March 2019


Committee meeting

Thursday 7th March, 2019

28 Carpenters Wood Drive, Chorleywood

Present: Barbara Green – Chair, Andrew York, Pam Ferrar, Dorothy Freedman, Barbara Robjant, Malcolm Green, Tony Edwards, Sue Hall – Minutes, Steve Hall, Stephen Ramsay – Treasurer, Nick Hood.

1. Apologies for Absence

Chris Smith, Lesley Edwards, Robin Hurley, Nick Makin, Bob Wilson, Angela Borges (TRDC)

2. Minutes of last meeting and matters arising

The minutes of the last meeting were agreed.

3. Treasurer’s report

We have a balance of £558 in the bank, with no tools bought since September 2018.  Quiz Night boosted our income by £390 in November 2018.

We hope to have a table booked for this November’s Quiz Night so it is hoped we can get enough of us to attend.

4. Final 5 Year Plan 

The 5 Year Plan or GAP (Green Action Plan) was finally amended, agreed and passed by the Leisure Committee in November 2018. Copies have been distributed to all members.

However, members outlined concerns regarding the Plan. These were as follows;

I. Starting Date for Plan and Year 1 Budget – the main concerns expressed were that, although the Plan is dated 2018-2023, because it was not passed by Committee until November 2018, virtually none of the tasks outlined in Year 1 will be realized before the end of this financial year e.g. April 2019. Does this mean that the £7,700 allocated for works in Year 1 will be lost?

II. Ride Widening – it was agreed that, because of the debacle over the widening of the ride called Bramble Ramble, clarification would be needed from TRDC regarding the extent of tree removal and scalloping in this area. Because of existing marks on some trees, clear advice will need to be provided to Friends regarding what is and is not to be removed.

III. Benches – some clarification was requested about what benches would be provided. If log benches are TRDC’s preferred option these will need to be put in place by TRDC. The Friends were unclear what our role would be.

IV. Creation of a Plant Nursery in Hillas Larch plantation – with only one day’s notice, the woodland team from TRDC arrived to clear up the vegetation at the future nursery area in Hillas. However, the whole area is still thick with bramble roots and it is unclear whether all tree stumps have been removed. We all agree we need a clear schedule of works from TRDC with some idea of timescale for the work. Once we know what TRDC are planning and when, we can make sure we are ready to support the work at its various stages e.g. Clearing bramble, erecting fencing. CMS volunteers may be able to help with the latter.

V. Ash Die Back – TE asked for clarification about monitoring of Ash dieback by TRDC.

VI. Dumping from adjoining houses – concerns have been expressed for some time about this.  Recently a large tree was sawn and dumped over a garden fence into the woodland creating a huge pile.  Friends feel we should continue to pursue this issue with TRDC – irresponsible householders and/or contractors should not get away with this sort of dumping.

VII. Sedge Grass – recently large clumps of sedge grass have been spotted on the margins of the woodland.  Concern was expressed about the invasive nature of this grass.  Advice needs to be sought about removal.

VIII. CMS Support – BG highlighted again the lack of support the Friends have received from CMS

As a result of all these queries BG actioned to email Julie Hughes and Angela Borges at TRDC to arrange a meeting – agreed for March 15th.

BG also agreed to email Ciaran at CMS to ask about organizing possible working parties – but we need dates from TRDC for a substantial piece of work for them to tackle e.g. fencing in the Nursery area.  Action BG

5. Report on Progress of Volunteers Group

a) Tasks covered during last 6 months

  • Since September work has mostly focused on Holly reduction at various locations.  We have tackled some big sections along Beech Walk and Quarry Path as well as along Carpenters Path.
  • Laurel removal was also carried out.
  • Some Beech and Ash thinning of saplings along Quarry Path and Beech Walk
  • Removal of some Ash along Quarry Path and planting of our Oak saplings which appear to be doing well.
  • General maintenance of footpaths and bridleways.
  • One session trimming lower branches of some of the Beech to encourage straight growth (session with Terry using silky saws)
  • Stem guards removed from farm track hedge.

b) Tasks to be covered in next 6 months

  • Whitelands Avenue entrance will need some attention to nettle removal and general tidying.
  • More thinning of Beech saplings needed along Beech Walk and the Quarry Path.  Some clarification is needed from TRDC whether these should be cut or pulled?
  • Bracken Trampling in Beech Glade – masks should be worn for this.
  • We need to look at what Birch can be tackled by us in the Birch/Beech plantation north of Bramble Ramble.
  • General litter pick to be arranged.
  • Nursery work as per TRDC instructions. This will start with bramble root removal once the area has been rotovated, followed by fence erection.
  • We also need to see whether we can burn some of the Ash leaves around the Barrel Arch area (to limit Ash die back).

SR suggested that we should be making a list of works covered after each session, to go on our website. This should be a more formal document which will aid in our planning. DF agreed to do this.

Bird boxes did not get their yearly maintenance check this winter. This task needs to be put on the agenda for next winter 2019/2020. Action MG and SH

c) Membership update

Membership remains stable. But one new member has now moved away and another has come off the email list due to work commitments.

d) Tools Review

  • We seem reasonably well supplied with tools at present.
  • SR suggested a long-handled scythe would be useful for brambles.  BG asked SR to source this as he knows what is required. Action SR
  • More Bahco Gloves are needed – Action BG

NB Power Scythe – Angela Borges TRDC agreed at the meeting on 15th March to explore the possibility of FOCW using the Power Scythe stored at the Aquadrome for bramble removal.

6. Web-site update

DF has been managing the website since September. The new calendar is on the website. The new GAP (2018-2023) needs to go on the website.  Action DF

7. Diary for the coming Year

Next meeting will be the AGM on 5th September 2019

8. Any other business


NB. Please see email dated 15th March 2019 – Summary of Actions agreed at the meeting with Angela Borges, 15.3.19. This provides answers to the queries outlined in section 4 above.