10 July 2008 We were delighted to see so many members at our first AGM in spite of the rain. The “business” part of the meeting included a report of the main events of the past year from the Chairman Andrew Balmford, a financial report from Treasurer Frank Richards, and the re-election of the present Committee. Jim Gammie from Natural England gave a presentation on the provisional SSSI designation, outlining the reasons for its designation and how it would afford protection to most of the Ely Wildspace area. Members contributed very generously; funds received will help pay for legal advice and representation to fight the appeals made against LCPRE’s Village Green application and ECDC’s Enforcement Notice. We celebrated with “Chateaux Common”, a frisky little champagne made from elderflowers grown on Ely Common.
Members are invited to LCPRE’s first AGM, on Wednesday 9 July 2008
13 June, 2008 Members are invited to LCPRE’s first Annual General Meeting, at 7.30 on Wed 9 July, 2008 at Ely Sailing Club. In addition to the formal business of the evening, staff from Natural England will be there to explain what exactly the SSSI status means, and of course there’ll be food and drink. Further details, including an agenda for the evening, can be found here.
19 June, 2008 Following last week’s news that Natural England have provisionally designated Roswell Pits and much of the area around it a Site of Special Scientific Interest, we had more good news on Saturday, when we recruited our 1000th member, Mrs Karen Levet pictured here with her family and with LCPRE Chair Andrew Balmford.
10 June, 2008 We are absolutely delighted by the news that Natural England has provisionally designated large parts of the Ely Wildspace as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its exceptional wetland wildlife, as well as for its unusual geology. The SSSI designation process is extremely demanding – the site must be shown to be outstanding not just locally but nationally – and this is the first SSSI to receive notification since Natural England was established in 2006. The designation now offers much of this area – including Roswell Pits, Queen Adelaide settling ponds, and the flood meadows on the west of the river – greatly enhanced protection from harmful development.
LCPRE chair Andrew Balmford said “This is a real reason for celebration. Ely can be fantastically proud that the remaining patches of nature around the city, and the wildlife they still support, have received this recognition. We now hope to work with landowners to help them meet the management needs of the SSSI, and with ECDC and others to ensure that the future of the Wildspace is properly safeguarded in the local planning process”.
The full report from Natural England is available here. The BBC news report can be viewed by accessing this link.
28 May, 2008 The diversity of species in parts of Ely Common is under threat from excessive grass cutting. The cutting regime applied by Mr Tyrrell has involved mowing the grass to such an extent that it has prevented the variety of wild flowers in this area from flowering and regenerating. In contrast, the adjacent land owned by the Thomas Parsons Charity immediately to the west of Mr Tyrrell’s part of the Common, is awash with colour from the wild flowers that are thriving there.
These include Common Mallow (Malva sylvestris), Dove’s-foot Crane’s-bill (Geranium molle), Buttercup (Ranunculus bulbosus), Goose Grass (Galium aparine), Germander speedwell (Veronica chamaedrys), Hoary Plantain (Plantago media), Stinging nettle (Urtica dioicia), White Dead Nettle (Lamium album), Cow Parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) Bird’s Foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus), Common Sorrel (Rumex acetosa), Ox- Eye Daisy (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum), Red Clover (Trifolium pratense), White Clover (Trifolium repens), Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) and Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale), to name but a few.
If you would like to object to the damage already done and to encourage better management of this area, then why not consider writing a letter to the paper highlighting your concerns.
30 April, 2008 In glorious spring sunshine more than sixty people took part in a Spring Clean of Ely Wildspace on Saturday 26th April. Teams of litter pickers spread out across Ely Common, around Roswell pits and along both banks of the river. Along the way they collected the usual cans and bottles plus a sofa, a trampoline, a motor, a microwave oven complete with its own box and a can of creosote. The total weight of the rubbish removed was almost a ton, excluding the sofa. The Litter pickers’ afternoon ended with tea and scones on the Sailing Club lawn.
LCPRE worked with The Wildlife Trust to organize this Clean Up and were delighted with the response from young and old alike. Many thanks to all who took part. We are hoping to organize similar events through out the year so that this well loved and much used area of Ely can be kept litter free.
A special thanks to Veolia, Boots, Superdrug, Travis Perkins, Pecks and Tesco and The Ely Pound Shop for their support.
07 April, 2008 East Cambridgeshire District Council have served an Enforcement Notice on the owner of Roswell Pit. The notice comes into effect on the 19th May, and it requires the owner to permanently remove the hardcore, hardstanding and installed services which have been put on the site. The Enforcement Notice states that the development at Roswell Pit is contrary to Policies 52,53, 54, 67 and 102 of the East Cambridgeshire District plan 2000. To see the Enforcement Notice, click here. To see ECDC’s press release, click here.
07 April 2008 LCPRE are inviting members and non-members to join in with a much needed litterpick across the Ely Wildspace area. The event will take place in the early afternoon on Saturday 26th April. We will meet at 2.15 p.m. at the top of Kiln Lane (off Prickwillow Rd – for a map, click here) and finish at the Ely Sailing Club at Roswell Pit, where tea and scones will be available. Equipment will be provided.
11 March 2008 LCPRE held a very successful members meeting at the Ely Community College on the 10th March. It was very well attended despite the atrocious weather. The meeting had a dual purpose of updating the membership on recent developments and to develop the Ely Wildspace vision.
Major news included the continuing destructive work undertaken by Mr Tyrrell on Roswell Pit without planning permission and our solicitors advice given to ECDC. The objections made by Cheffins (on behalf of Mr Tyrrell) and Thomas Parsons to LCPRE’s application to protect Ely Common as a Village Green, and the proposal to designate Roswell Pit and surrounding area as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
The aim of the Ely Wildsapce is to protect the remaining habitat patches around the eastern edge of Ely from harmful development, preserving it for wildlife and the continued recreational use of Ely’s population. Through small working groups the membership gave valuable input to, and showed overwhelming support for the Ely Wildspace vision. The full meeting report is available here.