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Spotted Flycatchers - do you have this increasingly rare bird breeding in your garden?

In recent years many Cambridgeshire community and parish newsletters,magazines and websites have helped with a County-wide survey of Spotted Flycatchers. These are attractive little migrant birds which are summer visitors to village gardens and churchyards. Although they breed with us, they spend up to nine months of the year travelling as much as 16,000 miles a year between here and their wintering grounds in Southern Africa – Angola and Namibia. This is an increasingly dangerous journey for them, and sadly they are in deep decline. Widespread losses amounted to a 50% decline during 1995-2010, continuing an 90% decline since 1970.

Only a few hundred pairs remain breeding in Cambridgeshire, but most villages still have a pair or two; they rarely breed out in the wider countryside. We are continuing our work to find and monitor nesting pairs. It’s almost certain that there are many additional pairs out there of which we are not aware.

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Do you have flycatchers in your garden? Will you see one this year, or have you in recent years? The few that remain are here from mid-May to September. And there’s lots more to read about our project and Spotted Flycatchers in general at

Please email: with any sightings.


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The walks leaflet for the conservation area is available here. Click on the image to download the full size version including map.

Click on image to go to website

Ely Museum is changing. We moved to the Old Gaol on Market Street 20 years ago and now our displays and facilities are worn and tired. We need better toilet and kitchen facilities for the schools and groups who visit us and we want to put in a lift to help people get around the building.

We are planning to fix these problems with a redevelopment of our building on Market Street, refurbishing the Grade II listed historic building and extending above the existing 1997 block. We received initial funding support from the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2017 and have been working with an architect and designers on what our transformed museum might look like.

The redesigned museum will have new gallery displays exploring the history of Ely and East Cambridgeshire, from what was here before the Fens were formed, who first settled here, what has happened here and how people have lived. Based on surveys with visitors and local people we have learned that many people are very interested to learn more about the unique Fenland landscape and its impact on people’s lives throughout time.

A project like this takes a while, and we will be making our second round application to the Heritage Lottery Fund this summer. If we are successful the project will start in 2019, with the museum closing to the public for building work in autumn 2019 and reopening for summer 2020.

A key part of our project will be a new programme of events, activities and volunteering opportunities. If you are interested in local heritage, keep an eye out for updates on our website

Cambridgeshire Scrapbook 1897 to 1990

I’m Mike Petty, the Cambridgeshire local historian, formerly of the Cambridgeshire Collection.

For more than 20 years I have been compiling A Cambridgeshire Scrapbook. It comprises over 3,000 pages and more than 20,000 fascinating facts, features and (occasional) fallacies reported in Cambridge newspapers between 1897 and 1990.

It is arranged week by week – so you can check to see what was hitting the headlines when you were born.

It is free to read, free to download, free to use. Just search ‘Cambridgeshire Scrapbook’ on your computer or tablet.

I have also put together scores of mini-scrapbooks including Cambridgeshire villages such as our own.

These Village Scrapbooks reveal some of the events that have helped shape the community of today and put the present in its context. They are not comprehensive but are worth a look.

They are free to read, free to download, free to use. Just search ‘[your village name] Scrapbook’.

To see the full range of Scrapbooks and discover other resources to help you discover our area just click ‘’

It’s my way of saying ‘thank you’ for all the help folk have given me over more than 50 years of trying to discover something of this fascinating county.

Protecting older or more vulnerable residents in Little Downham

Did you know that Little Downham has a No Cold Calling Zone (NCCZ) in Home Close?

Click here for newsletter with more information

Introducing Total Transport

Total Transport is in some ways a simple project – it’s about bringing different types of transport together (school buses, day centre minibuses, community transport, etc). It often doesn’t make sense to send multiple vehicles out to the same area to pick up people living close to each other, just because they’re travelling for different purposes.

Proposals have been launched for September 2016, and for Little Downham, Pymoor and Coveney these include;

• Replacing the existing 125 fixed bus route with a new Flexible Minibus Service. This would need to be pre-booked, and journeys would be based on demand – so it wouldn’t be restricted just to Ely town centre at set times. And residents of Coveney wouldn’t be limited to only travelling on a Thursday, for example.

• Revising the school bus to Ely College, and opening it to members of the public. It could serve both Pymoor and Little Downham, and continue to Ely town centre, offering one fixed time journey each way even without the 125.

Click here for more information

Dog Fouling

With the dark nights are upon us, it is a time of the year when dog fouling becomes a worse nightmare for everyone. Whether it is in your front garden, in public open spaces or on pavements, it is unsightly and disgusting. It is very upsetting to find you have trodden in it and it ends up on your carpets, or in your car. The Parish Council provides the following facilities for safely disposing of dog waste:

Click on image for larger version.

If you know or witness a dog walker/owner not cleaning up after their dog, please complete the dog fouling report on East Cambs District Council website, or phone 01353 665555, giving as much detail about the dog owner as possible. The information will be passed to the Environmental Health team to be investigated

My name is Lynne McAulay and I am the Community Development Officer in East Cambridge. My team is here to help people set up and sustain community groups, like lunch clubs, good neighbour schemes, knitting groups, gardening clubs, dog cafes. In fact, this list is endless because if you want to do anything to help older, isolated or vulnerable people in your community, we will try to help.

We are funded to do this work and so there is no cost to you, and we can come out to chat about any of your ideas with no pressure for you to do them if you change your mind.

If you don’t want to set up your own group but want to be involved in helping people in your community, you could consider one of our other volunteering opportunities:

If you have any questions , would like more information or would like to arrange for a visit, please just call me on 01954 211919 or email

For more information our website is . We are also on twitter @CareNetworkCamb and you can find us on Facebook.