FRIENDS OF CARPENTERS WOOD
Thursday 8th September 2016 at 2 pm
28 Carpenters Wood Drive
Present: Barbara Green – Chair, Lesley Edwards – Secretary, Matthew Watts – CMS, Stephen Ramsay – Treasurer, Tony Edwards, Dorothy Freedman, Terence Flynn – TRDC, Pam Ferrar, Steven Hall, Sue Hall, Nick Makin, Barbara Robjant, Andrew York, Malcolm Green, Robin Hurley.
1. Apologies for Absence
2. Minutes of last meeting
3. Matters arising from Minutes not dealt with elsewhere
BG has taken photos of bat boxes to monitor any activity there. RH asked if there had been any publicity in local news magazines regarding the bird and bat boxes. BG has previously written a full page article about the blue bells and another regarding the bird and bat boxes for the Chorleywood Magazine.
4. Treasurer’s Report
Year ending 30th September 2015:-
No income this year so far for the second year running.
In 2008 the Friends Group were funded £1,200 from TRDC and this was sustained in the first five years by taking part in the Parish Council’s Quiz Evenings. We haven’t been able to make up a table for this event for the past two years. It is hoped we will be able to do so this year, although at present all tables are taken. Present balance is £571. 31. Expenditure has been minimal but we do need to spend some money on new equipment imminently. BG suggested the Friends Group could enjoy a social meeting once a year – maybe a barbeque or similar.
Thanks were given to our Treasurer.
5. Report on Progress of Volunteer Group
- Tasks – from mid March we stopped heavy work and concentrated on brash clearance, the clearing of horse rides and paths and keeping the bracken under control along the new hedge bordering Hillas Plantation and Farm Road. BG said that we haven’t created any new rides in the last six months but have been busy keeping existing ones passable. BG said that we would need assistance to create new rides and that’s where CMS could be of help to us. TF said that assistance from CMS might be arranged for this coming January. TE suggested that we could perhaps entertain them this time.
- Membership – Recruitment is not easy as so many residents in Chorleywood are involved in other groups and activities. Barbara and Nick joined us in September last year but we have lost David Walker. BG has spoken to the friends group at Chorleywood House but hasn’t heard back from anyone there. BR said that she would hand out leaflets at a U3A meeting in Sarratt. Action BR.
BG said that she would have a word with Chorleywood U3A and ask them to put something in their newsletter about our group. Action BG
SH said that he would put information about us on a website called “Street Life”. Action SH.
It was thought we should have a new updated leaflet to coincide with the new plan. TF said it was possible that TRDC would fund this – BG to liaise with Matt regarding this Action BG and MW. MG suggested we all have a small supply of updated leaflets to hand out whenever appropriate.
- Session Arrangements – BG said that she was aware that she hasn’t been at as many meetings in the past year due to other commitments but feels we need to be more structured and suggested that we have a deputy to organise us in her absence. DF said that she would be prepared to deputise for the Thursday morning sessions. Action DF. BG suggested a separate meeting to discuss future plans for our sessions and the management of them.
- Tool Review – It was suggested that we purchase some smaller loppers, NM suggested secateurs and SR said that we need some efficient scything equipment for dealing with brambles and nettles. MG suggested an “L” shaped scythe. TF said that ride management was a problem and they were possibly procuring equipment (no details for this at present) for dealing with this so that we would need only to deal with smaller areas. BG, in collaboration with SR to check on our tool store and then decide what is required. Action BG and SR
Terence suggested that we have a “Silky” – this is a very sharp saw and special gloves are required when using it; when not in use it has to be sheathed at all times. Terence will speak with Julie at TRDC to see if we can acquire two or three at a cost of £180 – £200. TF thinks he may be able to argue the case for these being funded by TRDC. Action TF. BG and MG said that we need more safety glasses and emphasised the importance of wearing these. BG suggested that the Friends purchase new safety glasses and gloves for use at our sessions and distribute these to members so that individuals can take care of these items themselves. (Secretary’s note: May I suggest that SR keeps a £50 float so that he can reimburse members for this?)
6. 5 Year Plan
BG feels that there should be more communication between TRDC and FoCW and that it would be courteous and helpful to e-mail BG and let us know what work is being undertaken so that we work in unison with them. TF said that he would bear this in mind. He also informed us that there is a TRDC 5 Year Woodland Management Plan for Carpenters Wood (drawn up by TRDC) being drafted alongside the Green Space Five Year Plan which is being drawn up by CMS. These clearly have to be coordinated and will hopefully both be completed for approval by TRDC Leisure Committee by the end of December 2016. One item to consider includes taking out more larch from Hillas Wood in blocks rather than just thinning, and utilising a corner of this area for a nursery to bring on broadleaf saplings; the plan is to return Hillas to its original mixed broadleaf form. MW hopes the new plan will give our group the guidance needed to help structure our work programme more effectively. Suggestions include the following:-
- Carry on with holly and laurel removal, especially where the holly is smothering beech and other young trees.
- Small scale thinning of ash and beech saplings should also be carried out where possible. The group needs help to remove larger specimens.
- Regarding the hornbeam – TF said that it was a specialist task and needs special funding. TRDC are not happy to spend the thousands of pounds of public money it may cost on fencing the field in order to protect new growth. Matthew suggested a temporary fence on a small part of the area concerned for a couple of years to see if regeneration would take place. It is not certain that this regeneration would take place so a small trial section would be a good idea. Possible funding from the Forestry Commission could be explored. BG suggested that the Friends might be able to help with small scale fence erection.
- The management of rides and glades in rotation.
- Management of brash – possible removal but possibly using some as protection for saplings
- Selective removal of some mature trees to let more light into the woodland and allow regeneration.
- Wholesale removal of areas of bramble – special machinery will be needed.
- Management of the new hedge along Farm Track. TE asked at what height we should cut the new hedge and Matthew said he would take advice and let us know Action MW. We are to leave the protectors on to guard against rabbit/deer damage.
Matthew asked if there was anything else CMS could do and BG said that a visit say every three months would be useful. Regular contact with CMS was agreed.
Matthew addressed the meeting in relation to future plans for Carpenters Wood. Benches are recommended to be placed every 200 metres on any particular walk. The group felt this was not a priority, but rather, the work discussed for Hillas should be our main goal. MW mentioned that more signage would be helpful and it was agreed that not everybody is familiar with the whereabouts of Carpenters Wood. Funding may be available for this and it was thought a sign in Whitelands Ave and another at the entrance to the Farm Road (stating pedestrian access only) would be an asset. MW also said that he would like to pursue a Green Flag accreditation for Carpenters Wood as he thinks we tick all the boxes to receive this. Matthew is to send BG a copy of the 5 Year Plan within the next month or so. Action MW.
MW and TF were thanked for their informative and positive contribution.
7. Website Update
SH very kindly agreed in March to monitor the website and collate information for it. SH asked the group how they felt it should be set out. BG said that the Home page should have the most up-to-date info on it so that anyone visiting the site can see that it is ‘active’. This would probably be a regular ‘session update’ following each of our sessions, but realistically this would probably only happen once a month. BG and SH agreed to meet to discuss further and provide feedback to the group at a later date. BG to liaise with SH. Action BG and SH
Diary for the coming year is now on the website. BG to inform the group when CMS are planning to attend. Ciaran Mullan, our CMS support is due to visit us on our next Thursday session on 6th October.
9. Any Other Business
10. DATE OF NEXT MEETING – THURSDAY 2ND MARCH