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Minutes of Steering Group Meeting
13th April 2023
Present: Adrian Coltman (Acting Chair), Steve Jones-Blackett, Adam & Carol Bull, Joan & Mervyn Clayton, David Miles, David Lumb, Trevor & Diane Kitto, Jeremy Kitto, Emily Wilde, Dan Martin.
1. Apologies for Absence
Martin Calvert, Theresa Williams.
2. Minutes of the Meeting Held 9th March 2023
Agreed as a true record.
3. Matters Arising
- David L has been gathering information to make a formal application to the Land Registry regarding a section of the woods where it has been difficult to trace an owner. Adrian and Steve agreed to show David the piece of land at the next Action
- Morning so that David can mark out on the Ordnance Survey map and complete the submission.
- Martin is compiling an asset list (tools and equipment ,etc.) for the next Trustee Meeting.
- Mervyn has set up a meeting with the Council to look at and plan for some difficult path work.
5. Trustees Update
The FGVW AGM was originally proposed for 22nd June 2023, however the venue is booked so the Trustees will propose an alternative date.
6. Dead Hedge Fire
The "dead hedge" near the lake has been set on fire. Approximately 16 metres of "dead hedge" has been destroyed. The Group discussed replacing it with a live hedge and putting in more substantial plants rather than whips to try and prevent this from happening again.
Part of the agreement for Phase 1 of the lake project included a requirement for a barrier in this area. Mervyn is to ask the council to provide materials and check what sort of barrier would be acceptable to meet the requirement again. There was also a suggestion to check with Vicki Nunns. Some of the Group will tidy the area ready for the Action Morning in May.
7. Action Mornings
- Sunday 19 March
Approximately 25 volunteers attended. The "dead hedges" were topped up. Rubbish was cleared from Brackenwood Drive and the abandoned camp site on the slope was also cleared.
- Sunday 23 April
4 tons of stone has been ordered for the footpath opposite Beck Pasture. Wheelbarrows are required to move the stone. There are also 1000 plugs to be planted in the wet areas of Beck Pasture. The steps need mending on "Lord Mayor's Walk". Volunteers to meet at Beck Pasture (the FGVW field).
8. Heritage Lottery Fund Project Update
David provided an update for the Group.
The Veolia Application for £75k has been agreed. Veolia has requested a detailed plan of the work to be carried out and this is being drawn up by Groundworks as they also completed Phase 1. There will then be an open bid process for the work to be done. There will also be a meeting with Flood Risk Management and Ebsford to check that the proposed project will work. It will include more work on the lake and a look at a more permanent solution to reduce the amount of silt going in the lake. There will be more wet areas and one of the two channels going into the lake near the island will be made deeper, with the other being made into a reed bed.
Both channels will remain open but the work should allow for the silt to be taken and deposited further out into the lake. There will also be leaky dams put in the beck to catch leaves and debris and stop it from all going into the lake. Normally the work would be done in the autumn but some of the areas are muddy and it would be difficult to get the necessary machinery in so, the proposal is to start the work in August.
The application for the £10k Lottery Community Grant has been successful. The Group has also received a donation of £5k from Wade's Charity.
There are 2 bids outstanding of £25k with the Postcode Lottery and a £5k Local Community Committee application. Other grant applications are also being investigated.
9. Yorkshire Water Site Meeting
Members of the Group took Yorkshire Water representatives on a long awaited site visit touring the valley. Volunteers were working in one of the fields so Yorkshire Water could see the work that we were doing first hand.
The Combined Sewage Overflows (CSO) in the area were discussed. The one on Harrogate Road is due to be upgraded. The Group had already researched the data available online that showed how often they overflowed. The Harrogate Road CSO overflows 40-50 times a year into the beck.
The Environmental Agency is also planning to introduce crayfish into the beck. These need clean water. The Government is putting pressure on water companies for cleaner waterways and this means that Yorkshire Water have been prioritising the upgrade on the CSOs. The Group discussed this with Yorkshire Water and pointed out that the other CSOs around the beck, where the crayfish will be, also need to be prioritised and not just Harrogate Road. The Group requested that the other 3 CSOs in the area also be added to the priority list.
It was a productive meeting and Yorkshire Water agreed to meet with the Group again in 3 months time.
Yorkshire Water has awarded the Group £800 to work with the University to train people to measure the water quality in Gledhow Beck. If anyone wishes to volunteer to do this both within and outside of the Group they are welcome to contact us. It is not yet known how many volunteers will be needed.
David M has spoken to the crayfish expert at the Environmental Agency and raised concerns about the pollution in the beck. The crayfish are due to be removed from Meanwood Beck around the 27th/28th April and they will be slowly introduced to the Gledhow Beck. The crayfish are white claw crayfish that are native to England. Volunteers are needed to help to remove the crayfish from Meanwood Beck.
10. New FGVW Christmas Cards
Steve showed the Group some designs for Christmas cards. Steve has a new printer so the Group will be able to have cards in a larger selection of designs and print smaller batches rather than having to order in bulk. The Group can order everyday cards and Christmas cards to sell at the Chapel Allerton Festival, Bath House Heritage Open Day and Christmas events.
11. Closing Gledhow Valley Road for an Event
A Climate Emergency grant is available that will allow the Group to fund for Gledhow Valley Road to be closed to traffic to hold an event. The event could include a wide range of activities such as walks, electric bike demonstrations, children's play area, etc.
There are costs involved and it is a 2 stage application process. The first stage of the application process closes on 28th April. Stage 2 consists of a presentation to a citizens type jury that decides if the application is successful or not. A decision is taken by July, with a year to do the event. The Group agreed to pursue it.
- Liam has produced a short video with a voice-over from Martin, that the Group can use when submitting bids, etc. Adam asked for a link so that it could be shared on the website.
- The Group has been contacted by a member of the community who is concerned about wildlife being killed on and around the Gledhow Valley Road area and has asked who to contact regarding road signs and notices in the woods. The Group does not have any jurisdiction in this area but Adam agreed to go back and have a chat to see if anything else could be done to raise awareness instead.
- Two men were spotted in the woods by David L hanging technical equipment in the trees. He was informed that Leeds Beckett is installing devices across Leeds to measure the air quality across the city including Gledhow Valley Road. David L agreed to get their contact details as it would be useful information for the Group to have.
- David M has identified some Japanese Knotweed growing in the wood, just beyond the lake and new hedging. The Council will need to be notified.
- The raised bed near the carriageway is being used as a walkway. Gledhow Primary School spent some time in the area planting native daffodils so the Group agreed that it would be good to protect the area in some way. The Group proposed either putting a "dead hedge" around it or raising the bed and agreed it would be good to assess the site further.
13. Dates of Next Meetings
- 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