Sign the form to help save our wild spaces

PUBLISHED: 11:07 12 July 2007 | UPDATED: 12:39 04 May 2010

ON Sunday, June 24, we saw the return to our screens of Sir David Attenborough, an icon of natural history broadcasting. His new series Saving Planet Earth is a timely reminder for Ely, and the wider world, that action on a local level is required to p

ON Sunday, June 24, we saw the return to our screens of Sir David Attenborough, an icon of natural history broadcasting.

His new series Saving Planet Earth is a timely reminder for Ely, and the wider world, that action on a local level is required to prevent the total loss of wildlife and habitat caused by human activity. The 'think global, act local' message is one that has more weight and importance behind it today, than ever before. I would guess that everyone reading this letter has at some time or other, sat in front of the television to watch Mr Attenborough peering into the undergrowth and in hushed tones educating us about the natural world.

If he were lucky enough to visit us here in Ely, we would no doubt hear him wax lyrical about the Bittern, Marsh Harrier, and any number of wonderful species we are blessed to have locally.

We are inextricably linked to the natural world, but there are key differentiators that set us apart from the other species we share our world with.

As humans, we have the intelligence, compassion, foresight and ability to make decisions that affect the whole of the planet. This incumbent responsibility and privilege, is one we must shoulder and not shy away from. In a growing population, with increasing demands for space, we cannot fight and win every battle, but we should be prepared to raise a voice for the natural world where it is unable to defend itself, and where it is most threatened.

Here and now, Roswell Pits and its flora and fauna, need your voice to protect it. If we only ever join one campaign or make one commitment to saving the planet, then we should at least do it locally, at home, where we can see and feel the tangible benefits.

The effects of our actions locally, do affect the global community. A victory for Ely's wildlife is a victory for the wider world; similarly, a white Rhino saved in Africa by local action is a victory for all of us; even if we never get to see it, the world is a richer place for its existence, and a poorer place for its loss.

Looking locally at an internet census report for Ely dated 2006, Ely's total number of residents above the age of 18, was listed as some 55,453 people. I am not sure how accurate this information is, but if we work on the assumption that the numbers quoted are correct, we could all potentially save Roswell Pits from the developers by simply contributing £10 each to a purchase fund.

Is that too much to ask to save a unique green space in the heart of Ely? I am sure some people perhaps do not care, or even mind about the proposed developments, but I am also sure that many do, and I am sure that the wildlife will suffer as a result if we do not act.

Born in Cambridge and a resident of Ely for six years, I think that £10 of my money against the enjoyment I have already had from watching the local wildlife is value for money, and I would gladly pay that ten times more to help secure its future.

Public ownership of Ely's Roswell Pits could be the start of a commitment to protect and enjoy Ely's wild spaces so that both wildlife and humans can share and enjoy the same spaces.

So, if you would be prepared to support such a community project in principle, please fill in the pledge form in the print edition and send it to Chris Hughes, The Rise, Soham Road, Stuntney CB7 5TR, but please do not send any money at this stage. Come on Ely, this is your opportunity to make a difference.

CHRIS HUGHES

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