Ely Wildspace has become aware that the new owner of the West Pit at Roswell would like to limit public access to West Pit (see this article in the Ely Standard.) to Springhead Lane along the southern edge. We know this is of concern to many people who enjoy accessing the area, so we would like to clarify our own mission, activities and position.
Ely Wildspace’s mission is to protect and enhance Ely’s wild spaces (http://www.elywildspace.org.uk/elyswildspaces.html) for the benefit of wildlife and our local community. We were formed in 2006 as a volunteer membership organization with members from Ely and the surrounding villages. We successfully campaigned for the protection of Roswell Pits and the surrounding meadows to become a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and secured Town Green Status for Ely Common. We own a small part of the area (two acres) ourselves, but also work in partnership with the private individuals and public bodies who own the rest of the Wildspace, as well as with local government, non-governmental organisations and other groups using the area. We work together on habitat management, biological recording, community outreach and campaigning to prevent harmful development.
We firmly believe that maintaining public access to the Wildspace is fundamental to continuing broad public support for its conservation, and hence to retaining the long-term integrity of this wonderful place. We strongly support public access to nature that is responsible and not detrimental to wildlife, and so are in dialogue with the owner of the West Pit about trying to maintain people’s ability to walk through the area.