Target: Cambridge Boat Club
Goal: Stop the construction of a second boat house on the Great Ouse River, which would adversely affect the livelihood of local otters, voles, and birds
Cambridge University has been growing its worldwide reputation as leaders in conservation and sustainability. Now, however, plans by the Cambridge Boat Club may be putting this status at risk. The Cambridge University Boat Club, Cambridge University Women’s Boat Club, and Cambridge University Lightweight Rowing Club have all put in for a planning permission in order to build themselves a new boat house on the Great Ouse River near Ely — a location that The Wildlife Trust calls “the richest” and “most environmentally sensitive location” of the river.
To make matters worse, the construction would be of more than a simple boat house. The plans include the placement of a dormitory, flat, and gym. Not only have scientists proven that this area’s otter “corridors” would be cut off, but the increased student traffic in early mornings would have the additional negative effect of forcing the animals towards the road.
Students and activists are now calling for a boycott of the boat team at the upcoming Cambridge University Boat Race. Martin Baker, of the Wildlife Trust has said: “The boat race is part of our cultural heritage which we should celebrate but we should also celebrate our natural heritage. We hope the thousands of people who watch the boat race tomorrow consider the long-term future of wildlife along the Ely stretch of the River Great Ouse. The wildlife doesn’t have anywhere else to go; the University boat club can find somewhere else to build their training base.” Demand that the boat house construction be halted in order to protect the natural wildlife that breeds in the area.
Dear Cambridge Boat Club,
Your current plans to build a new boat house with dormitories, flats, and a gym on one of the most environmentally sensitive areas of the Great Ouse River are putting the lives of countless species of local wildlife at risk. Doing so would have a number of adverse effects, including cutting off otter “corridors” and forcing animals onto the road as a result of increased human presence. The creatures affected would include otters, birds, and voles, among others.
Not only is the direct environmental risk very real, but you will also be endangering your university’s status as one of the leading institutions in conservation and sustainability. Please reconsider your plans, for both the good of the environment and that of the University of Cambridge.
[Your Name Here]