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Minutes of Steering Group Meeting
14th September 2023

Present: Martin Calvert (Chair), Adrian Coltman, Adam & Carol Bull, Theresa Williams, David Miles, Mervyn Clayton, Steve Jones-Blackett.

  1. Apologies for Absence
  2. Minutes of the Meeting Held 14th September 2023
  3. Matters Arising
  4. Action Mornings
  5. Trustees Update
  6. New Information Boards
  1. Gledhow Lake - Phase 2 Update
  2. Gledhow Beck Water Quality Monitoring
  3. One Day Closure of Gledhow Valley Road
  4. AOB
  5. Dates of Next Meetings

1. Apologies for Absence

David Lumb, Joan Clayton.

2. Minutes of the Meeting Held 14th September 2023

Agreed as a true record.

3. Matters Arising

  • Commonplace Proposals - following the positive engagement with representatives from Leeds City Council at the last meeting, the tree planting proposals have now been updated and show that no trees will be planted on the Allerton Grange Way site. Local residents are investigating applying for village green status for this site to prevent any future development being proposed.
  • Christmas FGVW Stall - Adrian is investigated the possibility of having a pop-up stall in the local area to sell merchandise before Christmas.
  • Charity Tea Party - Theresa held a tea party that was very successful in raising £325 for charity.
  • Gazebos - some of the old gazebos are no longer required but there may be someone willing to take them.

4. Action Mornings

  • Sunday 24 September
    Cut hay was stacked up but has not yet been removed. The pond was cleared out and some maintenance was completed on the hedgerows. "Audrey's Meadow" has not been cut as the mower is currently being repaired. The mower is due back this week and it is hoped to cut the meadow before the next Action Morning.
  • Sunday 29 October
    Activities will include hay removal from "Audrey's" and "Adrian's" meadows, hedgerow maintenance and litter picking.
    Volunteers to meet at the jetty/duck feeding platform by the lake.

5. Trustees Update

The Trustees held a meeting on Tuesday 17th October. Steve provided a copy of the Finance Report. There is a lot of activity at present and money is flowing in and out due to grants and projects in the woods. The current balance is £44,269.23 comprising £12,741.06 of general funds and £31,528.17 of obtained grants ring-fenced for specific ongoing and future projects. The Group is in a healthy position and has sufficient funds for on-going work.

6. New Information Boards

David has circulated a draft of a new information board for comments. Martin suggested changing the tree creeper picture for a dipper. The board will go at the top end of the woods. Another board is due to be produced about the meadows and this will replace the board near the lake that has been damaged.

7. Gledhow Lake - Phase 2 Update

There was a report of some vandalism to the digger on Friday night.

Seeds have been planted in the silted area on one side and it has been requested that seeds are also added to the other side. All the planting, including the wetland areas, and the fascine additions will be completed in the Spring. Some of the money has been allocated to upgrading paths in the beck area.

The Group suggested replacing the edging on the path near Gledhow Lane that was damaged when a fallen tree was removed. Beck Pasture and its pond will be worked on next and will include an "island" so Yorkshire Water can gain necessary access. It was also proposed to create a wetland area where the tree came down and improve on the run-off channels there.

8. Gledhow Beck Water Quality Monitoring

Adrian is involved in two of the water quality testing groups and the testing started at the weekend. The statistics are being uploaded to a central place. At least 20 samples are needed to accurately determine levels of contamination.

David is meeting with water@leeds at Leeds University to find out more on E. coli and if it is coming from the swans and ducks as well as humans. Human E. coli only lasts 24 hours in water and there is a concern that our samples may not be getting to the testing lab in time. There are not many labs that test for E. coli and the one we are using was recommended. David will discuss the issue with the University.

Water Quality Databases are showing our data worldwide and David asked if this could be shown on the FGVW website. David will share the information with Adam who will look into adding a link or embedding the data into the website.

A PhD student is looking to do a research paper based on the road run-off on Gledhow Valley Road. The Group are interested to learn the results.

9. One Day Closure of Gledhow Valley Road

The proposed closure date is Sunday 14th July 2024. An application will be submitted in the next few weeks. A grant has been agreed for Road Traffic Management to close the road for one day. There is a negotiation procedure to go through on the areas of road to be closed, and residents will be consulted. Martin agreed for his name to go on the application form.

David received feedback from the Leeds Community Foundation that our safeguarding policy needs to be updated if we are using it for grant applications. David attended a course on safeguarding policies and has updated our policy for comment. He asked for volunteers to be lead and deputy. Adrian volunteered due to his previous experience.

10. AOB

  • Theresa asked if the Group could look into having the green utility boxes painted in the valley. Some have already been painted in her area and are really popular. As part of a sculpture grant application David has added a request for two murals to be painted on the gas substations and one of the CSOs. He has the contact details for an artist so we can take Theresa's idea forward.
  • Steve has been investigating getting a replacement for the willow deer in Beck Pasture.
  • Steve will be printing FGVW Christmas cards at the end of October.
  • The Conservation Volunteers (TCV) has contacted David offering volunteers to work in the woods for 2 days. The Group proposed they work on the meadow at Lincoln Drive.
  • David has also been contacted by the Tree Council who are willing to donate 3 lots of hedgerow to the Group. We would need to buy the stock and apply for a refund. There was a proposal to put one hedgerow at the top of Gledhow Valley Road, one near the gas substation and the other near the steps at Little Switzerland to replace the laburnum. It was suggested that the TCV could dig out the laburnum and do the trench and that school children could then plant the hedgerow.
  • David has received a quote for £35,000 to remove the knotweed and pygmy bamboo in an area of the woods which could then become a wetland. This is a very reasonable quote compared to others. The company also suggested fees for groundworks and building paths so the Group will need to raise £50,000 in grants and complete this as a separate project. Martin raised the issue that knotweed elsewhere will need to be dealt with otherwise it will just start spreading again after the work is completed.

11. Dates of Next Meetings

  • Action Morning - Sun 29 Oct 2023
  • Steering Group Meeting - Thu 16 Nov 2023
  • Action Morning - Sun 26 Nov 2023
  • Steering Group Meeting - Thu 7 Dec 2023
  • Action Morning - Sun 17 Dec 2023

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