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Roswell Pits

Due to safety concerns, part of this Nature Reserve has now been closed to the public.

Part of a series of disused, flooded clay pits, now a glittering lake and lush reedbed

The reserve is in two separate blocks either side of the railway and adjoins the Hereward Way and Fen Rivers Way long distance paths. The pits form part of a large wetland complex running deep into the heart of Ely. Visitors can marvel at the reflection of the cathedral in the lake on a calm day, when the only waves are generated by passing wildfowl. Or explore along the footpath and find the reedbeds, with an excellent chance of seeing the azure blur of kingfishers darting beneath Cuckoo Bridge.

The site also has hidden interest for the fossil enthusiast. Thorough searches of the site have yielded skeletal remains of turtles, crocodiles and dinosaurs. There are scattered flowers such as bee orchid, but the site is most important to the birds and for its unique place in the landscape. 


The map below is for indication purposes only and does not show the Wildlife Trusts definitive land boundary.

Species and habitats

Common Tern, Kingfisher, Reed Warbler, Bee Orchid, Emperor dragonfly

Nearby nature reserves

Chettisham Meadow
2 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Soham Meadow
6 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire
Doghouse Grove
6 miles - Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire

Nature reserve map

Contains Ordnance Survey data © Crown copyright and database right 2012. For indicative purposes does not show exact boundaries.

Reserve information

Kiln Lane
Map reference
TL 556 806
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Public transport
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Opening Times
Open at all times
8.00 hectares
County Wildlife Site
Walking information
Access through site on road but reserve paths quite rough and not obvious. Take care crossing the railway line, please stay on public footpath when passing through the factory complex to the reedbed
Park on Kiln Lane and walk past Environment Agency to reserve
Dogs must be on lead
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Tel: 01954 713500