Monthly Archive: December 2013

Scrub Clearance Work Parties at Roswell Pits

As a condition of the HLS agreement on our land at Roswell Pits we are obliged to create two separate glades to create a mosaic of scrub and more open areas. It is hoped that this will make the area attractive to species such as nightingale which, in recent years, has bred in nearby areas of scrub at Roswell Pits.

Please come along and help carry out this task by joining the work parties we are holding on Saturday 25 January 2014 and Saturday 8 February 2014. We are meeting at 9am at Ely Sailing Club off Prickwillow Road. We will be able to provide protective gloves and tools for scrub clearance, but if you have your own please do bring them along. Please also bring plenty of food, drink and waterproof footwear. Please e-mail markgrooms@talktalk.net if you require further information.

Sixth Ely Wildspace Bird Race

In November 2012 an amazing 66 species of bird were recorded during last winter’s Wildspace Bird Race including bittern, brambling and mandarin duck . Are you up to the challenge of attempting to beat that total? Alternatively, do you simply fancy a guided bird watching walk around the fantastic wildlife areas right on our doorstep?

If you do, then why not join the 6th Ely Wildspace Bird Race on Sunday 5 January 2014?

We are meeting at 9am sharp at the top of Kiln Lane (the road leading to the Environment Agency off Prickwillow Road) where we will divide up into small teams, each of which will be led by an experienced local birdwatcher. The teams will then set off and walk all around the Wildspace trying to see and hear as many bird species as possible. At around 12pm the teams will meet up again to compare notes and discover the winning team. The event is free and everyone is welcome. Please bring binoculars (if you have them), warm and waterproof clothing, and plenty of food and drink. Please e-mail markgrooms@talktalk.net if you require further information.

Celebrate our success!

Town Green status was awarded to Ely Common by Cambridge County Council on 12 December 2013. This gives legal protection to the Common and confirms people’s right to enjoy all of the Common for legal uses and pastimes. We are absolutely delighted. It has been a long hard battle but now we really can celebrate.

Meeting at Lisle Lane gate for a walk across the Common

Profuse thanks must go to Frank Richards who has seen this campaign through from beginning to end, through two Public Inquiries, a mountain of paperwork and a seemingly endless stream of legal jargon. We are deeply indebted to all the witnesses who stood up to rigorous cross-examination by barristers, and to the many users of the Common who provided invaluable written evidence. We would like to thank Cain Ormondroyd (our barrister) for his excellent presentation of our case, and Susan Ring (our solicitor). None of this would have been possible without very many people’s generous financial support – and donations of art and promises – that meant we could pay our legal team. And we thank all our members and friends who have given their time, energy and help. Last, we are deeply grateful to the Supreme Court judges who ruled that “deferring to a tractor” was “behaving with courtesy and common sense” rather than ceding our right of access. This crucial ruling allowed us to re-apply for Town/Village Green status after our first application failed.

We hope you will share in our delight at finally obtaining long-term protection for Ely Common. Please celebrate with us on Saturday 14 December – by visiting our market stall in the morning or joining us at 2.15 at the Lisle Lane gate for a walk across the Common, followed by a warming drink and cake in Ely Sailing Club. We would love to see you.