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Minutes of Core Group Meeting
4th May 2016

Present: Adrian Coltman (Acting Chair), Adam & Carol Bull, Joan & Mervyn Clayton, Steve Jones-Blackett, Trevor & Diane Kitto, Naomi Watts-Kitto, David Miles, Adam Bowler, Phil Meadley, Steve Johns, Hurol Ozcan.

  1. Apologies for Absence
  2. Minutes of the Meeting Held 28th Mar 2016
  3. Matters Arising
  4. Correspondence
  5. Action Mornings
  6. Community Woodland and PAWS (Plantation & Ancient Woodland) Restoration Events
  1. Sale of Field #3 / Action on Field #2
  2. FGVW Christmas Cards
  3. The Beehive Shop
  4. FGVW FunDay 2016
  5. AOB
  6. Dates of Next Meetings

1. Apologies for Absence

Martin Calvert, Jenny Page, Malcolm Robertson, Melissa Ozcan, Paul Ellis.

2. Minutes of the Meeting Held 28th Mar 2016

Agreed as a true record.

3. Matters Arising

  • Regarding dog poo notices - Ranger Joe Walker has contacted Joan and told her to go ahead with the dog poo notices. She has printed some and Martin is going to laminate them.
  • 30mph signs - Trevor and Diane went to the police meeting and was told that replacing the 30mph on Gledhow Valley Road was in hand and had been raised by Councillor Jane Dowson. The signs were removed some time ago when some re-surfacing work was being done and the Group would like them to be put back up.

4. Correspondence

Rebecca Miles has contacted the Group regarding running a fund raiser for FGVW by arranging some "Yoga in the Woods" sessions in July. Rebecca works for Yoga Kula, a yoga studio in Chapel Allerton. The Group were very supportive of the idea subject to insurance and permission for using the woods being in order. The Group agreed to get in contact with Rebecca to sort out the details. Adam Bull to ask Martin to contact her on behalf of the Group.

James Pullein has been in contact with the Group following his attendance at the Woodland trust workshop. He heard that we were looking into putting in a reed bed as a filtration system and the silt building up in the lake. James e-mailed to let the Group know about the work of Paul Stamets, a leading mycologist, and his use of fungi to clean waste water, industrial waste and oil spills. In water, burlap sacks filled with straw and impregnated with fungi spoor were used. James suggested that this may be partial solution for detoxifying the lake or for further upstream.

The Group thought this was an interesting idea and worth researching further. Phil talked to the Group about how the fungi would probably work better for static water. The lake has flowing water from the overflow so we also needed to figure out where the reed beds need to go for optimum effect. Phil had met with the Becks Inspector earlier this year and agreed to keep in touch. The inspector told the Group that the Council is deliberately leaving the balancing lakes to silt up. David said that we needed to look at a plan for the lake and look at the area as a whole.

Adam Bull agreed to respond to James thanking him for the information and saying that we would look into it further as we would need to look at the whole area and apply for funding. It was also suggested to ask James if he would like to come and discuss it further with the Group at a future meeting.

5. Action Mornings

  • Sunday 3 April 2016
    38 volunteers turned up which is more than average but unfortunately only Joan, Mervyn and Martin were able to attend from the Core Group so this made the event difficult to manage. Martin took a group of volunteers to work on the top path and Mervyn took a group to do the steps. Georgina stepped in and took another group to do nettles and brambles. Joan suggested that in future when we are doing different jobs scattered around the woods that we need a Core Group member to be with each group and that it was important that they can communicate with each other easily throughout the morning.

Future Action Mornings

Proposed dates and tasks (subject to change):

  • Sunday 8 May 2016
    Please meet at the junction of Gledhow Lane and Gledhow Valley Road. Work will include repairing Mrs Hoods's steps. 8 tons of stone is due to be delivered. Limestone dust will be available for the steps. There is some repair work to do and path clearing by the gabions. There is also some holly to be removed although any volunteers will need to take care not to trample on the bluebells. Mervyn will be doing some preparation work on Saturday ready for the Action Morning on Sunday.

Provisional Action Morning dates for 2016:

  • TBA

6. Community Woodland and PAWS (Plantation & Ancient Woodland) Restoration Events

The Community Woodland and PAWS Restoration event took place on 27th April. Phil attended the morning event that was available for everyone involved in projects in the area. The event was about networking and talking about the projects people were doing. It also involved a walk around the woods. About a dozen people attended the day session.

The evening session was full and attended by Diane, Trevor and Adrian. It was an interesting session and included talks on what plants and trees to grow, etc. The Woodland Trust tackled some local issues head on with good speakers and the consensus was that some action needs to be taken to manage the woods. A new plan for the woods will be circulated by the Woodland Trust.

A copy of the presentations from the day will be available on the FGVW website soon.

Martin has applied for a grant from the Woodland trust on behalf of the Group.

Phil explained about the beech trees in the woods and how these are self seeding and growing on slopes with thin soil. Some of the trees are dying out and becoming stressed in that area. The trees vary greatly in diameter, between 9 and 36 inches, despite being around the same age.

7. Sale of Field #3 / Action on Field #2

This will be discussed at a later date.

8. FGVW Christmas Cards

Steve Jones-Blackett brought in some samples of 2 Christmas cards and 2 notelets for the Group to comment on. The Group agreed that they were very good and they liked the designs, especially the addition of a robin. A jogger had been digitally removed from one picture. The Group had a preference for the Christmas greeting to be on the front and on the inside of the card. The Christmas cards will be sent to the printers with the notelets being done later. The cards will be sold in packs of 6 for £3. Steve Jones-Blackett agreed to get some costings to check this was profitable. Diane and Naomi offered to pack the cards.

9. The Beehive Shop

Adam Bull had received an e-mail from the owner of Radish who has now closed the shop and is unable to attend the FunDay. She suggested that a suitable replacement would be The Beehive Shop on Potternewton Lane. The Group has had a good relationship with Radish in that they have been selling FGVW merchandise so agreed to find out more about The Beehive to see if a similar arrangement could be put in place. Steve Johns has e-mailed them regarding the FunDay and selling FGVW merchandise. Steve Jones-Blackett thought this was a good idea as The Beehive Shop fits with the FGVW ethics.

10. FGVW FunDay 2016

Steve Johns provided an update on the FunDay:

  • Conservation volunteers have been booked. They are going to bring bugs and identification cards. There will also be a type of treasure hunt round the field and a craft activity. No other FGVW volunteers will be required as they will be self-sufficient.
  • There will be a second-hand book and DVD stall. A message will be put on Facebook and Twitter to let members know and to start to save books and DVDs. The Group may be able to arrange to collect them if necessary, otherwise they can be saved in boxes (formally used for fruit) with the spines facing upwards for easy and quick preparation for the FunDay.
  • Joan and Mervyn have been working on a quiz for children to do around the field. This has been overtaken by the Conservation volunteers doing one. It was still thought to be a really good idea to have boards round the field with the answers on to questions about the woods. The Group decided that this might be a good activity for doing at a different venue to be confirmed at a later date.
  • Chapel Allerton Allotment Association and Gledhow Valley Conservation Area Group have asked to attend. The Group agreed provided no plants or cards are sold. Steve Johns to look at tent availability. Steve Jones-Blackett to contact the Allotment Association, Joan to contact the Gledhow Valley Conservation Area Group.
  • Basa Basa has confirmed.
  • Adrian has sent out invites to the PCSOs and fire brigade.
  • Steve Jones-Blackett asked if there could be more than one ice cream van due to the long queues last year. The Group suggested selling ice pops again.
  • Steve Jones-Blackett has kindly agreed to print the posters and leaflets. Steve Johns to amend the poster from last year and send it to Adam so that he can make the changes and send a digital copy to Steve Jones-Blackett.
  • The Magician has not been able to confirm yet.
  • Adrian asked if we needed a separate meeting just to discuss the FunDay and the Group agreed.
  • Volunteers are needed to put up posters and deliver leaflets.
  • Naomi said she had friends who had volunteered to do the face painter if we could provide the paints and our insurance covered them.
  • Joan knows some girls who have offered to paint nails if we can't get any face painters.
  • Raffle is on-going. Joan, Diane and Claire have been asking local businesses for donations.

11. AOB

  • David has spoken to the Catholic Diocese concerning the field they own and what they plan to do with it in the future now that the planning application has been rejected. He has also contacted Councillor Fabian Hamilton. All 3 parties have agreed to have a meeting in the future to discuss this with all Groups in the area. Also the Community "right to bid" is looking into this. David has also spoken to the planner today to discuss classifying the fields as green space. They are not keen to look at this area again so soon after the planning application unless there is some political support to do so. The land is still vulnerable for a single dwelling but a large scale planning scheme is unlikely given recent rejections. However, the planning was not turned down based on the site application that said it was unsuitable for building so the Group remain vigilant.
  • David asked if there was an update about the charitable status of the Group. There hasn't been any progress yet due to more urgent discussions regarding the sale of the land and the FunDay. Steve Johns and Paul are looking into it. Phil raised the point about the status depending on different financial levels.
  • David has received an e-mail from REAP about an event on Thursday 19th May that the Group may be interested in. The event is an opportunity for Leeds based community, grassroots and third-sector groups active in environmental and sustainability issues to meet with University of Leeds academics working on these topics. The aim of the event is to provide an opportunity to explore mutually beneficial opportunities and co-create research agendas. Tickets to the event are free, if you members would like to attend they can register here. If members require more information about this event they can contact Emily Boldison (E.Boldison@leeds.ac.uk). The event is between 4pm and 6pm on 19th May at ODI, Duke Street in Leeds which is part of Leeds University. The Group agreed it would be good to have some research done in the woods and that they help with grants etc. David already has 2 tickets and Phil agreed to attend the event with him.
  • Phil mentioned the state of the bridge in the woods. The retaining wall needs repointing, which may require saplings removing nearby. The Group agreed to raise this with the Becks Inspector as repointing is not something they can do. The Group also thought it should look into getting a Heritage Grant for the work.
  • Joan mentioned that the balsam will be out soon and that it will need to be taken out before it starts seeding. There is a lot in the pigs' field and in the past the Group has offered to help clear this field to stop the balsam spreading into the woods. The Group need to find out when they can do this and book an Action Morning in June/July.
  • Mervyn mentioned that a surveyor had been surveying the field and looking at water courses for the Environmental Agency. The Group agreed to be vigilant to check this was the case. It was suggested that this could be to do with flood prevention plans.
  • A date of Monday 30th May was agreed as a date for the additional meeting to discuss the FunDay.

12. Dates of Next Meetings

  • Action Morning - Sun 8 May 2016
  • FunDay Meeting - Mon 30 May 2016 (Gledhow Sports & Social Club)

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