Sept 2014

FRIENDS OF CARPENTERS WOOD

 

AGM

 

Thursday 4 September 2014 at 1.45 pm

 

28 Carpenters Wood Drive

 

 

Present:

Barbara Green – Chair, Stephen Ramsay – Treasurer, Fiona Underhill – CMS,

Steve Hall, David Walker, Chris Smith, Tony Edwards, Malcolm Green , Sue Hall Lesley  Edwards – Secretary, Dorothy Freedman

 

  1. Apologies for Absence

 

Pam Ferrar, Donald McLean.

 

  1. Minutes of Last Meeting

 

Agreed.

 

  1. Matters Arising

 

We welcomed Steve and Sue Hall as new Friends.

 

The First Aid kit is up to date.

 

There is a First Aid Course on Saturday 18 October 2014 10am – 3pm. It is hoped that David Walker and Stephen Ramsay will attend to renew their certificates as first aiders.  Action DW and SR

 

  1. Treasurer’s Report

 

Fund raising this year was at the Parish Council Quiz Evening. This year’s Quiz Evening will be held on the 22 November. The organisers of the Auction have decided to cut the number of tables from 22 to 18. Pre-auction purchases will be available. TE to confirm that the Friends would like a table. Action TE

 

Equipment Expenditure was largely due to the purchase of a strimmer at a cost of £200. Other tools included an extendable saw, a number of loppers, a rope and gloves. Our insurance policy covers us for £1,000 and it was thought this sufficient.

 

We spent £85 more than we earned this year but we still have a balance of

£745 in the bank.

 

 

 

 

  1. Report on Progress of Volunteer Group

 

Volunteer membership is increasing – with two new recruits recently.  We have 14 active volunteers with 5 – 10 attending at any one session.

 

Tasks completed over the last 6 months include:

  • The new hedge along the Farm Track planted last December has been weeded a couple of times but will need weeding again very soon.
  • Holly removal has started again at the top of Hillas Wood (Boundary Walk) to open up vistas across fields – this is ongoing.
  • Path clearance has been undertaken, using the new strimmer, all the way along Carpenters Path, which was very overgrown, plus Bramble Ramble.
  • There has been cutting back of over-hanging branches on horse trails.
  • The notice boards have been cleaned and re-varnished.
  • Springtime was spent clearing Hillas Larch Plantation of brash, creating a number of clearings for regeneration of indigenous species to take place. BG felt a bench would be well placed somewhere in this area.
  • It has been noticed that there has been some clearance in the bluebell area and no one present knew anything about this.
  • Beech Glade clearance is ongoing.
  • The clearance of vegetation along the Whitelands Path has opened up small areas where bluebells are thriving.
  • The Bluebell Walk last May was a great success, attended by 20 plus adults with children. It was hoped this could be followed by a fungi walk this autumn but this would need to be organised now. FU said she could do a generic risk assessment. CH suggested a photo walk in November when the autumnal colours were at their best. This could take place on 15 November (a Friends working day) at 2pm. BG to action.
  • Julie Hughes said that we should mark any stumps or holly trees that are too large for the group to manage, and she will arrange for TRDC to remove with a chainsaw.
  • DW asked FU if it was best to trim holly and laurel stumps of new growth or if spraying was preferable. FU to ask AL. Action FU

 

  1. Five Year Plan

 

  • Three oak benches have been ordered and FU hopes that the first will be installed on 6 November leaving the Friends Group with a set of digging tools and two further benches to be installed when possible.
  • Ideally we should be clearing an existing or new glade each year. The Glade along Boundary Walk was ear-marked for this Autumn.
  • Paths should be cleared on one side only each year, but up to 3 metres deep to encourage biodiversity.
  • Restoration of the hornbeam hedge is scheduled for this autumn. The owner of the horse field is being contacted as a temporary fence will need to be erected (this to be in place for approximately 4 years). AL is obtaining quotations for this restoration work and FU to ask AL for a progress report. Action FU
  • Weeding of the new hedge along the Farm Track is ongoing.
  • Oak and any other tree saplings to be planted in Hillas Larch Plantation where clearance has taken place. FU to provide canes and protective sheaths. Action FU
  • CMS volunteers would be working in Carpenters Wood on the Wednesday 29 October and will bring along their mower. It would be helpful if we could guide them as to tasks that need doing. Suggested we could reconnoitre on Saturday 18th October at our work party.
  • FU produced a very helpful guide list of monthly tasks to be undertaken and this will be e-mailed to the Friends.
  • The re-surfacing work is well underway and will be finished next week. TE suggested that the leftover material be left for the group to use to surface the area where the footpath emerges from Hillas as this is particularly muddy during wet weather. FU to enquire and come back to us.
  • DW said that the tree roots at the Whitelands Avenue entrance are being washed bare where rain water is eroding the earth underneath. It was suggested that a brash pile or similar barrier be erected across the top of the path to encourage walkers to use the new path.
  • The larch timber piles have not been removed from Hillas but hopefully will be soon.
  • The broken waste bin at the Whitelands entrance has not been replaced and BG will chase this. Action BG
  • MG is keen to get an ornithological group along to advise as to how we can attract more birdlife and wildlife in general. FU thought that putting up bird and bat boxes would be of benefit as long as they are sited correctly (E/W facing). MG said that he would carry out some research for us. Action MG
  • Notice boards – Does anyone ever look at them? There was discussion as to what may be attractive and BG suggested that before and after pictures may be of interest.

 

 

  1. Website Update

 

Donald McLean felt, reluctantly, that he could no longer look after our website. Our thanks to DMcL for his work over these past years. BG and family have set up the beginnings of a new website for us but it needs a lot of work to get it up and running properly. After much discussion CS agreed to take this on for the Group. CS has a lot of very good photographs of the woods which would link in very well with a new website. Action CS

 

  1. Diary for Coming Year

 

  • We have dates for our working party up until March 2015.
  • Toadstool walk. As none of the Friends Group are particularly knowledgeable about these it was suggested by CH that a photographic walk on 15 November at around 2pm be arranged. Lots of colour in the woods then.
  • Parish Quiz evening on 22 November 2014. Please try to come along!

 

 

  1. O.B.

 

Thanks were given to FU for attending our meeting. FU thanked the Friends Group for all their hard work in the woods.

 

  1. Date of next meeting

 

Thursday 5th March 2015 at 1.45 pm.  Venue – t.b.a.

 

 

ADDENDUM

 

On Friday, 5 September 2014, 11:42, Fiona Underhill <Fiona.Underhill@hertfordshire.gov.uk> wrote:

Hi Barbara

I’ve had a chat with Alex this morning and I can report the following:

The notice board at Whitelands is going to be moved so brash can be put over old path once its been moved

  • The hornbeam hedge restoration and fencing in horse field is in progress but stuck with three rivers currently as the Three Rivers owned fence will be in the horse field they need to make a legal agreement between the two of them about ownership and maintenance
  • Alex is not aware of any Holly being cut on Whitelands edge however he has seen a large amount of laurel hedge dumped from neighbouring garden there and will encourage Three Rivers to investigate
  • Any Laurel that gets cut should be marked and then we/Julie should be notified with a location so we can instruct a contractor to chemically treat the regrowth the following growing season
  • spare gravel from path works – Alex didn’t think there was enough left over to use and didn’t think there was much need for it at the point identified but said if it remains a problem we could buy in some gravel and you could barrow it and put it wherever it will help
  • with the sign and path moving at Whitelands Alex thought there wouldn’t be any need for drain here

Some links for walks/survey ideas

http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/british-natural-history/uk-biodiversity-portal/identification-information/index.html

 http://www.nhm.ac.uk/nature-online/british-natural-history/survey-bluebells/index.html

  Fiona Underhill

Projects Officer

 

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