Urgent Appeal To Buy Chettisham Meadow and Save Rare Wild Flowers

PUBLISHED: 09:51 23 September 2008 | UPDATED: 10:32 04 May 2010

wild orchids at the meadow

wild orchids at the meadow

THE Wildlife Trust has launched an urgent appeal to local people to help raise £18,000 to help buy and care for Chettisham Meadow. The 1.7 acre meadow is situated two miles north of Ely and is a haven for wildlife and rare wild flowers. It is one of only

THE Wildlife Trust has launched an urgent appeal to local people to help raise £18,000 to help buy and care for Chettisham Meadow.

The 1.7 acre meadow is situated two miles north of Ely and is a haven for wildlife and rare wild flowers.

It is one of only a handful of these once-common meadows to survive in Cambridgeshire, say the Trust and a vital place to protect. A nationally recognised Site of Special Scientific Interest, it is famed for rare species such as green-winged orchids and cowslips.

Wildlife Trust conservation manager, Martin Baker, who launched the appeal at a public meeting in Ely last Monday evening, explained: "Chettisham Meadow is a wild flower paradise, teeming with wildlife of all kinds. It is essential that we protect the few remaining meadows that are left in our county, so that future generations can enjoy them. Local people have a chance to help us secure the long term future of the meadow by helping with our appeal."

The Wildlife Trust has been given the opportunity to buy the 1.7 acre Meadow, on the outskirts of Ely by the existing landowners. In the past the Trust has managed the site as a tenant; however ownership will not only secure its future forever, but also allow the Trust to make it an even better place for both local people and wildlife.

Martin Baker and his team have already received pledges of help. As well as enlisting the support of local people, the Wildlife Trust will be seeking contributions towards the cost of buying and renovating Chettisham Meadow from local authorities, businesses and other organisations and are confident that the appeal will be successful.

"The Wildlife Trust has worked closely with the local people of Ely for many years. Chettisham Meadow is a vital part of the area's natural environment and we hope that local people will be keen to help us secure the future of this wonderful site," added Mr Baker.

INFO: If you would like to support the appeal, send your donation to: The Chettisham Meadow Appeal, The Wildlife Trust, The Manor House, Broad Street, Great Cambourne, Cambridge, CB23 6DH, or telephone to make your donation by card on 01954 713543.

If you would like any further information about the appeal or the work of the Wildlife Trust at Ely or elsewhere, contact Martin or Lorna Parker on 01954 713500 or email Cambridgeshire@wildlifebcnp.org

FACT FILE

* Chettisham Meadow has been managed as a traditional hay meadow for more than a century.

* Traditional hay meadows have declined dramatically in the last 60 years, with at least 97% loss.

* Chettisham Meadow is home to a group of scarce and declining plant species. These include green-winged orchid Orchis morio and Pepper saxifrage Silaum silaus.

Pic cap: Green winged orchids at Chettisham Meadow. 10,500 were counted at the meadow two years ago.

Photo: SUPPLIED.

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