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Minutes of Steering Group Meeting
23rd April 2018
Present: Adrian Coltman (Acting Chair), Joan & Mervyn Clayton, David Miles, Geoff Holden, Trevor & Diane Kitto, Adam & Carol Bull, Steve Jones-Blackett, Steve Johns, Phil Meadley, Jenny Page.
1. Apologies for Absence
Martin Calvert, Malcolm Robertson.
2. Minutes of the Meeting Held 19th March 2018
Agreed as a true record.
3. Matters Arising
- Martin had suggested doing a bird walk on 28th April from 9am to 11am. No one has e-mailed Martin directly so it was suggested to postpone the event and/or advertise in the FGVW Update e-mail.
5. Action Mornings
- Sunday 25 March 2018
There were 30 volunteers. One group planted trees from the Woodland Trust. The silt traps were cleared. Hedgerows on Gledhow Lane were cut back along with some brambles. Four species were planted to help form hedgerows in the new field. A lot of litter picking was done.
Future Action Mornings
Proposed dates and tasks (subject to change):
- Sunday 29 April 2018
There are 1,000 plugs to be planted in the area at the end of the lake where the silt from the lake had been put. Steve raised the issue of where future silt will go if we plant up the area, however silt may not be dug out again for some time so it may be OK. Clearing the main silt trap may be too large a job for an Action Morning so it is expected to be done when the lake work proceeds. There is also 15 metres of path work to be done and Martin will order the stone. There is "mare's tail" going into the middle of the meadow but the group did not think they could eradicate it and it does have some benefit. Work to be completed on getting it under control so it does not take over the meadow. There was also a request to use the strimmer on the grass at the end of the lake to help the nesting swans.
- Sunday 20 May 2018
6. Lake Action Group (LAG)
The public consultation was highly successful and around 80 people attended. There was overwhelming support for the proposals. The survey and presentation provide hard evidence to help with the Lottery Fund application.
Steve JB is investigating the issues around VAT if we are successful. He is working with Groundworks and HMRC.
The Lottery Fund application will be sent out this week and we should hear within the next 10 days if we have been successful in proceeding to stage 2.
Mark Jackson has been in contact. He is a drone pilot and has met with David to offer his services to do some high level phots and videos for the Lottery Fund bid. He has also offered to do some before and after pictures when the work is being carried out.
Rachel Moore, Masters Student, is looking at low tech solutions for silt further up the beck. She will give a copy of her Masters report to the group when completed.
Sarah from Water Today has been in contact regarding the silt trap above the island and is producing a design.
David has also been in contact with Duffy's about levelling the ground where the silt was put.
James Coburn from Flood Risk Management organised clearance of the first silt trap but he has now left the area.
Someone at the public consultation asked what "Plan B" was if we don't get Lottery funding. The Group will look to find out if we can apply for Landfill Tax money but this will be less money. We'll need to submit multiple bids. The funding limits have recently changed from £80k to £750k. It has to be a project of regional significance and in partnership with others.
7. Trustees Report
There have been no Trustee Meetings since the AGM.
8. The Silt Traps - Emptying/Disposal/H&S/Planting
Adrian and Joan raised issues with volunteers clearing the silt traps. It was acknowledged they were doing a great job and this was not to curb enthusiasm but thought needed to be given to the possibly hazardous material in the silt traps getting on volunteers clothes and on skin.
The Group needs to consider health and safety. Joan also referred back to the risk assessment and what we needed to do. Steve suggested that they could be cleaned manually, mechanically or by pumps. This will be discussed by the LAG who will present a plan to the Group on the best way to do this. It would form part of the LAG plan concerning regular maintenance for the lake.
9. Woodland Management Plan - Alison Finch
Ally went for a walk around the woods in February and has also listened to everyone's concerns. She provided a summary of the items in her report and suggested where we could make improvements. She noted that we had invasive bamboo in the woods and there was some woodland erosion. She suggested that the entrance ways could be improved and there were ecological concerns such as improving the beech. There were also historical considerations. She has turned her report into a strategy as the woods are well used and well looked after. The Group are doing all the right things but we could improve on slope erosion, invasive species and the lake. She highlighted specific areas to help enhance the experience for people walking through the woods.
- Bath House - We could make it more of a place to visit rather than it being over-looked. It would be good to create a setting there by moving the fence 5 metres away and replace with simple black railings in keeping with the area. It would set the building off but still protect it. We could make a proper path to the entrance and add a new sign to explain all about the Bath House. We could also include some new trees and hedgerows to frame the path.
- Lake - A bit of work on the south bank would clear a vista of the cleaned lake.
- Entrance - At the start of the historic drive it would help to raise up the edge to define the driveway. Also to sort out the gateway and bollard at the front and have a bespoke gate instead. It was suggested to resurface the path and emphasise the corner with a sign or bench to draw people in.
- Markers - It was suggested that interesting discreet markers could be used to highlight places of interest with a possible logo to show a heritage trail. There could be markers on gateways and benches to link up the trail to the Bath House, driveway, lake, etc. so that it becomes a more holistic experience. They would indicate a route to take though the woods.
The Group were very impressed with the strategy and said it would also help to get small pieces of funding for some of the specific ideas.
The Open Meadows Day will be on 7th July. The Group thanked Mervyn for putting the sign back up in the new field. Joan raised the need to look at the small pond and boggy area in the field. The Group did look at extending it but it can't be done at present due to tadpoles.
11. FGVW Christmas Cards
Naomi is looking into producing new FGVW Christmas cards for this year.
12. FGVW FunDay 2018
Morley Exotic Animals and the Birds of Prey are no longer in business. Steve looking for alternatives. A "mobile farm" and Hope Pastures were suggested.
The Chapel Allerton Allotments Association and the Gledhow Valley Conservation Area Group have confirmed.
The parachute game is booked.
Everyone is collecting books for the book stall.
Steve J has passed a paper copy showing required updates to the poster to Adam. Adam to send electronic version to Steve J-B who can print the posters and will get a competitive quote for printing the flyers. There was a suggestion to send the flyers to the Academies involved in the Lake Project. David to call and check with them. It was agreed to put up the posters mid-May and the flyers would go out after half term.
Any prizes for the tombola can be passed on to Adam, Carol or Joan.
13. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
Adam has started doing a mini report and will share it with the Group when finished.
- Raw meat has been found dumped into the woods again. This happened at around the same time last year and the Group is intrigued to know why.
- A kingfisher has been seen in the woods.
- Talbot PTA are looking to borrow a marquee for their summer fair. The Group agreed they could borrow it in return for a donation.
- Adrian has booked the Group in for the Heritage Open Day on 7th September.
- The Group also decided that they would like a stall at the Chapel Allerton Arts Festival over Saturday and Sunday again this year.
15. Dates of Next Meetings
- Action Morning - Sun 29 Apr 2018
- Steering Group Meeting - Thu 17 May 2018 (Gledhow Sports & Social Club)
- Action Morning - Sun 20 May 2018