Limefield Pit Nature Reserve was given to the Essex Wildlife Trust by Uttlesford District Council over twenty years ago. It was the remaining part of the Little Walden Chalk Pit most of which had become the Limefield housing development.
The developer was persuaded to give the land (as a section 106 agreement with the UDC) - the plan was that this would preserve the geologically important chalk face and the botanically important chalk grassland wildflowers.
Unfortunately, the developer dumped a large amount of building waste on the floor of the chalk pit, destroying all but a small part of the chalk grassland.
The Essex Wildlife Trust was left with a small reserve and with problems with access by the public: the chalk face was unsafe, especially for children, and there were also problems with fly-tipping. So the reserve was fenced with high chain link and closed to the public except for geologists, who needed a special appointment to see the chalk face
Today the Essex Wildlife Trust, with over 8400 acres of reserves, needs to concentrate on its large reserves with visitor centres and has offered Limefield Pit to Walden Countryside in the hope that a small local organisation, with volunteer help from local residents, will be able to restore the wildlife value and allow controlled public access.
Both EWT and Walden Countryside want this project to go ahead but it can only do so if Walden Countryside can secure the help of a team of volunteers living in Saffron Walden.
We also must raise the funds needed for the work that needs to be done at the outset.