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Extending the wildflower meadow

In 2017 a plan was agreed between East Cambs District Council, the county Wildlife Trust and Ely Wildspace to extend the wildflower meadow on Ely Common. This was to be achieved by spraying off strips of the unimproved meadow, and after preparing the ground, sowing with seed collected from Chettisham Meadow nature reserve.

In July Ely Wildspace volunteers collected wildflower seeds from Chettisham Meadow, to add to the stock collected by staff  of the Wildlife Trust during the summer. In September the Wildlife Trust carried out the spraying, and Ely Wildspace volunteers cleared and raked the sprayed areas in preparation.

We are now pleased to say that the seed has been sown and our wildflower meadow will soon be much bigger. Who knows, we could soon have more orchids and butterflies…

2018 Spring Clean

Today at 2pm around 30 people joined us for a Spring clean around the Wildspace, followed by tea and cake at the sailing club. We’d like to express our thanks to everyone who got involved. It was a very successful and enjoyable day.

We were terribly disappointed to find
1. a large volume of Coke bottle and cans
2. a large number of Costa cups
3. and this is the worst, an extremely large number of dog dirt in bags, thrown into the bushes.

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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.

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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.

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.

Fence building

A bit of work in the sunshine.
On a lovely sunny day in January, a few of our members were down in the flood meadows near the Great Ouse River. The fence was in need of repair and the hedge needed trimming in places and thickening up in others. We put in 11 new fence posts and wired them up, planted numerous trees to fill in the hedges gaps and trimmed some of the hedge in place to promote a thicker stronger barrier. Many thanks to all that helped and thank especially to the Environment Agency for their continued support.