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Minutes from GCCG AGM 20th March 2018

Tuesday, 20 Mar 2018

Minutes from GCCG AGM 20th March 2018


Chairman’s welcome and review of past year

PO opened the meeting, welcomed everyone and gave a brief review of the past year.

Bird feeding rotas had worked well despite the vandals.

Change of treasurer during the year to MI – PO thanked Michelle for taking over and all her efforts so far.

Peter thanked SP for efforts as both membership and general secretary.

Fields in Trust – disappointing year due to lack of progress.

Schools liaison – disappointing yet again – 2 keen new volunteers hadn’t returned to the group.

Balsam bash was a great success.

Wild flower meadow was also big success with yellow rattle seed planted.

Pond work had been done and more work in the meadow.

Social events had been limited.

Gatley festival went well.

The Christmas event for many was the highlight of the year, well attended and enjoyed by all.


Attendance and Apologies

Attendance: Peter Owen (PO), Sue Pilling (SP), Chris Nield (CN), Bettina Taylor, Derek Brennan (DB), Alan Butler (AB), Emma Burrows (EB), Margaret Brennan, Michelle Inwood (MI), John Pollard (JP), Iain Roberts (IR), Fiona Campbell (FC), Nadeem Bokhari, Angela Bent, Elizabeth Latimer, Graham Greenhalgh

Apologies: Edwina Baher, Linda Cullen, Mary Robinson, Jim Arkwright, Sharon Matthews

Minutes from last meeting

Minutes of last meeting from the 19th December were agreed and signed off.

Matters arising

No matters arising from previous minutes. JP pointed out that the minutes from December 16 had been put on website in error rather than December 17.

Treasurer’s annual report

MI gave the annual treasurer’s report. Our closing balance was £4373.72, down slightly on last year’s balance of £4608.93.

A donation of £100 was received from Valerie Wolstenholme in memory of Peter Wolstenholme.

Bird Report/feeding rota

CN gave the bird report as below:


As the new year arrived so did the horrid weather, much like last month, with only a few decent days when it was possible to bird watch.

Luckily, the weather was overcast but fine for the RSPB Garden Birdwatch. A good total of 20 bird species were seen by five members. PO, JP, SP, AB, CN. The bird walk took place late afternoon so it was a good total for the Reserve. Although the day was spoilt by mindless vandals who had destroyed yet another Bird Table, it did not stop us enjoying a pleasant walk doing the bird count.

Best birds of the month were 3 Lesser Redpoll that visited PO's garden on several dates. Certainly worth a mention here of these pretty little birds, but, as they were not seen at the Carrs it is not possible to add them to the species list which at present is 54 species.

Several Jackdaws were seen this month, and strangely, January was the month last year when I first saw them at GC. Several Canada Geese were on the pond. Also here 5 Mallard, 3 Moorhen and a Little Grebe was seen at months end. A pair of Grey Wagtail were seen by the stream, Nuthatch, Stock Dove and Great spotted Woodpecker were also in this area.

Around the Reserve plenty of Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush were singing as well as Robin, Wren, Dunnock and Blackbird. A small flock of Long -tailed Tits were present and a charm of upto 12 Goldfinch.

Snowdrop bank was a delight and Lords and Ladies peeping through signs that Spring is on the way.


Due to extreme weather conditions throughout this month. Hard frost, when the pond was frozen for several days, heavy snow and gale force winds. It was quite difficult to compile a good report this month, as In poor weather like this, birds are not so active as usual.

Although not seen on the Reserve, the bird of the month was a Dipper, seen by PO in Gatley village. Also here, 2 Grey Wagtail. A Grey Wagtail was seen by the stream on the Reserve also.

Mistle Thrush and Song Thrush were heard singing and also seen gathering nest material. Blackbird could be heard singing on the less windy days. Goldfinch were abundant, also Greenfinch and Chaffinch were seen on several visits.

Up to 6 Canada Geese were on the pond also 4 Moorhen and several Mallard. No sign of Little Grebe on the days I visited. Only one sighting of the Grey Heron . On the Top field up to 8 Crows and 2 Jays could be seen doing their best to find food on the hard ground. A Sparrowhawk flew over and on most dates I saw Ring-necked Parakeets. They are obviously here to stay as they have found an easy food source in the surrounding gardens. At one point I saw 6 fly over but I was told by a friend, who visited the reserve, he had seen 13. It is doubtful all these birds will breed on the Carrs but still possible our resident pair could try again to raise a brood.

Membership/subscriptions report

SP - membership numbers were down to 65, those paying by standing order up to 24.

Some people asking for membership details on website and via email but not actually following through with payment. All email reminders were up to date though postal ones not done yet. More time needed to be spent on contacting individuals – work in progress.

IR suggested naming a specific project that we were raising money for e.g. the new pathway on our membership renewal letter. He suggested also there may be some funding from the council available towards this, IR to send PO the link for this, £1000 available. Also £3000 potentially available from the airport community fund.

AB suggested a thermometer in the car park to indicate how much money raised so far.

Wildlife and Nature report

JP gave his report as detailed below.


This winter has been one of mixed weather for wildlife, mild damp spells interspersed with cold, windy ones with few days of ice and snow.

JANUARY – Hazel and Alder catkins in flower, first Snowdrops bursting by January 5th. Strong winds brought down one of the 100yr old Turkey Oaks in the railway/Green Close ditch. Successful RSPB Big Birdwatch on January 28th recorded 20 species, including 10 of those on the watch list.

Displays: “Carrs in Winter” and RSPB Birdwatch results

FEBRUARY –Excellent display of Snowdrops under the Norway Maple tree by February 8th, joined in early March by others to the bank to the north along with wild Dafodills. First Celendines seen along Gatley Brook in late February, about the usual time. Very good winter scenes of various habitats shown on Facebook. Bird table vandalised but replaced and a new bird feeder. Bird and bat box survey showed that about 10 bird boxes lost, about 30 still in place and 8 bat boxes, but few new ones erected this year. Fieldfares and Redpolls seen in gardens in the snowy periods.

Displays: “Trees and Buds in Winter”

MARCH – Purple Crocuses planted last autumn finally appeared by March 13th then made a spectacular display. Photos on Facebook showed, Field Speedwell and Lungwort or Pulmonaria (planted) in flower and diverse fungi, Scarlet Elf Cap, Bushing Bracket, Mazegill and Jelly Ear, also yellow lichen Xanthoria with spore capsules, all appearing by March 11th.

Displays: “Signs of Spring and where to see them”

Site upkeep

AB gave his report:

Back to 7 bird feeding stations after 2 had been vandalised.

Several lost bird boxes – new ones needed for next year.

Thanks to Steve Thompson at Bruntwood Park who had been a big help – made improvements to car park and airport bench been repositioned.

Hide by pond needs repairing –will need volunteers for this.

Steps by bridge need scraping/brushing off. Maybe Alex (D of E scheme) could help with this? – AB to contact.

Thanks to Jim Arkwright - been a big help to AB.

JP enquired whether Helsby tree had been replaced – nothing happened as yet so AB to chase.

Events report

No events to report.

Election of Officers for 2018

The following officers were re-elected unopposed-

Chairman: Peter Owen, proposed by JP, seconded by EB

Secretary: Sue Pilling, proposed by EB, seconded by CN

Treasurer: Michelle Inwood, proposed by AB, seconded by PO.

Event plans for 2018

At a meeting on 6th February, the following events had been planned/agreed upon for the coming year-

Trees and birds in Spring walk - Sunday 22nd April

Ugly Bug Ball - Sunday 20th May

Bat Walk - end May - to be arranged by POA

Gatley Festival Walk - Monday 25th June

Gatley Festival day - Sunday 1st July

Trees and birds in Autumn Walk - Sunday 14th October

Halloween event - Sunday 28th October

Christmas decoration foraging walk - Sunday 2nd December

Christmas tree decorating/ carols and mulled wine - Sunday 16th December

Heidi Limb and Sharon Matthews had volunteered to arrange the two main events, the Ugly Bug ball and Halloween.

JP to give talk to Marple naturalists group on 7th July.


JP reported that the Green Flag application had been accepted. An inspection would be due in May, judged by Stuart Foster who had carried out the previous inspection.

JP- information board on the dipping bond needs to be replaced, cost on website approx. £200 – JP to ask for full quote.

Crisis in Finance in parks – heritage lottery funding to be scrapped online petition -action38 – 1 week to sign up on this until consultation closes. PO to draft letter regarding this to all members – SP to send out.

IR reported Fields in Trust proposal no further on – petition needed followed by a motion to the full council – PO to draft, IR to approve and then SP to send out to all members.

Volunteer needed for Schools liaison – FC offered to help.

Volunteer needed for advertising/fund raising – EB offered help.

CN asked about the problem with drones on the Carrs – no legislation to help with this.

PO – leaflets needed ordering, 1000 cost £182.83, membership slips £28.00. Group happy with current format. Asked for approval from meeting to go ahead – all agreed.

EB asked on behalf of Jim Arkwright that the dog memorial post needed replacing/repairing. AB replied Keith Huxley volunteered for this – AB to chase.

MI – thank you card to be sent to Valerie Wolstenholme.

JP thanked the committee for their work over the year.

Next Meeting

Proposed next meeting – June 19th 2018 at 7.30pm

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