Turbutsey and Railway loop land
This area was part of the land known as Turbutsey, a port/hythe and, via Springhead Lane, one of the most important routes into Ely prior to the diversion of the river in about 1200 A.D. Turbutsey was one of the oldest possessions of the Ely Monastery, belonged to the Sacrist of the Monastery. It extended from the old Sugar Beet Factory site towards the Sailing Club. The farm at Turbutsey produced much of the food required for the Sacrist’s Department. There was also a chapel and kilns for the manufacture of bricks and tiles. Peat was dug there for use as fuel.
The shallow wetland of this area is surrounded by reeds and supports many wading birds, including snipe & woodcock. There have been several sightings of feeding bittern and of Cetti’s warbler.
You can hear more about Ely’s Wild Spaces at Memories of Ely Pits and Meadows.