Minutes of the Annual General Meeting at the Queen’s Head Hotel
Sunday 13th January 2013 at 12.30pm
Present: Tony Ewin (Chairman), Martin Dancey (Treasurer), Alison Wood, Anne Quigley, Carole Lattin, Sarah Wheater, Jenny and Ian Zass-Ogilvie, Richard Lilly, Roger McAdam, Peter Lattin, Mike Flood (Secretary).
Apologies: Simon and Helen James, Jenny Lee, Vicky Chu, Helen Grindley, David Parker
Members were welcomed to the Meeting, and given the good news that Pelaw Wood is on the point of being designated as a Local Nature Reserve by the County Council. This follows from the preparation of the Management Plan by the Friends and its approval by the County Council and Natural England.
Fran Mudd of the Wild Woods Project has organised the thinning of beech and sycamore saplings in the Wood in the week commencing 4th February.
Fran has also asked us to give her a wish list of items we need so that she can make use of funds remaining in her budget before the Wild Woods Project terminates at the end of March 2013. Richard Lilly suggested a two wheeled barrow. Martin Dancey would submit a list to Fran.
The archaeology of the site is still being investigated with Dr David Petts, an archaeologist from Durham University.
The Minutes of the AGM on 1st January 2012 were approved.
Net spending over income £48 leaving a balance of £1,087. As ever our volunteers gave their time generously. Thanks to Parish Paths Partnership for funding our TCV membership and insurance.
Election of Officers:
The present incumbents were re-elected-Tony Ewin as Chairman, Martin Dancey as Treasurer and Mike Flood as Secretary.
Programme of Activities for 2013:
1. The need for an update of our website was discussed. Sarah Wheater and Peter Lattin kindly offered to pursue this area of information source. Sarah will set up a Facebook group for the Friends. Peter will liaise with Neil Shaw (who was our original website instigator) and who is in Saudi Arabia, so that the website can be brought up to date. It is proposed that the Management Plan is put on the Friends’ website when this is up and running.
2. The importance of the distribution of information about Pelaw Wood was discussed and suggestions were made about the design, construction and siting of notice boards. Anne Quigley suggested putting up laminated notices to advertise working sessions; Richard Lilly volunteered to put them in place. Carole Millington said that she might be able to organise a newsletter after September 2013.
Further efforts will be made to involve the local school children. Sarah Wheater will look into the participation of pupils in community environmental work under the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. Roger is interested in making contacts with schools and Martin will get the contact for OASES — teachers looking for opportunities to use the outdoors in the curriculum. The Scouts & Guides were also mentioned as possibilities for involving younger people
4. The following projects would be pursued under the English Woodland Grant Scheme:
- Information boards proclaiming Pelaw Wood as a Local Nature Reserve
- Selective removal of sycamores and beech throughout the Wood and planting of native species to replace them
- Creating a footpath along the edge of the football field
- Planting up the Batts (the bottom field) with trees
The encouragement of bird life was emphasised, for example the replacement of vandalised nest boxes together with the installation of additional ones.
Ian will investigate organisations whose employees do community work e.g the University
Richard will follow up his proposal to install drains along wet paths.
Tony will obtain more planings and Peter will enquire whether the Council would refill the hole at the sports field entry.
Martin will notify Elaine Crow that some of the footbridge boards are rotting; and enquire whether PPP would fund the installation of steps at the Silver Link Bridge; and tell John Bragg about the tree across the riverside path.
Agreed that footpath maintenance and planting were our immediate priorities. Martin & Richard to check out our stock of materials.
Any other business
Reinstatement of the Dawn Chorus guided walk was suggested and support for this will be sought nearer the time.
The Meeting closed at 2 pm.