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Earth Optimism

Earth Optimism comes to Ely

On Sunday 23 April Ely Wildspace will become part of Earth Optimism weekend – a series of extraordinary events taking place around the world aimed at celebrating conservation successes, and empowering people to take action for nature. Over the weekend dozens of cities – from Washington DC to Helsinki, Hong Kong, London and Cambridge – will host Earth Optimism activities ranging from talks and debates to film screenings and wildlife walks.

Here in Ely we will take part in Earth Optimism and look to the future by planting a “tree for history” which will provide important new habitat for birds and insects. Please join us obetween 11:45am and 12:15pm when we shall be planting a special oak at Springhead Lane (“Lovers’ Lane), celebrating local people’s achievements in safeguarding and nurturing the Ely Wildspace.

As part of our Earth Optimism day, we will also run “Birds, Bees and Beetles” walks around the Wildspace led by local naturalists. Meet at the top of Kiln lane off the Prickwillow Road at 10:00am, to finish at 11:30am in time to join the tree-planting event at Springhead Lane.

In the meantime you can find out more about Earth Optimism by visiting, and, and spread the word using #EarthOptimism.

Lichens abound…


A survey by the Cambridge Lichen Group, 9th April 2017 Mark Powell, Louise Bacon, Catherine Tregaskes, Paula Shipway

Seventy-six taxa were recorded from various habitats at Roswell Pits. Three of these are lichenicolous fungi; an under-recorded group of organisms that infect lichens. One of these, Pyrenochaeta xanthoriae was added to the British list in May 2016 and the occurrence at Roswell Pits is new to Cambridgeshire and the third record for Britain.

The most notable lichen community occurs on the trunks of old stubby trees on the bank beside Springhead Lane. A particularly notable example of this community occurs at TL5521.8050 where Bacidia viridifarinosa forms extensive pale green sorediate patches at the bases of the trunks. B. viridifarinosa is known from just one other site in Cambridgeshire, in Madingley Wood.

Green-winged Orchid

A Green-winged Orchid was found on Ely Common 19th April 2017. It is thought that this might have been introduced via hay from Chettisham Meadow which was donated by the Wildlife Trust together with wildflower seeds.

A wonderful Easter surprise – Peregrine on Cathedral

Easter Sunday brought a lovely surprise to Ely. Perched on the cathedral – at the top of the northern face of the main tower (ie visible from the old library) was a peregrine falcon. Although it looked quite settled there’s not the tell tale lime splatter to suggest that it’s been there regularly.

Fingers crossed though that they find Ely suitable and the Cathedral prime real estate and set up residence. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have breeding peregrines.

Glossy Ibis in the Wildspace

First seen in November, the Ibis disappeared for a while, but now the bird has returned and is not in the least bit camera shy. Although it might need some locating, once you find it, great views can be had. A popular visitor, enjoyed by all.

Click on the image to download the article from the Ely News.