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Minutes of Annual General Meeting
11th March 2016
Present: Martin Calvert (Chair), Joan & Mervyn Clayton, Adam & Carol Bull, Paul Ellis, Dorothy Carter, Trevor & Diane Kitto, Steven Johns, Alex King, Geoff Holden, Steve Tyndale-Biscoe, Jenny Page, Phil Meadley, Claire Standage.
1. Apologies for Absence
Hazel Ellis, Adrian Coltman, Mike & Penny Betteridge, Peter Foulston, Naomi Watts-Kitto, Robert Jones, Malcolm Robertson, Kay Woodward, Steve Jones-Blackett.
2. Minutes of the last AGM 23rd Jan 2015
Agreed as a true record.
3. Matters Arising
4. Chair's Report 2015 (Martin Calvert)
It's 20 years ago this month that a public meeting took place to discuss Woodland Management in Gledhow Valley Woods. It was held at Gledhow School on March 26th 1996.
As a result of that meeting, a Core Group of interested persons was formed to discuss the way forward. At the first Core Group meeting on 3rd October 1996 at the Nags Head in Town Street, 8 people were in attendance. From the minutes of this meeting, under the heading "Elect Officers", I quote, "It was agreed that Martin (Calvert) would be Chair for the time being"!
2015 was a momentous year, with work on Audrey's Meadow taking up much of the time, leading to completion of Audrey's meadow in October.
In January, work on the meadow continued. At the meeting we noted that LCC had turned down an application to build houses on two fields on GV Road.
In February, the meadow was sprayed for the first time. Glenn Gorner and Justin Williamson attended a well attended meeting to discuss proposals to increase diversity of age and species of trees in the Woods.
In March, Ranger Elaine Hill left LCC after many years of sterling work. We felt the loss pointedly at the Action Morning when Ranger Steve Joull attended - steam was spotted coming from Joan's ears. I was with a group working on the meadow at the end of the lake, occasionally known as Martin's Meadow, and didn't realise the difficulties Joan was encountering. I apologise for the stresses of that day. Hilda's Wood was litter picked that day.
In April, new FGVW Christmas cards arrived. Many thanks to Naomi, Trevor, Diane and Steve and Wendy for all your hard work. Work began on the path in to the Woods from Ridgeway, the Lodge House entrance. Meanwhile Audrey's Meadow was dug over and sprayed again. Many thanks to Stephen for his hours of labour in the meadow. We applied to Green Leeds for a grant for seed, wild flower plugs and nest boxes but were put on hold pending evidence of local support for the project.
In May we continued on the Lodge path and more meadow preparation.
In June we had the FunDay. This was organised by Steve and Claire. Thank you so much for taking on the role of organisers. It was probably the best ever, for many reasons. A lovely community day. Thank you.
In July, the meadow received it's final tidying up in readiness for planting. After much public support at the FunDay we were able to be successful in our applications for grants. We received grants from Green Leeds, Awards 4 All and Aviva. Thanks to Carol for facilitating the Aviva grant.
In August, the planning application for houses off GV Road went to appeal. The Bath House had it's annual clean thanks to Mervyn and Joan. The meadow received a little bit more titivation.
In September, the meadow was rotivated with a rotivator kindly lent by John Brennan of JB Landscapes. Thanks John. Another successful Bath House opening. A small but select band of volunteers raised a goodly sum for our coffers from refreshments and sales. Thanks to all the cake and bun makers too. Ranger David Blackham, another friend of ours, left LCC for pastures new.
Then in October, the great days arrived when we could seed and plant Audrey's Meadow. On the Saturday Trevor, Steven, Mervyn and myself seeded the meadow, using a seed sprayer borrowed from John Brennan, then on the Sunday 4th October, a massive 55 people planted 4200 plugs. A brilliant morning's work. Then on October 8th, two classes of Gledhow schoolchildren planted another 1200 plugs. Thanks to Diane for baking some very popular buns for the children. Christmas Fair planning was by now in full swing.
In November, the Bath House was fitted with an inner grill, to deter entry to the pre-bathing room. Thanks to Mervyn for organising that. 49 volunteers, the numbers swelled by local scouts, cut the top meadow and Martin's Meadow and 1060 bulbs were planted at the Action morning.
In December, path repairs on the Lord Mayor's path started. The Christmas Fairs were all attended and we did very well. Thanks to Diane and Joan for lots of Christmas card sales and special mention to Joan and Mervyn for braving the cold to attend the Farmers Market here on Dec 20th and take a record breaking £100.60.
Meanwhile, there was an ominous silence on the planning application appeal.
In summary, all of the things we do and events we attend couldn't happen without the support of so many people. From Adam and Carol publicising the events, to Paul counting the money, to Joan and Mervyn bringing all the gear to make an Action Morning work and all of you for supporting FGVW, thank you very much.
5. Treasurer's Report 2015 (Paul Ellis)
Paul produced a breakdown of the payments made and any income received by the Group over the year. Main points included:
- We have £500 less this year than last year but this is due to it being a busy year with lots of expenditure.
- We've received some large grants this year.
- Money taken due to the sale of merchandise has also increased.
- Insurance costs are slightly lower as the Group has moved provider and the on-line service is cheaper.
- Cash funds for the year end total £10,812.
6. Merchandise Sales & Web Site Report 2015 (Adam Bull)
Adam provided a breakdown of merchandise sales and website statistics. The main points covered were:
- £1,739.30 was raised by selling merchandise. This excludes coasters and nest boxes. Total profit to date is £6,552.77.
- There were 7,363 visits to the website over the year (about 20 per day).
- Over 40% of people are now looking at the website on mobile devices such as tablets and mobile phones, mostly iPhones (30%) and iPads (29%). This is 6% more than last year.
- The e-mail mailing list has increased by 16 to 407.
There has been an increase in the use of Social Media:
- Number of Twitter followers: 257 (up 150 from last year)
- Number of Facebook "likes": 521 (up 268 from last year)
The Group think that this is partly social media activity surrounding the recent Planning Application in the woods.
7. Action Morning, Risk Assessments and Attendance Report
Joan provided a full breakdown of the number of volunteers who have attended the Action Mornings on a year by year basis, including a breakdown between Saturday and Sunday attendances. She also provided a breakdown of the average number of hours and the average cost based on £11 per hour that this would equate to should we wish to apply for match funding.
Since records began, 2015 has been the best year for the number of volunteers:
Total Fund Matching over 12 years would have been: £74,690
- Average Saturday attendance for 2015: 22 volunteers
- Average Sunday attendance for 2015: 30 volunteers
- Total number of volunteers for 2015: 345
8. Director of Fun(Day) Report
The sun shone on the FunDay and a lot of people turned up. We achieved the objective of raising the profile of the Group and made some profit to continue with buying equipment and material to do work in the woods.
It was a fantastic effort and thanks to everyone who volunteered.
The next FunDay is Saturday 18th June 2016.
Martin thanked Steve for taking on the FunDay organisation.
9. Election of Officers
No new nominations were received.
The following officers were re-elected:
- Chair - Martin Calvert
- Vice Chair - Adrian Coltman
- Treasurer - Paul Ellis
- Secretary - Carol Bull
- Fun Director - Steve Johns
- Former Member
Claire met up with Anthony, originally from South Africa, who used to be a member of the Group but moved away from the area. He sends his regards to everyone.
- Thank You to FGVW Officers
Steve Tyndale-Biscoe thanked all the officers for their work over the year.
- Reminder about PAWs/Woodland Trust Event
There was a reminder for the PAWs/Woodland Trust event taking place on 27th April. The evening session 6-8pm will be on Gledhow. The daytime session is a general session by the Woodland Trust. Adam Bull to send out the details. Anyone wishing to attend has to apply for spaces.
- Warning to Dog Owners
There was a report of some raw kidney and meat being cut up and left in the woods. A dog has been seriously ill and it is thought the meat could have been deliberately poisoned and left there. The bag nearby said International Foods on the front and the Group would like to warn all dog walkers.
The matters raised in any other business will be discussed at future Core Group meetings.
11. Dates of Next Meetings
- Action Morning - Sun 13 Mar 2016
- Core Group Meeting - Mon 28 Mar 2016 (Gledhow Sports & Social Club)
- Action Morning - Sun 3 Apr 2016
- Action Morning - Sun 8 May 2016