main stage hosted a number of school choirs and local bands throughout the weekend, including the Ken Stimpson school choirs and the Fortissimo swing band. On the Saturday, Josh from the Heart Cambridgeshire Breakfast show was on the mic for a large part of the afternoon introducing the music and interacting with the audience.

There was also an interactive music workshop with BeatThisCIC, with a range of musical instruments to try including some musical fruit! Visitors could also have a go at recreating the sounds of the River Nene with the beautiful art installation cum water-powered musical instrument NEMO. Nemo was commissioned as part of the five-year Heritage lottery funded Nenescape project and is on tour throughout the summer appearing at events all along the river Nene.


The Romans from Longthorpe Legion were there offering information about the rich and fascinating Roman heritage of Peterborough and a chance for visitors to handle real Roman artefacts and try on costumes. 

Trees and Bears

Our Heritage Lottery funded project ‘Moments with Trees’ hosted some children’s activities about trees and our Education team hosted a number of teddy bear related activities and a teddy bears’ picnic!

Climbing and cycling

One of our mobile ‘Clip n climb’ climbing walls was out on the meadow taking bookings from adventurous children. All the time slots on both days were sold out and so there were a total of 312 ascents and a total of 1872m climbed. The Greatest Showman was screened in the big film marquee powered by bikes! There were eight bikes available, so visitors could take turns to get the film working. 

Birthday cake

At the Nene Park Trust tent, visitors could browse the archive photos of Ferry Meadows over the last forty years, buy commemorative pin badges and birthday raffle tickets and even receive a FREE slice of birthday cake. On Sunday afternoon, we were privileged to have a visit from Wyndham Thomas, one of the architects of Ferry Meadows, who came and cut our birthday cake.

Ongoing celebrations throughout the summer

New trail in the Park

Our new activity trail runs alongside Ham Mere. Pick up a trail leaflet from the Visitor Centre for £1 and when you’ve completed it, return to the Visitor Centre to claim your prize! 

Nene Park ale and gin

Thanks to Truman’s beer and Ely Gin, we’re selling Nene Park branded Ale and Gin at the Visitor Centre. 

40 Things to do at Ferry Meadows

Pick up a booklet from the Visitor Centre to find out about 40 things to you can do at Ferry Meadows! If you complete all forty activities you can pick up a special certificate from the Visitor Centre.

Commemorative 40th birthday pin badge

On sale at the Visitor Centre for £2 each.

Raffle tickets

On sale at the Visitor Centre at 50p a ticket. The top prize is a helicopter ride and other prizes include meal vouchers, a hotel stay, activity vouchers for Nene Outdoors and Nene Park golf. The draw will take place on Saturday 11 August at the Green Festival.

Our Activities weekend: 1-2 September

Our summer celebrations will culminate with our second celebratory weekend event, held on the 1-2 September. This will be focused on the vast range of activities you can enjoy at Nene Park. There will be a skate park, climbing wall, watersports, cycling, golf, rowing and also helicopter rides. Keep your eye on our website and social media for more updates on what is happening this weekend. 

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