The Friends

The Friends of the Roman Road and Fleam Dyke were set up to conserve and enhance the chalk grassland flora and fauna on these Sites of Special Scientific Interest. We are too small to be a registered charity, but we operate under the Wildlife Trust BCN. Apart from the newsletters and a few other expenses in postage and photocopying, we have no administrative costs. All the money we raise goes towards the payment of skilled contractors for work on these SSSIs and for the production of leaflets about them. Membership is from £10 a year per household, however, many members send £15 or more because they value the work we do. As a member, you’ll receive triannual newsletters with news about work accomplished, recent achievements, and articles about the wildlife and history of the two sites. You will also receive any new publications, such as David Barden’s leaflet: Violets on the Roman Road and Fleam Dyke, 2011 and Christine Newell’s leaflet: Flora of the Roman Road and Fleam Dyke, 2012.

Members of the Friends also carry out species monitoring; Roger Lemon organizes a Butterfly Transect Monitoring Rota for important sections of the Fleam Dyke and the Roman Road, and more butterfly recorders are needed. Our website contains an extensive record of the flora of the Roman Road and Fleam Dyke compiled by David Barden in 2012. Other species records include the 2012 survey of Fleam Dyke by the Cambridge Group of the British Bryophyte Society, Leaf Mines on Fleam Dyke by Iain Barton and Kathleen Rosewarne, and annual bird surveys by Iain Webb. Please join us if you’d like to help record wildlife on the two sites.

There are now about 240 members to whom the newsletter is sent, but since many households consist of two or more people, our newsletters reach many more. The Parish Councils of the nine villages along the Roman Road and the Fleam Dyke are all Corporate Members, paying £20 a year. Other Corporate members include Cambridge Past, Present and Future, the Cambridge Rambling Club, the Ely runners, Fulbourn Manor Estate, Bartlow Estate, and West Wickham District and Local History Club.

The Friends of the Roman Road and Fleam Dyke campaigned for many years to obtain a Traffic Restriction Order on the section of the Roman Road that runs from the Balsham-Linton road to the West Wickham-Haverhill road, at Mark’s Grave. Letters and a petition by members and their friends finally secured a seasonal Traffic Restriction Order (October to April). This has limited the damage done by off-road riders.

The early history of the development of The Friends can be read in the Background to The Friends.  The Constitution of the Friends can be found here.

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