Not enough green spaces in district
PUBLISHED: 12:42 24 January 2008 | UPDATED: 10:01 04 May 2010
EAST Cambridgeshire is the county s poor relation when it comes to providing nature reserves for its residents. The district lags behind other areas by failing to meet the targets set by Natural England of one hectare of reserve for every 1,000 residents.
EAST Cambridgeshire is the county's poor relation when it comes to providing nature reserves for its residents.
The district lags behind other areas by failing to meet the targets set by Natural England of one hectare of reserve for every 1,000 residents.
This means that East Cambridgeshire should have 78 hectares of protected green spaces set aside for wildlife and local people and run by the district council.
But it has only 6.8 hectares in Little Downham run by the village's parish council.
In comparison Peterborough City Council has achieved almost half its target, Huntingdonshire District Council has reached more than 35 per cent of its target and Cambridge City Council has achieved more than 20 per cent.
Ely North county councillor, Nigel Bell, has demanded the district council improve its performance.
Cllr Bell said: "The district council should remember that fine words and good intentions are not enough and urgently begin to improve this performance.
"Local nature reserves are important for improving the health and well-being of the population as well as trying to improve bio-diversity. There are various sources of funding available to support these aims and the district council must seriously start to work on accessing these funds.
"I believe that the area of Roswell Pits obviously deserves early and serious consideration for such a project."
East Cambridgeshire District Council officials have spent two years discussing the prospect of a country park for Ely.
But uncertainty over future plans for Roswell Lakes and refusal of a Government grant has meant the project has failed to get off the ground.
Cllr John Seaman, chairman of East Cambridgeshire District Council's environment and transport committee said: "There is only one Local Nature Reserve in East Cambridgeshire but there are 81 county wildlife sites covering more than 4,200 acres, 21 Sites of Special Scientific Interest, and several sites of international nature conservation.
"This includes the world famous Wicken Fen with 1,200 acres of historic fenland which are home to hundreds of rare species and visited by thousands of people each year.