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Minutes of Steering Group Meeting
9th February 2023
Present: Adrian Coltman (Acting Chair), Steve Jones-Blackett, Theresa Williams, Adam & Carol Bull, Mervyn Clayton, David Miles, David Lumb.
1. Apologies for Absence
Martin Calvert, Joan Clayton.
2. Minutes of the Meeting Held 12th January 2023
Agreed as a true record.
3. Matters Arising
- The jetty has been repaired and the Group would like to thank Parks & Countryside for completing this work. The Group would like to do some work around the site at the next Action Morning.
- The Street Outreach Service are aware of the rough sleeper in the woods and has reached out to help.
5. Trustees Update
The next Trustees meeting is 28th February.
6. Action Mornings
- Sunday 22 January
Some new volunteers attended. A path was cleared and another "dead hedge" was created. Some beech alongside the path were cleared on Tuesday, which created some timber which could be used in the "dead hedge". Adrian and Mike cleared a lot of the area. The oak tree saplings have been left alone and there is now space for 2 or 3 more oak saplings to be planted.
- Sunday 19 February
Activities will include clearing leaves, "dead hedge" construction, work around the repaired jetty. Some rubbish needs clearing that has been dumped opposite 123 Brackenwood Drive near the steps. The path also needs clearing near the new hedge and the crossing point. Volunteers to meet at the jetty/duck feeding platform by the lake.
Future Action Mornings (provisional):
- Sun 19 February
- Sun 19 March
- Sun 23 April
- Sun 14 May
- Sun 11 June
7. Heritage Lottery Fund Project Update
David provided an update for the Group.
The Veolia Application was submitted on 5th January. The issue regarding the silt certificate has now been resolved between Flood Risk Management and the Environment Agency. Permits for clearing the silt are all in place. Veolia has come back to the Group with a few questions about the application.
David has also submitted an application for a £10k Lottery Community Grant. He has also spoken to the Postcode Lottery to see if we can apply again, having been rejected previously. David is also looking into a £5k Local Community Committee grant application.
Tom from Leeds Coppice Workers has received some money that will allow them to do more work on the steep banks in the woods. He is looking for volunteers to help on Tuesday 21st or Wednesday 22nd March.
BTCV are currently doing a men's bushcraft event in the woods.
ACTS (Academics Co-Ordinating Third Sector Groups) put together academics with community groups who can help with research projects. David suggested we joined up with an academic who could do some research on the impacts of pollution and the impacts of biological waste into waterways. There is an application form but the Group needs to find an academic. Jenny Woodward was approached as she has done work for the Group before but she is too busy doing her PhD. David has contacted Leeds University where Water@Leeds looks at various disciplines to research water, but has not yet heard back. If we can't find someone ourselves then ACTS will try and help.
The Group thanked David for his on-going hard work.
8. Yorkshire Water
Adrian sent an informal email to Yorkshire Water with a list of questions from the Group. The response was shared at the meeting and the Group is very disappointed with it. Adrian will reply and ask for a face to face meeting. David has received some information following a Freedom of Information request but needs help to go through it all.
Following the response form Yorkshire Water the Group now knows that there is no owner listed for the land where the Group would like to put in reed beds. This will be useful for phase 2 of the Heritage Lottery Fund project. The Group discussed and agreed to initiate a Community Right to Bid for the land with the Council. This means the Council will need to find out who owns the land and the Group will need to be approached should anyone request to buy the land. The Group would like to put in some reed beds but doesn't want to take over ownership of the water course. David to pick up on behalf of the Group.
The Group also requested information on Gledhow Beck and how it links to the River Aire. Yorkshire Water told the Group to contact the Canal & River Trust but they passed the Group on to Flood Risk Management. They have been very helpful in providing some good maps showing the beck, etc.
9. Action Morning projects and Event/Survey to Harness Opinions
Adrian has printed a large map to start marking down where work needs doing at future Action Mornings. The boardwalk has been mapped out as there are sections that need replacing. The top path near the Carriageway needs to be re-done also.
The Group has been asked to write down all the jobs and then they can be assessed to see which jobs can be completed at each Action Morning. It will also help to scope out any materials that are needed.
The Group agreed to focus on accessibility and maintaining what we have rather than doing new tasks all the time. It would be good to use the map as a basis for a Woodland Management Plan for future grant applications.
Adam also sent a blank version of a map used in the FGVW leaflet to Steve in case it is of use.
- David has been in contact with Flood Risk Management who have confirmed that they will let us know next week about clearing an area of the lake and also that they need to do an ecological survey before cleaning the silt traps.
There is also a National Project to ask communities to look after some water assets. It is a 2 stage process. The first to get the information on current flood risk management. The next stage will be to set out some guidelines on how communities can get involved in maintaining the assets of flood risk management. David responded to say the Group could give feedback. In principle the Group is happy to get involved but also cautious as we would not want to take on any liability.
- The Group has been approached to submit some form of art as part of Leeds City of Culture 2023. David suggested the deer in the field. FGVW have the option to register an interest.
- A commercial van has dumped 4 industrial fridges in the woods.
- A question was raised on the policy of cycling in the woods. The Group are not aware of any problems with cyclists and the paths do not seem to be being degraded due to the use of mountain bikes.
11. Dates of Next Meetings
- Action Morning - Sun 19 Feb 2023
- Steering Group Meeting - Thu 9 Mar 2023
- Action Morning - Sun 19 Mar 2023
- Steering Group Meeting - Thu 13 Apr 2023
- Action Morning - Sun 23 Apr 2023
- Steering Group Meeting - Thu 4 May 2023
- Action Morning - Sun14 May 2023
- Steering Group Meeting - Thu 1 Jun 2023
- Action Morning - Sun 11 Jun 2023