Author Archive: uf2kil

Planning application for a Straw Pelleting Plant on land adjacent to Ely Wildspace and SSSI – deadline 9 June

In brief:
+ Three lorry loads of straw will be brought to the site every hour and 3 empty lorries will leave.
+ The 100 meter long building with a 47 meter high tower will convert the straw into pellets that will be transported by rail to a power station in Norwich.
+ The grinding machine will run day and night every day of the year.
+ The noise and traffic pollution could have disastrous consequences on the SSSI. Wildlife will be affected by cumulative noise and traffic.

Please read the full application at ECDC Planning on line ( 15/00427/fum) and make your comments before June 9th.

Bird Race in the Wildspace!

Following on from the very successful winter Bird Race in January, which logged a total of 71 species, the next (9th) Ely Bird Race will take place on Sunday 17th May and cover the Ely Wildspace area. Meet up by the Environment Agency building at the top of Kiln Lane off the Prickwillow Road at 07:15 to finish at 11:00. As well as many other birds to be seen, we hope to record the 10 species of warbler that are here regularly during the spring and summer months.

Come and join in as we take in the beauty of the sights and sounds of our local Wildspace!

Bumper bird race!

The 8th Ely Bird Race was held on Sunday 18 January, with the aim of recording as many species as possible in three hours. A gathering of 16 observers set off at 8 am in four groups to survey the bird life of Ely Wildspace. An impressive aggregate total of 70 species was recorded, which includes less common ones such as Green Sandpiper and Lesser Redpoll, and is the highest so far for a winter bird race in Ely. We shall be running the 9th Ely Bird Race in May, when bird numbers will be boosted even higher with the arrival of our summer migrants. Come and join us!

Winter Wildlife Walk at Roswell Pits

Despite overnight rain 16 brave souls met for the annual “Winter Wildlife Walk” organised by the Ely Local Group of the Wildlife Trust on Saturday 3 January. Their route took them through Cherry Hill Park and Jubilee Gardens to the river and Roswell Pits. The group were rewarded with excellent views of a grey wagtail on the railway bridge and close by a kingfisher sitting in a bush overhanging the river. After a second kingfisher flew by Cuckoo Bridge, one walker was heard to say “I’m 42 and had never seen a kingfisher and today I’ve seen 2!”. Later 4 male bullfinches showed themselves bringing the total number of bird species seen by the group in the morning to 36.

Enter Ely’s 9th Bird Race

Last year an amazing 65 species of bird were recorded during the Winter Wildspace Bird Race, including bittern and marsh harrier. Are you up to the challenge of attempting to beat that total? Alternatively, do you simply fancy a guided birdwatching walk around the fantastic wildlife areas right on our doorstep? If you do, then why not join the Ely Wildspace Bird Race on Sunday 18 January?

We are meeting at 8am 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 11am 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.

Oral History Launch – Memories of Ely Pits and Meadows

Please join us on Saturday 27th September to celebrate the launch of our oral history project. This has been an exciting undertaking and we would like to share that excitement with members and friends and all the local people who so generously shared their memories and stories — thanks to them we have managed to capture the magic of the Roswell area.

We will have a stall on Ely Market between 9 am and 12 noon where you will be able to listen to the audio trail and look at some of the photographs and the trail guide. In the afternoon we will be in the Vernon Cross room behind Ely Museum where the website will be up and running and there will be tea and homemade cake.

The audio trail and interactive website will go live on Saturday and the link is

Creatures of the night

The Creatures of the night event is a great opportunity for all the family to learn about bats and moths. With an introduction to bats, a walk round Roswell Pits looking and listening for bats followed by (weather permitting) a look to see what has been collected in moth traps on Pocket Park. There will be games and a shorter walk for Ely Wildlife Watch families with younger children. Meet at 7pm at Cresswells Pocket Park /Fisherman’s carpark on 12 September.

Ely Common in bloom…..

On Saturday 20 July, we undertook our annual survey of the plants of Ely Common. This year we identified a total of 122 plants across the Common of which 50 species were in our survey area. Plants seen included Lady’s Bedstraw, Marjoram, Wild Carrot and various species of grass. The partially parasitic plant Yellow Rattle, which was first recorded last year, was seen again this year. We also saw a wide range of invertebrates including 15 species of butterfly, five species of dragonfly, and several species of grasshopper and hoverfly. This is the fourth year that we have surveyed the Common and we are slowly building up a picture of plant diversity and relative abundance over time. Thanks to all those who took part and made the day a great success. (Image: Roesel’s bush-cricket, Sarah Ferriss)

Spring watch: Ely Cathedral

On Sunday 1 June the Ely Cathedral Tower Tours will be extra-special. All day the tower will be the focus of a spring time bird watching event. Local birdwatchers, promoting the Elywildspace, will be at the top of the tower with telescopes to help you enjoy bird eye views of Ely’s wildlife.

Expect thrilling flypasts by Swifts which have been recorded reaching speeds of almost 70mph. Birds of Prey such as Marsh Harriers, Sparrowhawks, Kestrels, Buzzards and Hobby will be seen on hunting forays and commoner garden birds will be foraging and feeding young in the tree canopy beneath us.

Birdwatchers special tower tour price £6.50/person with binoculars, £9 without.

The tours will take place at 7.30am, 8.30am, 9.30am, 12noon, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm. Spaces are limited so please book in advance to avoid disappointment 01353 660349 or email: