Minutes from GCCG AGM
22nd March 2016
1. Chairman’s welcome and review of past year
PO opened the meeting with a welcome and a quick review of the year.
The Group’s recognition of John Pollard’s many years of service by awarding him and his wife honorary life membership.
Plus his talk on the history of the Carrs was very enlightening.
Last year’s bat walk was a huge success with over 80 people in attendance.
The Teddy Bear’s Picnic was a lovely and well attended event, although wearing the teddy bear suit in the hot weather had proved quite a challenge for me and others in similar attire!
The Halloween walk was quite a spectacular masterminded by Heidi, Sharon and a large team of very scary helpers.
Chris’s new monthly bird reports had proved very informative, and the diversity of species being attracted by our hard work was very encouraging.
Equally JP’s nature reports indicated further diversity of plant life.
An RSPB site visit had also provided more ideas about habitat management.
A guided tree walk led by JP was very successful.
Our stall at Gatley Festival was well attended until the heavens opened.
New high-vis wardens jackets, a new strimmer, regular bird feeding, and the cutting and clearing of the wildflower meadow had also been important features in the year.
Calendars had again proved successful.
All in all a good and progressive year, for which Peter wished to thank all who had helped and he looked forward to this new year with a new emphasis on nature.
2. Attendance and Apologies
Attendance – Peter Owen(PO), Bill Forrester, Sue Pilling, Chris Nield (CN), Margaret Brennan, Derek Brennan, Emma Burrows(EB), John Pollard(JP), Arthur Broadbent, Nigel Bent, Angela Bent, Bettina Taylor, Fiona Campbell, John Byrne(JB), Alan Butler(AB).
Apologies – Linda Cullen, Heidi Limb, Michelle Slater, Frances Heron, Mary Robinson.
3. Minutes from last meeting approval
The minutes of the last meeting on 15th December were approved and signed off.
4. Matters arising
JP reported that he had applied for, and had acknowledgment of, the Green Flag award for 2016/2017. This was due for judgement between March and May with the results announced in July.
JP also reported on the state of the fence bordering the WFM with 23 posts broken and which would cost approx. £200 to replace them.
Alan to follow up via his contact at SMBC for posts and wire.
Also he suggested that ‘No dogs allowed’ signs were needed for this area.
5. Treasurer’s Annual Report
AB reported a balance of £3486.83. There were profits of approximately £195 from Calendar sales, £104 from the Teddy Bear’s Picnic, £154 from Gatley Festival, £552 from the Mad Hatters Tea Party, and £47 from the Halloween event. PO thanked Alan for his work over the past year.
6. Bird Report/feeding rota
CN gave her account of bird life that she had recorded over the last three months. Species spotted included a redwing, snipe and male brambling. She thanked PO and AB for their support in her first year at GC. The feeding stations were making a massive difference to bird activity. Chris’ full report is available on the GCCG website. PO thanked Chris for her reports over the past year.
PO reported that the bird feeding rota has been working well in the main but some people were not turning up for their allotted shift so reiterated the importance of giving advance notice if someone couldn’t attend in order to arrange alternative cover for that shift.
7. Subscriptions Report
Angela Bent reported that there were currently 86 paid up members. 49 members hadn’t yet renewed after 2015, though reminder emails had not yet been sent out. Also standing order mandates needed to be sent out. EB offered to assist Angela by chasing up the lapsed members. PO thanked Angela for her work over the year.
8. Wildlife and Nature Report
JP gave his report of the wildlife and nature on the Carrs over last three months, which had been very mild but rather wet. The labelling of trees had been completed and new bird and bat boxes erected. PO thanked JB for his help on the bird boxes. The RSPB Birdwatch on 31st January had been poorly attended due to the wet weather. John’s full report is available on the website.
CN expressed her concern that the new bird boxes were not deep enough, although they were supposed to be to RSPB standards. She said that she proposed to get some more of the deeper boxes for next spring.
9. Events Report
Sharon Matthews didn’t attend so no report. PO reported that all events had been successful apart from Halloween, which was a lot of hard work and effort for little profit. A decision would be made later as to whether to hold an event at Halloween this year.
10. Election of Officers for 2016
Chairman: Peter Owen, proposed by JP, seconded by Nigel Bent
Secretary: Sue Pilling, proposed by PO, seconded by AB
Treasurer: Alan Butler resigned as treasurer but in the absence of anyone volunteering to take on this role, offered to continue until someone else could be found to take over the role.
All the above were agreed unanimously.
11. Plans for 2016
Bat Walk arranged for May 24th. A later start of 8.30pm was agreed.
A task day was needed to repair the WFM posts – AB to enquire about replacement posts – date to be confirmed.
Nature Awareness Day June 25th. As this marks the start of Gatley Festival week then this event would be in place of the usual walk held in this week. The event would comprise of a nature trail, stalls, and responsible dog ownership (Pam Rowley), plus others. It would need some involvement also with schools. Other contacts were needed also, maybe Trevor Henshall, Stockport Nature Watch etc
Gatley Festival Stall also agreed to re-do Sunday 3rd July
Sunday 7th August – Teddy Bears Picnic/Mad Had Hatters tea party (combined event).
Disabled Access – John Rowland had a contractor to review this and price it up – not had any feedback as yet, but pointed out there may be grants available for this.
Green Flag – at the last meeting it was pointed out that a wooden welcome sign to the Carrs would be beneficial in our Green Flag Application, according to the feedback from the last application. PO passed round an example of such a sign, which would cost £1000 + VAT, which was thought to be too expensive. It was suggested that JB could look into making one instead.
Bird Feeding Rota – more bird food is needed to continue with the current feeding regime. Present cost is approx. £11 per month. CN suggested that from the end of April until September only one feed per day is needed. She offered to support this herself during this time. PO thanked Chris for this gesture but also would look at other sponsors/donations to supplement this. Fiona Campbell suggested advertising on Facebook for birdseed donations.
CN said that the habitat boards were now in place to encourage amphibians and small mammals. She also suggested getting seeds for the WFM from Land Life.
Angela Bent mentioned problem of unsupervised dogs and suggested that we could apply for a Public Spaces Protection Order to limit the number of dogs that one person could walk at a time. This would have to be applied for from the council, the problem being that there are no powers of enforcement for this. EB said she would also have a further look at the application regarding this.
Signs requesting visitors to keep dogs out of the WFM to be tried.
JB had done a good job blocking leaks in the pond outfalls and the water level was now much better.
Derek Brennan said he would like to hold a meeting to discuss ideas to enhance membership numbers and a provisional date of 12th April was made for this. Fiona Campbell offered to assist.
JP said the North West Parks Friends Forum were holding a forthcoming meeting in Manchester, which may be useful. He was unsure of the date.
13. Date of next meeting
Next meeting is on June 21st 2016 at 7.30pm.