FRIENDS OF CARPENTERS WOOD
Thursday 3 March 2016
Whitegates, Shire Lane
Present: Barbara Green – Chair, Lesley Edwards – Secretary, Tony Edwards, Pam Ferrar, Steven Hall, Sue Hall, Dorothy Freedman, Andrew York.
- Apologies for Absence
Stephen Ramsay, Robin Hurley, David Walker.
- Minutes of Last Meeting
- Matters Arising from minutes not dealt with elsewhere
- It was agreed that the waste bins at the top of the Whitelands Avenue entrance were adequately repaired and no further action to be taken for now.
- It was hoped that SR had successfully stopped the second standing order for the insurance.
- The horse manure “tipping” along Hillas Square has been cleared but we should keep our eyes open for further instances, especially as this could damage the new hedge.
- Treasurer’s Report
No report as SR was not available for meeting.
The extendable loppers discussed by the group last time were thought not to be worthwhile. TE suggested new blades be purchased for saws.
BG thought that we should make an effort to organise a table for the Quiz Evening this year; the date being Saturday 19 November.
- Report of Progress of Volunteers Group
- Bird boxes – these are now showing some occupancy (small bird boxes, and some bat activity) but no owls have ‘moved in’ yet. Sawdust was replenished in December/January ready for the new nesting season.
- Our sessions September through to December 2015 and January through to March 2016 have concentrated mainly on holly clearance but the next session will be the last for clearing holly for the time being. SH thought that we should perhaps concentrate on bramble clearance; this would have to be done with care as many birds and wildlife use it as cover.
- SH said that he would be interested to know what the original plan was for the Hillas Square after the larch was felled? SH feels that there is still too much larch. DF thought that the larch growth in Lower Hillas is too dense and should be included in the next 5 year plan. Action CMS
- There was discussion regarding the future plan for Hillas Square. The larch growth had dominated the square for many years and it was hoped that new tree growth would now start to appear naturally. We have a dozen or so oak saplings to plant there this coming autumn.
- Recruitment of new members – It was suggested that we could contact other similar volunteer groups to see whether anyone wanted to join our woodland group. BG said that she would do a formal request to the Friends of Chorleywood House (Doug King). Action BG. DF suggested a leaflet drop locally (we still have leaflets to use); it has been some time since the last one and it might stir up some interest. Action TE
- AY suggested an article in one of the local “rags” would be a good idea to heighten our profile. The Chorleywood News was suggested and AY said that he would prepare an article with some pictures. Action AY
- BG said that we need to get our heads together between now and December with regard to the new 5 Year Plan. Close liaison with TRDC and CMS will be necessary. BG feels that we have done well in keeping existing projects under control. During the spring and summer months we will concentrate on sapling thinning and keeping the rides clear.
- The Friends were planning to take part in the “Clean for the Queen” project due to take place on Saturday 5 March. Meet up at the Whitelands entrance at 10.00 am.
- We would all miss David Walker’s considerable input into our Group sessions and wish him all the best in Devon. TE has a key to the notice boards in the wood and will refresh the diary etc., once David has left.
- 5 Year Plan
A new Five Year Plan is to be put forward in the next few months. BG explained that Three Rivers was ultimately responsible for the 5 Year Plan as the land owner, but that CMS were commissioned to draw up the plan and implement it. Within the 5 Year Plan there are tasks identified for Friends to carry out. The group had had a visit from CMS (Ciaran and Isobel Crozier) at our session earlier in the day and they appear to be pleased with what we are doing. However, BG expressed some concern to them about the level of help and support we are receiving from them, particularly in relation to major pieces of work which have not been carried out. There has been no progress in dealing with the restoration of the hornbeam hedge and this is something we cannot tackle ourselves as we do not have the expertise. Also, the larch log piles are still there. Action CMS
Ciaran will now be taking over from Isabel regarding regular contact and support for the Friends group.
- Website Update
Our website is not up and running as well as it should be. Although CS has set up a really good website there have been no recent pictures posted or up to date news. It was appreciated that this was difficult for Chris as there is a problem with internet in Sarratt where he lives. However, the bird boxes, new calendar and September minutes have now been posted. Unfortunately, when anyone googles Carpenters Wood they are directed to our old website, not to our new website which is www.carpenterswood.com What really needs to happen is for our old website to be taken down or, failing that, a note to go on the old site redirecting viewers onto our new site. It was thought that Donald MacLean might be able to help out with this and TE said that he would ask him. Action TE.
- Since the meeting Steve has agreed to meet with Chris to take over the up-dating of the website. BG has agreed to support Steve when needed.
- Diary for the Coming Year
- We have dates for our working party for the coming year.
- Quiz Evening Saturday 19th November – please try to come along.
BG drew our attention to the fact that Chiltern District Council and South Bucks have drawn up a local plan for redevelopment and one site ear-marked is the green belt that adjoins Carpenters Wood (under the Barrel Arch and on the left hand side.)
- Date of Next Meeting
Thursday 1 September 2016 at 2 pm
Meeting ended at 4.15 pm