Ely Local Group

collage by Terry Moore, Helen Moore & Clive BakerActivities and sightings with Ely Local Group, collage by Terry Moore, Helen Moore & Clive Baker

The Ely local Group of the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire started in 2007 and now is flourishing.

The Ely local Group of the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire is a way for those who are interested in wildlife and conservation, to discover more about nature both by exploring outdoors and by attending illustrated talks given by experts in their field. The group is run by enthusiatic local volunteers who invite all who are interested to attend the meetings on the third Friday of the month. It is not necessary to be a member of the Wildlife Trust, although if you do join, local wildlife will benefit. Our talks usually take place in the Vernon Cross Room, Ely Museum (Market Street, Ely) and begin at 7:45pm. Free parking is available in the East Cambs. District Council car-park (accessed from Nutholt Lane), which is next to the venue. Traditionally, in the middle of the winter program, we blow off the Christmas cobwebs with a New Year Wildlife Walk starting from the centre of Ely. In summer we set out on the warmer evenings to discover the richness of local wildlife, again on the third Friday of the month, and on one summer weekend we venture further afield. The walks always have plenty of people to help with the identification and spotting of wildlife. The group also carry out practical conservation tasks and monitoring on three local reserves, Chettisham Meadow, Muriel's Meadow and Roswell Pits.

Summary of the 25th newsletter from the Ely Local group (Oct 2017)

To see a full latest newsletter for Oct 2017 click here.

Misty mornings, cooler days and an abundance of fruit in the hedgerows all point to the arrival of autumn and it looks like being another colourful one, with lots of yellows, reds and oranges spreading through the leaves. There has been much to be enjoyed in the countryside from our summer program, but shorter days mean that the focus of our programme moves indoors.

However our summer programme began with a visit to Chettisham Meadow hard on the heels of April's record-breaking Green-Winged Orchid count and there were still plenty of orchids, but the character of the meadow was already changing, with Buttercups, Lady's Smock and Adder's-Tongue Fern.
In June we visited the Devil's Dyke and as ever, a rich flora was on show plus a good display of different birds.
In July we enjoyed another of our 'all-dayers', with a trip out to the RSPB's Lakenheath Fen. Views of Crane, Bittern, Bearded Tit and Kingfisher were our reward. To see a full report of the day, click here.

September was meant to top-off the summer programme with the traditional 'Creatures of the Night' event at Roswell Pits. However, with rain pouring down for much of the day and temperatures below average, we had to cancel the event.

Our winter programme begins with the visit of Dick Newell on Friday 20th October, who will be telling us all about Swifts.
   In November we will be learning about the special wildlife to be found on Speyside. Duncan MacDonald will be our guide (appropriately his day job is as a tour guide for wildlife tour operatives Speyside Wildlife) and he will be telling us about many Scottish specialities. Please note that this talk will be on the 2nd Friday (November 10th) and will be held at the Lighthouse Centre on Chapel Street, just a minute or so from our usual venue (which means that the Nutholt Lane car-park will still prove very convenient for those who drive).
   In December (Friday 29th) we will head outdoors again, exploring the winter wildlife to be found along the river and around Roswell Pits. Last year, in brilliant sunshine, we were treated to seven Kingfisher sightings.

   January's speaker will need little introduction to many as we welcome back our Chief Executive, Brian Eversham. Brian has particular knowledge of and enthusiasm for some of our smaller and more easily overlooked wildlife and he will be demonstrating this again as we explore the invertebrate life to be found in pits (Friday 19th January:' Invertebrates: The Pits') - a habitat we of course have on our doorsteps here in Ely.
   February's talk (Friday 16th) is about the use of drones in conservation by Josh Hellon from our Wildlife Trust then on Friday 16th March we welcome Josh Wells, who will be giving us an insight into the life of bumblebees.
   Lastly, Friday 20th April once again sees us hold our AGM. This allows you to provide feedback on the group's activities and shape future plans, or even join our committee. With the formal business complete we will then hold our now traditional Wildlife Quiz. Entry is free for this one and we'll even throw in a cuppa and a piece of cake!

We hope you have an enjoyable and wildlife-filled Autumn and Winter and look forward to seeing you at our events.

Finally, it would be remiss not to note that this year marks the tenth anniversary of the foundation of the Ely Local Group. We've done a lot in that time; exploring all manner of British wildlife through site visits and talks, helping protect local nature reserves and raising funds for, and the profile of, Wildlife Trust BCN. Thanks to everyone who has supported us, from those who've given talks, guided walks, lent a hand on a work party and, of course, to everyone who has been along to our events. Here's to another 10 wonderfully wild years!

Wildlife Watch
A reminder that Ely is lucky enough to have a Wildlife Watch group, aimed at young wildlife enthusiasts and their families. With monthly activities centred on the Roswell Pits area they explore a different seasonal facet of our local wildlife in a fun and informative way. For more information contact Clive on (01353) 610224 or Helen on (01353) 664745

For further details about our talks, or indeed any of our events, please contact Will Burdett on willburdett@btinternet.com or 01353 661339. Please mention our events to any friends or family you think may be interested in attending. Our local Newsletters are emailed twice a year.