Too valuable resource

PUBLISHED: 14:31 28 June 2007 | UPDATED: 12:35 04 May 2010

HAVING attended the recent public meeting called by the LCPRE, I am somewhat amazed at the lack of a sensible, informed debate on the future of Roswell Pits. Despite the best efforts of the chairman, local government officials were sworn at and the person

HAVING attended the recent public meeting called by the LCPRE, I am somewhat amazed at the lack of a sensible, informed debate on the future of Roswell Pits. Despite the best efforts of the chairman, local government officials were sworn at and the personal integrity of elected councilors questioned. Why is it, that all too often, environmentalists overstate their case and show little interest in determining the true facts before trying to impose their views on the rest of us?

We were told that there is one local bittern that normally resides in the reed beds in the old settling pits on the other side of the river, but for some strange reason it must have access to this particular lake to survive. Likewise, we were told that if boats were allowed in the pits any kingfishers and otters would depart, mink would come back and all the water voles would be eaten. It was not explained why it is that dozens of sailing boats plying up and down the lake over many years has not had the same effect!

As a seasoned narrow boater, I can assure you that kingfishers are not concerned about passing boats and just fly a few yards to a new perch when one approaches. Others have informed me that on many occasions, otters have been seen happily swimming around the multitude of boats in Isleham Marina.

The impression was given that fleets of narrowboats would be cruising around in circles discharging sewage into the lake and poisoning the atmosphere with diesel fumes. Those calling the meeting showed little interest when it was pointed out that even on a summer weekend, on average fewer than 10 per cent of pleasure craft are likely to be on the move and that narrowboat owners would as a matter of course use the sewage disposal facilities provide by the Environment Agency on the river front. The great joy of boating is to cruise in peaceful countryside and enjoy the wildlife, not to destroy it.

Surely, there is ample room for sailors, narrowboaters, fishermen, walkers, bird watchers and a great variety of wildlife in and around a vast area the size of Roswell Pits? The area is far too valuable a resource for us to allow it to be hijacked by one particular pressure group. So please stop the name calling and the wild accusations and let the owner submit his plans to be considered on merit by the local authority.

KEITH ALDERTON, Waterside, Ely

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