March 2014



Thursday 6th March 2014

1.30 pm at Whitegates, Shire Lane, Chorleywood

Present: Barbara Green – Chair, Donald McLean – Vice Chair, Malcolm Green, David Walker, Andrew York, David Cross, Tony Edwards, Dorothy Freedman, Chris Smith, Lesley Edwards – Secretary


1. Apologies for Absence

Frank Mahon-Daly : Stephen Ramsay

2. Minutes of last Meeting


3. Matters Arising

The First Aid Kit is up to date. DW and SR would like to attend a First Aid Course when session available. NB: The keys to bollards at Farm Gate are kept in First Aid Kit.

Access Improvements – mostly completed – outstanding is the Whitelands Avenue entrance where the stepping has still to take place. The Chiltern Way resurfacing has been delayed due to inclement weather but scheduled for April 2014.

Benches – It was agreed that we would like a few benches in the woods but although we had agreed our preferred design and passed this on to CMS we haven’t heard further on this project.

There was concern as to the lack of a horse barrier on the Whitelands public footpath towards the Barrel Arch. TE suggested it should be sited approximately 200 metres from the Barrel Arch. BG to ask AL for advice. We are hoping to acquire one or two “No Horses” posts for our use if required. BG to ask AL. Action BG

BG submitted a small article to Chorleywood Magazine regarding the Friends Group. The next issue to include a report on the Valentine Day storm damage in Hillas.

MG brought up the subject of fixed point photography which had not been actioned yet. Chris Smith said that he would be prepared to take this on. Action CS

The larch log piles are to be removed sometime this spring and would include the recently fallen larches.

The hedgerow planting in Hillas is now complete. The saplings are thriving (they haven’t been short of water this winter). A few have been damaged by the larch fall.

DW surveyed the wood with regard to coppicing. He is of the opinion that there is very little to do but is happy to do what there is imminently or next winter. It was suggested that we put coppicing on our next work list for the footpath by the Whitelands Avenue entrance.

4. Treasurer’s Report

As Stephen was absent from our meeting there was no paper report. BG reported little expenditure. SR to circulate a report in time. Only a few expenses recently. The group discussed purchasing our own strimmer/hedgecutter, some smaller loppers and a heavy duty length of rope. Action TE/MG

5. Report on Progress of Volunteers

BG feels that the Group is as strong as ever and there is always plenty to keep us busy . Friends should contact BG when they feel there is work to be done in any particular place in the woods – especially those of us who walk the woods regularly.

The Group needs to be more structured when it comes to Summer activities. As we cannot disturb nesting birds between March and September our activities could include surveys as well as the usual path clearance. All Friends are asked to put forward suggestions.

BG will speak to The Russell School to see if there is any interest in informative walks with the children and parents. It was thought that we may be able to lead our own nature walks. DF thought Saturday afternoons to be a preferred time; the walks to last approx 45 minutes. 10th May was suggested as a first date for this and parents would be contacted via e-mail from the school.

FU has asked to come along to one of our working sessions and BG will ask her for our first working date in May. Action BG

6. Five Year Plan – update on access improvements and storm clear up.

Work achieved in Year 1- invasive species (i.e. holly and laurel) control, Bracken Glade clearance and ride management. Hedgerow planting in Hillas. The glade facing field edge (Boundary Walk) needs attention this year.

The waymarkers and horse restrictions are all in place with the exception of path already mentioned. The access improvements were complete.

The Friends in conjunction with CMS had a very successful hedgerow planting session in December 2013. Over one hundred saplings including beech, hawthorn and hazel were planted along the path edge of Hillas wood adjacent to the field. This hedgerow to be kept as weed free as possible. The session ended with a very good lunch and thanks to CMS for a delicious spread.

BG is to ask whether we could have a fire to burn some of the brash resulting from storm damage in Hillas. Action BG

BG also agreed to ‘chase’ the additional signage for bottom of notice boards for ‘no dog fouling’, ‘no fires’, no cycling on footpaths’, ‘no litter’. These pictorial signs with red crosses can be placed together along one piece of wood attached to the notice boards. Action BG

7. Diary for Coming Year

Dates to be e-mailed to us. Action BG

8. A.O.B.

Thanks were given to DW for dealing with the notice boards. It was noted that these were in need of a new coat of varnish which could be done during the summer.

DMac said that it was not a good idea to publish an individual’s address on the website which is viewed worldwide. This was agreed by all. BG felt that her initial planning e-mail prior to our sessions does not need to be posted on the website, although any photos or news after the sessions could be. Thanks were given to Donald for his work on our website.

9. Date of Next meeting

Thursday 4th September 2014. Venue t.b.a.


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