Gatley Carrs Conservation Group
Minutes of Annual General Meeting
11 March 2015
1. Attendance and Apologies
John Pollard (Chairman), Alan Butler (Treasurer), Angela Bent, (Temporary Secretary), Peter Owen (PR) Gillian Oakes, Bill Oakes, Arthur Broadbent, Sharon Matthews, Sue Pilling, David Colleavy, Betina Taylor, Helen Shaw, Nigel Bent, Rachel Bent, F.M. Heron, C. Healey, David Jefferies, Bill Forrester, John Byrne, Fiona Campbell.
Apologies. Emma Burrows
2. Chairman’s Welcome and Review of Past Twelve Months
This has been a year of change and continued success for the group.
John Pollard announced his intention to stand down as Chairman after 13 years in the post.
New blood in leadership, a heightened local and media profile, increased community involvement, new website, Facebook page, new logo, leaflet, a new style newsletter and our first calendar!
More street signs and an increase in membership from about 90 to nearly 150.
Participation in The Gatley Festival in July and the Christmas Fayre in December
Teddy Bears Picnic (50 attending)
Halloween Event (raised £600)
Bug Hotels and cooperation with Gatley Primary School, leading to their work being displayed at the Whitworth Art Gallery landscape wing opening.
Also new links were made with Gatley Village Partnership and Rotary Club.
Increased wildlife education with 2 walks increased to 4 (bats, birds, flowers and trees) and seasonal wildlife displays on the upper field.
Further work on pond clearance, hay making, bird and bat boxes and feeding stations erected and cutting back paths.
Green Flag Community Award
This was achieved for the third time in the past four years with commendation for the high standard of our green space.
The Fletcher memorial picnic table was installed.
Increased awareness regarding dog owners' responsibility to pick up after their dog(s) and warning about dangers of local roads and motorway, signs coming soon.
The sad event was the retirement of our secretary of 12 years, Paula Isherwood. We are planting a hornbeam tree on the Carrs in gratitude for all that she has done for the group.
Visit our Website (www.gatleycarrs.org.uk), Facebook page and Newsletter to keep up with all that is happening on Gatley Carrs.
3. Approval of Minutes
Minutes from 14 January 2015. Minutes approved and signed off by John Pollard.
4. Matters Arising:
Awaiting Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council (SMBC) to advise date of next First Aiders and Mechanical Tools Courses. Need to follow up as we have several volunteers: Heidi Limb, Dave Colleavy, Jim Arkwright, Alan Butler, Peter Owen
Orchard - no further progress apart from we have had confirmation that SMBC will replace trees if they die due to being relocated.
Awaiting SMBC to spray the wildflower meadow to clear thistles.
The work on the Lorna Grove steps has now been completed. Alan Butler to send letter of thanks to SMBC
There has been no contact from donor family regarding the memorial bench
Calendar for 2016 is now open for photos to be submitted – see website for details.
Emailing of newsletter proceeding well. If you have not received the newsletter please send your email address to email@example.com Email rather than printed version of the newsletter is being encouraged as printing incur charges.
RSPB bird watch - Peter and John were present on The Carrs, most people participated in their own gardens.
The Bug Hotel Workshops were very successful and future workshops will be arranged.
The “Trees in Winter” – guided walk around the Carrs with John Pollard 1st March 2015 went well despite the weather.
Dog Notices, in hand. Emma and Alan to site
The Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester, has re-opended following a £15 million refurbishment to extend the gallery into Whitworth Park. Year 6 pupils from Gatley Primary have produced the "Green" guide, which is a nature information booklet designed for children, visiting the gallery. The pupils did their research for the booklet at Gatley Carrs with John and Peter back in September.
Subscriptions: It was proposed that we raise the subscriptions for 2016/2017
£5.00 single membership
£7.50 family/couple membership
The proposal was agreed unanimously. The new subscription rates will apply from 1 January 2016.
Alan Butler thanked John Pollard on behalf of the Group for his 13 years' of dedication as Chairman of Gatley Carrs Conservation Group. John was presented with a Life Membership certificate for himself and his wife Jean in recognition for all their hard work over the years. We wished him well for the future in his new role as Wildlife Officer.
John thanked the Group for their kind gesture. He spoke of the history of the Carrs and the application for Nature Reserve status in 2005. It is the Carrs' Ten Year Anniversary this year and he suggested it should be celebrated in some way.
3 May, May Day Event. Unfortunately we had to cancel the Easter Egg Hunt. Events Committee to meet to organise.
26 May, Bat Walk. Meet in Horse and Farrier 8 o'clock then walk down to The Carrs about 9.00 -9.30pm. This event goes on for as long as bats are around.
Wild Flower Meadow (WFM) thistle spraying in spring
5. Treasurers Report
Currently 149 active memberships .
Balance in Account £2,792.63.
36 members have paid as of 10 March 2015
Request received from Green Flag regarding The Carrs application for 2015 Award. We declined to apply for the award in 2015, as the 2014 award is valid until 2015.. We will apply again in 2016.
A letter has been sent to SMBC regarding the proposed plan to remove the fence around WFM, no response has been received.
7. Election of Officers for March 2015 to March 2016
Chairman: Peter Owen, proposed by Alan Butler, seconded by Bettina Taylor
Secretary: Emma Burrows, proposed by John Pollard, seconded by Peter Owen
Treasurer: Alan Butler, proposed by David Colleavy, seconded by John Pollard
All of the above were agreed unanimously.
8. Current/New Projects
At this point in the meeting Peter Owen took over the Chair. He spoke of the need to focus on conservation work and the need to spread the workload across the Group as much as possible.
The following roles were agreed:
Education: Fiona Campbell/Emma Burrows
Wildlife Officer: John Pollard
Membership: Angela Bent
Recruitment: Fiona Campbell/Sue Pilling
Events Co-ordinator: Sharon Matthews/Heidi Limb
Facebook: Fiona Campbell/Rachel Bent
Website: Angela Bent
Council Liaison: Alan Butler/Peter Owen/John Pollard
Treasurer: Alan Butler/Nigel Bent
Task Days: Alan Butler/David Colleavy
Calender Competition: Nadheem Bokhari/Emma Burrows
First Aiders: To be confirmed
It was agreed that Nigel Bent would set up a PayPal account to enable website payments to be made in advance for any future events.
Nigel Bent proposed a change to the constitution of the group. This change would be to remove the fixed subscription renewal date of 1 January and allow subscriptions to run for 12 months from whenever the member joined. The proposal was passed unanimously.
Peter Owen told us that we were running out of the promotion leaflets and took an action to order more.
Peter Owen asked the meeting to obtain free wild flower seeds which are widely available online. This will help with the reseeding of the wild flower meadow.
9. Retiring Chairman's talk on 'History of the Carrs'
John Pollard gave an excellent presentation on the history of The Carrs from Medieval times to the current day which was very well received.
10. Date of next meeting 13 May 2015 at 19.30pm
Venue to be confirmed.