28 members were present.
Apologies were received from Norman Clyde-Watson , Geoff. and Doreen Smith and Enid Swetnam.
Walter Grauberg, as Chairman, reported a small increase in membership, from 62 to 66, good attendance at the Monday meetings, in the high 20’s, but a reduced participation in project work, with a minimum of 10 regulars but seldom more than 16, thus limiting our activities.
Tangible results of our work were the steps from Thoresby Road and the path to be laid with the £4000 grant from the Awards for All Lottery fund, and the improvements in the grassland and the bracken patch.
Our relationship with outside bodies is firm. Officers from Broxtowe Borough Council acknowledge our stewardship of the area, a plaque records our share in the planting of a maple tree in the Bramcote walled garden on the occasion of the Queen's Golden Jubilee, and we are recognised members of the Greenwood Partnership.
The Committee had met 4 times. Walter thanked its members for their hard work and the whole group for its friendliness. There was a need to think about the future.
Monday Meetings. Sheila Hardy, on behalf of Norman Clyde-Watson, presented a report on the 6 meetings. Dr. Sheila Wright had talked about·bats, with two groups following this up with night walks in Wollaton Park, and David Goddard had spoken about badgers. Geoff. Fewkes had organised a walk in Dukes Wood, Eakring and Tim Crawford had led a tour of the walled garden in Bramcote Park. Mr. Slaney had given a talk on owls, made memorable by the presence of two live owls, and Derek Warren had presented a fine slide show and talk on foxes.
Project work. Geoff. Fewkes reported on the year's activities: i.e. path restoration, tree work, rubbish clearance on the Lowes Nursery estate, the establishment of a land drain on a muddy section of the path, continued reduction of bracken and the cutting and clearing of grass, nettles and rosebay.
The work is slowly restoring the area and he urged members to go on participating. There had been fewer fires and graffiti, but the dumping of garden rubbish and dog waste represented a continuing problem.
The website had received 4000 visits and had been widely commended.
Financial statement. Eric Curtis presented the audited accounts. Against an income of £125.25, expenditure had been £190.31, reducing the effective balance in hand (i.e. without the lottery money) from £149.73 to £84.67. Subscriptions accounted for £94, i.e. did not match exactly the number of members since some had paid last year and others had joined recently and not yet paid. Major items of expenditure had been speakers' fees or donations to charities nominated by them (£50), share in the cost of the maple tree (£40), in addition to the annual subscription to BTCV and the cost of materials for work on the Ridge.
Eric also thanked his wife, John Appleton and Mary Hodges for helping to distribute the 50 summaries of meetings every month.
Butterfly survey. John Appleton presented the results of the survey's 2nd year and displayed boards with pictures of the 21 species identified between March and September, in order of frequency, the Gatekeeper being the most frequent.
He thanked Heather and John Cox and Bob Smith who, like himself, walked a specific route every week. Results were passed on to the Butterfly Conservation Society and Notts Wildlife Trust was also informed.
With the assistance of Geoff. Fewkes, he had planted 20 buckthorn saplings and some grass had been left uncut, two measures to encourage caterpillars. 200 wild flowers had been planted and the same number would be planted next May. He stressed that butterflies indicate the health of the environment.
Subscription. Walter reminded members that the original amount of £2 had remained unchanged since the beginning, i.e.1999. It had become clear that in order to get good speakers this amount was insufficient, and an increase to £3 had been approved at a meeting in April, to be decided at the AGM.
At the last Committee meeting, it was proposed to recommend a subscription of £4. Some people had suggested that couples should pay £6 between them.
In the ensuing discussion, several suggestions were made - for admission charges to meetings, voluntary donations, visitor charges,·etc. In the end the motion that the subscription for the year should be £4 was proposed by George Andrew, seconded by Rod Dexter and carried by 27 votes to 1.
Elections to the Committee. According to the Constitution, the committee comprises up to 8 members, with powers to co-opt two further members.
Walter stated that he wished to step down from the chairmanship and the committee for domestic reasons, but with undiminished commitment to the group.
The other 7 members were willing to continue.
No new nominations had been received by the Secretary, and no-one came forward at the meeting.
The re-election of the continuing 7 members was proposed by Bob Smith and seconded by John Cox.
It was agreed that Norman Clyde-Watson would take over as Chairman, with the committee defining other roles at its first meeting (This has now been fixed for Monday, 18th November)
Any other business. John Appleton asked whether there would be interest in taking part in a bird watching exercise in January. Several members declared interest. John will give further information in the next issue of the "Bird Box" in December.
John Cox from the floor thanked the committee and Walter in particular for their work on behalf of the group.
The next meeting on 2nd December. As in past years, this will be a social meeting, with members asked to bring food for a buffet supper, with the agreement of the new landlord, Kevin. Everyone coming is also asked to bring a small wrapped item as a raffle prize, with tickets sold at £1 to raise funds. Mary Curtis has kindly agreed to run the raffle. (Last year £30 was collected this way!)
- 3rd February - Dr. Sheila Wright will come again, speaking on moths, her special interest.
- 3rd March - David Goddard will talk on dragonflies and pond life.
- 7th April - Marion Wallwork will talk on the conservation work of the National Trust
Important Reminder. We hope that all present members will wish to renew their membership. If you have not yet paid your subscription, please put £4 in cash into an envelope with your name on it and push it through the letter box of the Treasurer, Eric Curtis or send him a cheque payable to 'Friends of Bramcote Ridge'.
The Friends are always looking for extra pairs of hands to help out or to simply support their work, so...
- to find out when the next work session will take place, click here, or
- to find out about becoming a member please contact us here, or
- to discover what goes into managing the sites click here.