Minutes of Annual General Meeting - held on 6th November 2023 at 7.30pm, Bramcote Memorial Hall.
Chair: Helene Laanest HL
Committee present: Jane Hardman JH, Steve Severn SS, Eric Curtis EC (Treasurer), Nick Woodier NW (Secretary/ minutes)
Total in attendance: 12
Apologies from: John Appleton (JA), Carol Bridgwater, Brian Abthorpe, Sheila Foston, Elizabeth Dalton, Andy Blackham, Allan Bridgwater (AB, committee member), and Stan Heptinstall
HL welcomed the Friends to the AGM.
The meeting was quorate.
The Friends extended their best wishes to JA and were glad to hear he is on the mend.
Matters arising from the last AGM
- Wild flower area: raised for consideration of what to do with the wild flower area on the Alexandrina Plantation. The area has not been a success. Various options were discussed; the Council have suggested more grass types could be planted. It was also questioned whether the seeds had been planted at the wrong time of year. HL suggested re-scarifying the area and attempting to re-seed the area; this was agreed. HL will investigate what seeds may be best for the area.
- New bat and bird boxes: these have not been progressed. NW offered to help with making some new boxes and HL suggested this could be a working session. JA has a few boxes ready to be put back up. Robert Armitage (RA) suggested a community event to build boxes.
- Nottinghamshire wildlife online map: RA shared that the online map can now be set up for groups. RA will contact the Wildlife Trust and link HL up with them.
- Suggestion of water on the ridge: the council have declined this due to potential safety risks.
- Planning applications: for the two houses have again been refused and there is going to be another appeal.
HL wanted to bring the Friends attention to the following:
- Greenwood Community Forum: the Friends are now again paying for membership of the Forum. SS and HL are accessing a hedge laying course and the FOBR will also be included in the Forum leaflet. Most Greenwood Community Forum events are held during the week and HL invited Friends to attend should they wish. HL will share dates with the Friends.
- Insurance: has again been moved, now to Markel at a cost of £131.04. HL has sought a refund from the Council for the cost of the insurance.
- Green Flag Award: The Friends have successfully won the award for 2023/24. This year it was a ‘mystery shop’ in October 2023. The comments in the report were all positive.
Work sessions report
HL provided a report for each month’s work session for the past year. Attendance has generally been good and again thanks was shared with JH for her litter picking.
- December – 9 members – cleared mud washed down onto the bottom of the bridle path and re-fixed the edging along the wildflower path near Sandy Lane. We also removed 5 bird boxes for repair.
- January – 12 volunteers – clearing of dead bracken and bramble from the grass verge by the laid hedge. This will allow the light to reach the primroses, cowslips, oxslips, and spring bulbs there to flourish.
- February – 7 volunteers – removed 2 birdboxes for repair and the bridle path was swept.
- March – 11 members – Thoresby Road wildflower area was cleared of last year’s growth. Also cleared bramble from around the hazels.
- April – 3 members – dug over Thoresby Road wildflower area.
- May – 9 members – cut back the laurel hedge at the bottom of the bridle path. Also cleared bracken from beside the laid hedge to make room for more primroses.
- June – 9 members – pruning and cutting back on paths on both sites.
- July – 6 members – concentrated on clearing paths on the Alexandrina side. Repair of one step below Arthur's seat. Lovely wildflowers display on Thoresby Road.
- August – 10 members – removal of old Green Flag Award signs. Some mugwort clearing from the wildflower patch on Thoresby Road. And mainly clearing of paths on the Sandy Lane side including clearing a collapsed tree.
- September – 5 volunteers – put up the 6 new Green Flag Community Award notices and cleared some overhanging branches on the main paths. We also cleared broom from around some patches of heather on the Sandy Lane grassland.
- October - 7 members – clearing the bridle path after heavy rain.
- November – 5 members – planted some beech trees next to the Sandy Lane open space and cleared some of the undergrowth next to the path. We did a little pruning on various paths and we attempted to clean all the birdboxes but another 5 had to come down for repair.
EC provided his treasurer report which is attached to these minutes.
The balance as of 31 October 2021 was £1244.53. Income over the past year has been £180 from subscriptions. Expenditure has included bulbs (£39.93), hire of hall (£33), and wine (£8 for the auditor).
Total expenditure has been £216.80. The accounts have been examined by Nick Cooper (accountant) as auditor for the payment of a bottle of wine.
The Friends are again grateful to Nick for his ongoing support.
Financially there were no concerns.
NW asked whether some funds could be used to purchase bird boxes and costs will be explored.
Bird and butterfly
SA provided the update on behalf of JA. Over 40 different species of bird have been seen, but Fieldfare and Siskin have not yet been spotted.
It has been a good breeding year for blue tits, great tits, and goldfinches. Nuthatches have also been seen. The best recording was a willow warbler that was heard on the plantation.
Regarding butterflies, 19 species have been seen, including one painted lady. In general the numbers of different species have been on the decline. It was suggested that more grassland and more plants for pollination might support increases in butterflies.
The Friends thanked JA and JH for their ongoing work with the bird and butterfly reviews.
Two Friends also shared that they had seen hummingbird hawk-moths in the area.
Election of committee
Three members of the committee are standing down - EC, JA, and JH.
HL passed thanks from all the Friends to EC and JH for all their support over the years. HL also passed thanks to JA via SA.
As for the future committee:
- HL is happy to continue as Chair and this was agreed.
- SS was nominated as treasurer, with seconds from EC and JH.
- RA was nominated as a committee member, with a second from JA.
- June Hughes was nominated as a committee member, with a second from SS.
- Bob Hughes was nominated as a committee member, with a second from NW.
- AB and NW will also continue on the committee.
- Information boards: it was suggested by the Friends that these could include birds and butterflies to encourage people to wander around and spot them. The council is supportive as part of their management plan. The Friends may be able to supply information to the council to create a board, with a QR code for the website.
- Wildflower survey has not continued: it would be nice to do this formally and it was agreed that it should be part of work sessions.
- Storage of equipment: currently in JA and SA’s shed. This needs to be thought about in the longer term. SS and HL offered to keep some items. A lockup on the ridge was discussed, but concerns were raised about security.
- Recruitment: the Friends recognised the need for longer-term recruitment. A leaflet drive in the surrounding roads was suggested.
The next AGM is planned for 4/11/2024 at the Bramcote Memorial Hall
Meeting closed at 20:22
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.