22 members present. Apologies from E Sweetman & C.Hemsley.
Norman Clyde-Watson in Chair - welcomed Friends to the AGM and the following Reports were presented (copies are held by the Secretary):-
Matters Arising from 2007
Protection of Open Spaces. Broxtowe BC had assured us that the Ridge was designated open space and is protected from development.
- Concern expressed that wildflower area had been mown 3 times, but that 'the agent' responsible had not been identified! Suggested that area at top of Sandy Lane may be a better site as current area may be used for storage of materials to be used for the Bridle Path restoration.
- Grass had not been mown (last done in Spring 2008) which was disappointing as BBC had been contacted about this.
- Future of Friends Group, due to the closure of The Rose Grower - (discussion later).
- Committee had met 4 times.
- Norman & John Appleton had attended many meetings of related groups on behalf of the Friends & were continuing to work with BBC for a Green Pennant Award as well as the establishment of a Wild Heather area on the Ridge.
Working Groups Report
- John Appleton reported on activities - bulb planting, litter picks, sapling removal, bramble thinning etc. Attendance had varied, but previously average of 13 people helped whereas in 2008 the average was down to 11.
- John also reported on the Butterfly Survey which is in its 8th year. This took place over 4 routes which had identified 19 species but overall numbers were down especially the small tortoiseshell. Notts Wildlife Trust were very appreciative of John's reports & data.
- Members had also participated in the annual Birdwatch - now in its 12th year.
- Members are encouraged to plant species of flowers to attract bees as numbers are declining - details from John.
Eric Curtis circulated the balance sheet for the year. Copy on file. This was accepted & Eric reported that there are 60 members at present & finances remain stable. No queries were raised.
Heather Cox reported a variety of speakers, topics & walks plus a visit to Naturescape in July. It is now apparent that topics & speakers are becoming more difficult to find & often expensive. - (discussion later).
No nominations had been received. Current members willing to continue at present & were re-elected. Norman thanked all involved in the work of the committee & organisation of the Friends’ activities. He also thanked Chris Riley, Steve Fisher & Tim Crawford of Broxtowe BC for support and advice.
It was the wish of members that Subscriptions remain at £5.00 per member & are payable now to the Treasurer, Eric Curtis. Cheques, made payable to 'Friends of Bramcote Ridge' & passed to Eric please before the end of January. YOUR SUPPORT IS VALUED & IMPORTANT.
The AGM closed at 8pm.
The Future of the Friends of Bramcote Ridge
Norman then introduced the members to the problems facing the Friends Group due to: -
- Loss of venue for meetings.
- Cost & availability of Speakers.
- Low numbers attending the monthly meetings.
Members had been circulated with the options proposed by the Committee & discussion was invited from the membership.
- Alternative venues had been explored which were considered 'local ' & had acceptable size of rooms, cost, parking, availability & had concluded that Bramcote Memorial Hall was the most suitable & was accessible (if available).
- Stan Heptinstall stressed that Broxtowe BC valued the work & existence of the Group within the Community & it should continue as part of BBC's resource.
Response - Norman stressed that it was NOT the intention the Group would stop, but that the current format was less viable than initially. Emphasis should be laid on the work of the Group and keeping members informed of activities. Funding could be raised for any cost of meetings.
- Walter Grauberg felt that meetings were more personal than Newsletters alone & could wider advertising of the Group locally help attract more members including younger people? Response - Eric commented that whilst members were willing to pay 'subs', they couldn't for various reasons attend either meetings or work groups, but wanted to support others in the Group. It was often the same people who attended & whilst compared with other Groups, numbers were above average, no new members came.
- It was generally felt that it was important to continue with meetings, but not monthly.
- That the object was to keep membership informed & to encourage wider participation by keeping focus on conservation & related activities.
- Wider advertising through local media could be used incl uding Newsletters , free papers etc.
To this end, Alan Bridgewater proposed, and seconded by Stan Heptinstall, that:
The Group should hold 2 or 3 meetings within the next year, which would be to inform & focus the work of the Group by involving other agents - eg Broxtowe BC & local schools, to help direct its future within the community.
This was accepted by the membership present.
The AGM would be held in November 2009 to report & to reassess the year. Members would receive reports through Newsletters as appropriate.
Walter Grauberg closed the meeting by thanking, on behalf of the members, the Committee for their work & achievements of the group.
The meeting closed at 9:00pm.
Dates of future meetings to be announced.
The Committee would like to send all Friends Seasonal Greetings and a successful New Year for 2009
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