Friends of Carpenters Wood
Thursday 1st March 2012 1.30pm at
28 Carpenters Wood Drive, Chorleywood
Present: Barbara Green – Chair
Donald McLean - Dep Chr
Stephen Ramsay – Treasurer
Lesley Edwards – Secretary
Barbara Christie, Dorothy Freedman, Fiona Lean, Alex Laurie,
2. Minutes of Last Meeting
3. Matters Arising:
Holly and Laurel Spraying
Alex Laurie had confirmed to BG that the spraying had been done and would be carried out again this Spring. DW asked if we let CMS know where the Friends Group had been thinning the holly and laurel and there was discussion about mapping of the area and identifying different areas by name so that everyone knows where we are referring to. BG suggested that come May we could map the area and name some of the tracks. SR said that he could copy existing maps and perhaps the three woods could be separately reproduced. We need to pinpoint where the laurel is so that arrangements can be made to dispose of this.
At the last meeting BC had expressed her concern at not having the byelaws shown on the notice boards in the woods. As they were very lengthy and a précis was a very difficult task, it was decided to abandon this idea.
4. Treasurer’s Report
A little excitement in the last 6 months was reported by SR. A direct debit was being taken from the account monthly and paid to a horse racing.com. The Bank have taken full responsibility for this mistake and refunded the account in full. We had £350 extra revenue from the Quiz evening in November and the account stood at £1,069.47 as at end of January 2012.
It was agreed by all that our tools may need to be replaced or sharpened. It was suggested that a brush cutter be purchased. TE said that he owned one that could be used. DW said that CMS had such equipment and they used this at Chorleywood House. BG said that if we arrive at the stage when we think one is needed then we could purchase one out of funds. FMD suggested we have a mallet in our tool kit, although we do have an axe which could be used for the same purpose. Looking at the original purchase order it seems one or two of our tools have gone missing. It was agreed that there was a shortage of saws and small loppers and BG said that we could purchase more. BG will order a large and medium saw and two small loppers, plus 2 extra blades of each size. Action BG
Gloves are becoming worn and tatty and we should replace them, and more protective eyewear should be purchased. DW asked if we possessed a flat ended pickaxe (mattock) which would be useful for pulling up bramble and other runners. DW agreed to borrow the one from Chorleywood House on our behalf for us to try out in advance of ordering one. Action DW
BG said that we were entitled to finance any courses that may be of interest to the FoCW. SR would like to attend a First Aid course. BG will look into a refresher course for existing first aiders in the group and also other courses that may be of interest to the group. It was suggested that a course relating to re-coppicing the hornbeam would be very useful. Action BG
BG thanked SR for his continuing work and support.
5. Progress of Volunteer Group and short term plans
TE said that it was good to see David, Malcolm and Dorothy as new Friends of the Group but we were a bit thin on the ground. Frank said that he could make it to weekday sessions if they were the second Thursday in the month. After discussion it was decided to leave a new schedule until September.
A Village Day stall was discussed but would not be possible to organise unless someone was prepared to take responsibility for it, and as BG and other Friends had split loyalties it was felt we should not contribute this year.
PF suggested a poster on the notice boards may draw attention to the Group’s work in the woods. DW suggested a "countdown" poster on the notice board to make people aware of what we were doing and when. PF also drew attention to the fact that there was no meeting time on the present notice which outlines our meeting dates. DW and TE said that they would look into revitalising the notice board! . TE and DW to liaise regarding this. ActionTE and DW
SR said that it was disappointing that local people didn’t take more of an interest in our woodland; he will drop our leaflets through doors along with the neighbourhood watch drop when he next does this. TE said he would drop in Whitelands Avenue. BG said that perhaps we hadn’t been drawing enough attention to ourselves and we should make the effort to take more photographs to post on the website. Action SR and TE
6. 5 Year Plan – arrangement for new Plan
BG said that the short term plan has to fit in with what is happening in the long term and she was sorry that neither Julie Hughes nor Alex Laurie could be at the meeting to discuss this.
The felling of some of the larger trees in the wood has been discussed at previous meetings. This will no doubt be unpopular with the local residents and therefore they need to be informed of the reason behind this. BG has been in touch via e-mail with Alex and he will arrange for someone from the Forestry Commission to look at what needs to be done and when.
SR thought that the management hadn’t been handled particularly well; there are too many invasive species taking a foothold. When the new Five Year Plan is drawn up these issues need to be put forward. Ideally we need to have a meeting with Alex before the Plan is drawn up. BG said that Alex should be invited to come and walk the woods with a few of us.
PF mentioned that the pathway through the middle of Hillas Wood had been blocked by a fallen tree. TE to investigate whether Friends could manage it Action TE. (Now cleared)
The Larch felling is not complete and there is a lot more to do in Carpenters Wood. The log piles from previous felling are still in situ.
It was discussed that a fence might be the best approach to block the gap in the hedge along the edge of Hillas Wood alongside the farm track. We have tried to block this with brash in the past but despite this, horse riders still use this path.
The hornbeam needs attention but the Group is reluctant to take this on without expert advice. BG will investigate any courses or experts available to advise. Action BG.
The removal of Birch needs to be included in the Plan. A chainsaw and shredder would make a real difference, and this is where CMS help is crucial, as much of the work it too big for the Friends to attempt.
DW suggested that the large area covered in brambles (which used to be a main path) be cleared as it looks messy. It should be tackled earlier rather than later in the year. Action TE.
The 5 Year Plan is work in progress at present and we need a walkabout with Alex to itemise what we think is important and enlist his support.
The period of the 5 Year Plan needs to be classified so that TRDC aren’t let off the hook this year.
BG to e-mail a list of things we would like to achieve to Alex and Julie. Action BG.
Village Day – no one to man a stall.
Christmas Late Night Shopping – An awful lot of work with very little gain so it was decided to drop this.
TE suggested that awareness of the Friends Group could be drawn at local school fairs/fetes. BG said that she would find out dates for Russell School this year and approach the head. Action BG.
Donald has moved the date and latest news updates to the top of our website but says that our pictures are quite old now. BG asked that Friends remember to take photos and email them to Donald for inclusion on the website. BG thanked Donald for his continued support.
SR suggested themed events such as bluebell walks, wildlife spotting, bird recognition, etc. would be of benefit to local schoolchildren and raise the profile of the Group. SR to e-mail a list of possible activities to BG. SR also agreed to arrange for CRB checks should these be necessary. Action SR.
Meeting ended at 4.00pm
9. Date of next meeting
12th September 2012 at 1.30 pm
at 28 Carpenters Wood Drive, Chorleywood.
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