Minutes from GCCG AGM 21st March 2017
Chairman’s welcome and review of past year.
PO opened the meeting and presented a review of the past year.
Green Flag award was presented to us for excellent management of site, which reflects all the hard work put in by team over the past year. JP and PO attended presentation in Sheffield. Councillor Keith Holloway then formally presented flag at our September meeting.
Nature Awareness Day was our first such event and although not well attended was a success, especially the pond dipping. Event needs to be developed for the coming year.
Nature and bird reports showed an increasing diversity of species being recorded on the Carrs, which again reflects well on the hard work done to preserve and maintain the site.
Fields in Trust Proposal – this was first considered following our green flag presentation and offered to protect the Carrs in perpetuity. The proposal has been passed to the council for ratification, but to date still awaits signing.
Site maintenance – after a couple of issues with some over- enthusiastic maintenance we now have a full plan in place to be worked on and developed in conjunction with Adam Machin, the Nature Futures volunteer co-ordinator.
Events planning – Derek and his team are working on a more structured approach and a readily available calendar has been produced to promote this, along with the introduction of informal Sunday strolls.
Wild flower meadow has once again been cut and cleared to help its regeneration. Yellow rattle seeds were planted to hopefully reduce excessive grass growth.
Subscriptions and membership records improved and a growing number of members now on standing order. Thanks in particular to Sue for her diligent work in this area. Membership now up to 100.
Disabled Access path scheme still under discussion and seeking further funding to enable this to happen. We are building up funds for this (11K needed) and other essential tasks. This was greatly aided by a £700 donation from a generous benefactor.
Teddy Bear’s picnic was again a success, as was our stall at Gatley festival, Splat the Rat causing its usual stir and good income.
Balsam bashing was enthusiastically attacked and large swathes were removed.
The Christmas tree decoration foraging for natural ingredients worked well and the tree decoration with carols and drinks was a nice event, but needs to be made more of next Christmas.
Attendance and Apologies
Attendance – Peter Owen (PO), Sue Pilling (SP), Anna Forrester (AF), Bill Forrester, Chris Nield (CN), Margaret Brennan, Derek Brennan (DB), Emma Burrows (EB), John Pollard (JP), Linda Cullen, Michelle Inwood, John Taylor, Fran Heron, Iain Roberts (IR), Graham Greenhalgh, Angela Bent, Rachel Bent, Bettina Taylor, Alan Butler (AB), Sharon Matthews, Jim Arkwright (JA), Veronica Violes
Apologies –Mary Robinson, Nigel Bent, Fiona Campbell
Minutes from last meeting for approval
The minutes of the last meeting on 13th December were approved and signed off.
There were no matters arising from the minutes.
Treasurer’s Annual Report
AF presented a year-end summary of our bank balance-
Balance at 10/03/16 - £3486.83
Balance at 18/03/17 - £4608.93
Bird Report/feeding rota
CN gave her report of the bird activity over the past three months. As usual, a wide variety of birdlife had been spotted and the total number of species is now up to 55. The RSPB Garden Birdwatch on the 29th January had recorded 22 species. Chris’ full report is posted on the website. PO thanked Chris for all her detailed reports over the past year.
SP reported that the current membership stood at 87. Membership had been at 100, but there were a number of members due for renewal between January and March who hadn’t yet renewed. The number of members on standing order had increased significantly to 21.
Wildlife and Nature Report
JP gave his report of the wildlife and nature on the Carrs over last three months, which can be viewed in full on our website. We held a Trees in Winter Walk on the 15th January and had a visit from our friendly fungi expert Dave HT on 16th January who recorded 37 species of fungi.
DB reported on the Sunday strolls he had been leading. There had been nine of these since our last meeting. The Christmas tree walk had seen the most attendance, however there were 6 strolls with little or no attendance. Jim Arkwright suggested advertising for these strolls on the Gatley Facebook page, which had far more followers than our own page.
PO asked IR for an update on the Fields in Trust proposal, mentioned earlier in his review of the past year. The council were being very slow on processing this application but IR was confident it was going through. Ian Walmsley, head of parks/green spaces was keen to get it moved on and had been very helpful. A site in Marple had also applied and there were eight locations altogether in Stockport suggested for protecting. He reiterated that no one was refusing the proposal, it was just taking time. IR stated that the council had a positive approach and wished to create a policy to make decisions as to which areas were going to be protected. This was to prevent every area from applying.
Election of Officers for 2017
The following officers were re-elected unopposed-
Chairman: Peter Owen, proposed by JA, seconded by AB
Secretary: Sue Pilling, proposed by PO, seconded by JA
Treasurer: Anna Forrester, proposed by Bill Forrester, seconded by Linda Cullen.
Plans for 2017
DB suggested that converting the simple walks into themed events could increase attendance on the Sunday strolls. We had already planned this on the calendar of events for the year. He also suggested a photographic event. The Nature Awareness Day was to take place on the 25th June, so a further meeting was needed to start to plan for this event. Also, an evening walk was proposed on the 26th June as part of Gatley Festival. EB had arranged a Gatley Good Dog Citizen day on the 16th July, which she was coordinating with Pam Rowley. Veronica Voiels proposed to hold an Art and Meditation day on the 30th April. The bat walk hadn’t been confirmed, as no one from the Bat Society was available to run the event.
JA requested to attend on the power tools course.
AB reported that he had recruited Johnny McVicar to help on some maintenance tasks, who had now replaced all the netting on the boardwalk by the dipping pond.
AF said she had contacted the hedgehog rescue lady to with a view to releasing some hedgehogs back into the wild, however the lady was unwell so hadn’t been able to come and review the site.
CN asked if the bird feeding rota should be stopped at the end of April – PO agreed.
JP reported that his photo of Henry Heron, posted on the Facebook page had won 2nd prize in the Cheadle and Gatley Photographic Group.
JP announced that the Greenspace Forum would be held on 9th September this year.
IR reiterated that there were no proposals to build on any greeenspaces/ greenbelt land in Stockport and that Gatley Carrs was not on any list for building on.
Date of next meeting
Next meeting is on June 20th 2017 at 7.30pm.