Minutes from GCCG Meeting 13th December 2016
PO welcomed everyone and opened meeting.
Attendance and Apologies
Attendance: Peter Owen (PO), Sue Pilling (SP), Alan Butler (AB), Fran Heron, John Pollard (JP), Chris Neild (CN), Bettina Taylor, Dave Jefferies, Arthur Broadbent, Angela Bent, Derek Brennan (DB), Margaret Brennan.
Apologies: Jim Arkwright, Keith Holloway, Iain Roberts, Graham Greenhalgh, Linda Cullen, Michelle Inwood, Anna Forrester (AF), Bill Forrester, Nigel Bent, Rachel Bent.
Minutes from last meeting
Minutes of last meeting from the 20th September were agreed and signed off.
No matters arising from previous minutes.
In the absence of AF, PO read out the treasurer’s report. The balance was £4524.93. We had been given an anonymous donation for £700 towards the construction of the new path from the car park to the dipping pond. Hopefully, some grant funding would also be coming through over the next few months.
CN gave her report of the bird activity over the last three months. In September and October, two chiffchaff, snipe, baby woodpigeon and buzzard had been spotted and November brought two teal onto the pond. The total species is at 54. Chris’ full report can be found on the website.
SP reported an increase in membership numbers, which are now up to 100. There had been a good response from the letter reminders sent to those without email addresses in September. There had been an increase in members paying by standing order; this was now up to 17. Due to the success of the printed letters, it was decided that we should maybe follow up our email reminders with a printed letter after a couple of months if there had been no response.
Wildlife and Nature Report
JP gave his wildlife and nature report, summarizing activity from October to December. In October, yellow rattle seed had been sown in the wild flower meadow, which will hopefully reduce some of the grass next year. The Carrs in autumn walk on the 16th October led by JP had an attendance of 12 and was well received. In December a mink was spotted on the pond. A successful foraging walk on the 11th December had 20 adults and 10 children attending. JP’s full report can be found on the website.
Fields in Trust Proposal Update
No recent progress on this despite PO chasing the matter via email, which was read out to the meeting. PO proposing to keep the pressure up over the coming months by contacting councillors and Mary Robinson MP again.
JP had attended the Greenspace Forum AGM on the 17th November, which had focussed on the government initiative for housing development on Greenspace/Greenbelt sites. The message was clear that we had to be prepared for defence if there was any proposed development plans for the Carrs so obviously the best way of preparing for this is to keep pushing the Fields in Trust Proposal.
Plans for site maintenance
Cheshire Wildlife Trust has produced an outline agenda for the coming months for maintenance work on the Carrs. They are also proposing to help with applying for funding grants to help us manage the plan.
DB gave a summary of the idea behind the Sunday strolls, which was to give us a continuing, regular presence on the Carrs and encourage non-members to attend with the hope that some may wish to get involved with the group. Since starting, the numbers attending had varied between 4 and 12 people. The best attendance had been on the 20th November when the number attending was 35 as this had been combined with Christmas foraging. DB was concerned that the stroll had clashed with the Teddy Bear’s Picnic on 7th August and a task day also, but these events had been organised before the strolls had started in July. A consolidated proposed programme of events for the coming year had been produced following the last meeting, which combined many of the strolls with an activity/interest to hopefully attract more people to attend.
Christmas Tree Decorating
The foraging event on the 20th December and the subsequent tree-decorating event on the 11th December had been very successful, well attended and received. Thanks were given to the council for digging the hole for the Christmas tree.
PO had written an article promoting the Carrs, which was in the January/February edition of the SK8 magazine.
AB reported that the replacement tree for the Wolstenholme tree, removed when the orchard was mown, was going to be planted by the council in January.
DB proposed that a Programme Sub Committee be formed to manage the annual programme of events and create new ideas for future events. He proposed that this committee have a quarterly meeting, which would then report back to the main GCCG quarterly meeting. It was decided that an email be sent out to members asking if they wish to become involved with this.
The noticeboards on the Carrs had been refurbished and now much improved.
Next meeting - AGM – Tuesday 21st March 2017 7.30pm