March 2015



Wednesday 18 March 2015 at 1.30 pm

28 Carpenters Wood Drive

Present: Barbara Green – Chair,  Stephen Ramsay – Treasurer,  Lesley Edwards – Secretary David Walker, Pam Ferrar, Chris Smith, Tony Edwards, Sue Hall, Steve Hall, Dorothy Freedman, Isobel Crozier – CMS

1. Apologies for Absence

Andrew York, Donald MacLean, Malcolm Green

2. Minutes of Last Meeting


3. Matters Arising

First Aid Course taken last October by SR and DW. BG and TE have First Aid Certificates still in date. SR commented that the content of the course wasn’t very relevant to our needs so maybe the content needs to be queried for future courses.

The litter bin and the dog waste bin at the Whitelands Avenue entrance have been placed so close together that one prevents the other from being opened easily. As an interim measure a piece of wood has been jammed between the two.  BG to contact TRDC. Action BG

4. Treasurer’s Report

BG thanked SR for his continued management of the Group’s accounts. There have been no major purchases this year except for the materials to make the bird and bat boxes (12 in all)  and the cost of that has been covered by the sponsorship of individual boxes.

At this point we were joined by Isobel Crozier of CMS and she was introduced to the Friends Group.

MG (via BG) said that he thinks we should have proper safety headgear with visors to be worn when strimming or brush cutting. IC agreed that this should be mandatory and will make enquires and come back to us with suitable product ideas.

SR thinks we should purchase some new blades for the saws and he will deal with this. Action SR

BG is to order some more gloves including some lighter ones. Action BG

We need a hay rake or two and DW said that he could borrow one or two for us to try out at our next session. Action DW

DW suggested that we purchase some waterproof holders for our Carpenters Wood leaflets so that they could be left in suitable places in the woodland. IC said that these were very expensive to buy and  the general consensus was that it was not necessary.  TE suggested giving some of our leaflets to local estate agents for inclusion in their “welcome packages”. Action TE

SR suggested that we fund raise this year after a year off in 2014. The Parish Quiz Evening was thought to be an easy way of raising funds – we have to get eight people together to make up a table (can be difficult as some Friends are involved in other groups which need supporting). It was decided that we would try to make up a table this year and would look at it nearer the time.

5. Report on Progress of Volunteer Group

(i) Tasks covered during last six months:-

We have weeded and maintained the new hedge in Hillas Wood and this is an ongoing task. IC said that the protectors should be left on the saplings for a few years. We cleared some scrub in Hillas Square last autumn but plan to do more of this shortly especially in the area near to Farm Gate and the path through the centre of Hillas Square..

SH asked if the Friends Group could be trained to use chainsaws but IC said definitely not; CMS will not support volunteers who use chainsaws. BG said that our insurance did not cover use of chainsaws and suggested that we purchase some paint to mark trees that we cannot manage so that TRDC can arrange for this to be done.

PF said there was a fallen tree across the permissive bridle path in Hillas and it was agreed we could clear this during our next session

Other tasks:-

  • Installation of three benches.
  • Managing rides and edge of woodland.
  • Major clearance of Holly in Boundary Walk.
  • SH and MG built 12 bird and bat boxes which were installed in the woodland last January.

BG has asked Jill Viser of Chorleywood Magazine to include an article about the bird/bat boxes in a forthcoming issue.

(ii) Membership update:-

Two new members – Kate Heppell and John Rathbone. TE to send details to BG so that she can make contact. Action TE

6. Five Year Plan

We are three years into the Five Year Plan.

  • Hornbeam restoration in Field View: DW noticed that there are paint markings on some of these hornbeams. Alex Laurie was dealing with the negotiations with the field owner but it wasn’t known how far he had progressed with this. We need clarification of what is happening and IC said that she would look into this for us. Action IC
  • Log removal: Still waiting for the log piles to be removed.
  • SR commented that we hadn’t thinned any saplings recently and there are large areas of beech to be dealt with.
  • BG expressed concern at the large amount of cutting back from the ride down the Chiltern Way. IC said that she would look into this for us. IC suggested “scalloping” pathways where possible when we clear them.
  • IC said that we should have signs and marshalls when  strimming in the woodland.  IC will let us know when there are more brush cutter courses. Corporate waistcoats have been ordered for the Group.
  • We haven’t furthered any survey work which we have discussed in the past. BG said that this could be an individual’s responsibility and anyone interested could take this on.  A “transect walk” was suggested over 100 metres or so to record how many of any one species inhabit that area. IC suggested that we e-mail the wider Group for any interest in this”  Action BG

7. Website Update

CS has worked to keep the website simple with a “Friends zone” and a manageable amount of tabs. We should e-mail any pictures we take for possible use on the site directly to CS.

SR suggested a woodland diary so that we could record, for instance, when the first bluebells appear in any one year and this was thought to be a good idea which CS said would be quite easy to do but we all need to give feed back to CS and keep him informed of what is happening in the woodland throughout the year.

John Morris’ article re woodland archaeology is on the website and BG will see if we can get him along again to lead an informative walk.  Action BG

As CS is having difficulty with his internet at present BG said that she would try to post pictures of the bird and bat boxes on our website. SR said he could put co-ordinates on each of the boxes for easy tracing.  Action BG

The use of WordPress for the new website has meant that the website address has changed from to DW understands that it is possible to clear the content of the old website and implement an automatic re-direct from the old site to the new site. Although an annual fee is payable it is not thought to be significant and will ensure that both loyal and new users find the new site. DW to investigate and confirm cost and discuss the process with CS.  Thanks to CS for his work on the website. Action DW

8. Diary for the Coming Year

All dates for coming year to be posted on website.

9. A.O.B.

Discussion as to where we meet: Notice boards currently say that we meet at the Whitelands Avenue entrance but it may be useful to say where we are working in any one session so Friends can catch up wherever we are working in the woodland.

PF said that there is a fallen tree at 45 degrees over one of the bridleways and it was hoped that this could be cleared on our coming session.

SH suggested that we research the name of “Hillas” and its connection with the woodland.

The meeting ended at 4.10 p.m.

10. Date of Next Meeting

Wednesday 16 September 2015 at 1.30 pm: Venue to be confirmed.