Former scientists site to become Cambs police training centre

THE former Centre for Ecology and Hydrology at Monks Wood, where Government scientists monitored the effects of climate change for 45 years, could become a training centre for Cambridgeshire police. The National Environmental Research Council complex, wh

THE former Centre for Ecology and Hydrology at Monks Wood, where Government scientists monitored the effects of climate change for 45 years, could become a training centre for Cambridgeshire police.

The National Environmental Research Council complex, which was finally vacated by CEH boffins at the end of January, could replace temporary facilities at Alconbury airfield if the police authority's offer to buy it goes through.

The authority confirmed this week that it had made an offer for the site, which could become a permanent training and conference facility for much of the county force.

It has applied to Huntingdonshire District Council for planning consent to change the site's use from a research centre to a training centre.


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A police authority spokesman said she believed little work would have to be done before the police could make use of the site if the sale went ahead and planning permission were granted.

Monks Wood Experimental was opened by Lord Hailsham, then Minister of Science, in October 1963. It was built for the Nature Conservancy to carry out research into conservation biology.

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Its first director, Dr (later Professor) Kenneth Mellanby, had taken up residence in a wooden hut on site two years earlier in October 1961. In June 1962 he was joined by a nucleus of staff who had been in temporary accommodation in Swavesey and St Ives, according to Hunts Post reader Dr Colin Welch, who worked there for many years.

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