Too much talk over sale of pits

PUBLISHED: 11:02 12 July 2007 | UPDATED: 12:39 04 May 2010

I AM appalled by the level of debate in your paper regarding Roswell Pits (or lakes as they must now be called?). Firstly, I think that Mr Tyrell has bought only one pit, the others are a nature reserve already Dr Balmford claims to be a scientist and ye

I AM appalled by the level of debate in your paper regarding Roswell Pits (or lakes as they must now be called?).

Firstly, I think that Mr Tyrell has bought only one pit, the others are a nature reserve already

Dr Balmford claims to be a scientist and yet presents the results of a four-day survey of visitors to the area as evidence that the pits receive 90,000 visitors per annum. As this number exceeds the total population of Ely by about six times, where do all these people come from? Perhaps he meant to say that the pits are visited by a smaller number of people more than once a day, particularly when the pressure group he speaks for is informed that they are being counted (perish the thought).

It may or may not be significant that the survey was carried out over a bank holiday weekend. Perhaps the "scientists" from the Anglia Ruskin University could comment on the statistical validity of their survey.

I can only speak from my own experience. When the pit came up for sale, I decided to have a look in case it was a worthwhile investment. As I am not a person to make snap decisions I looked on three separate occasions.

Strangely enough, on none of my visits did I see a Bittern, otter or indeed another human being. I do not, however, (unlike the LCPRE) offer this as statistical evidence that any of the above creatures never visits. Can we please stop using inaccurate statistics to justify a particular point of view?

It was very clear to me that the site was put up for sale because the charity owners could not earn a commercial return (as the trustees are duty bound to do) without some development. They did not want to be seen to be the bad guys and so put the problem elsewhere. Where were the objectors when the property was advertised? The only voices I heard raised were from the sailing club who were unable to raise the funds.

I am a resident of East Cambridgeshire but not of Ely. East Cambridgeshire District Council has no plans to buy the pit and I would not support a change in its decision.

There is plenty of room in the pit to accommodate the wishes of the conservationists, fishermen, and the sailing club and I am sure that the planning officers are up to the task of balancing the differing views.

I wish to make it clear that I have no connection with any organisation with an interest in Roswell Pits.

Can we now please talk about something more important?

LES WALTON

(by email) Soham

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