Minutes 25 February 2014

Highlands Gardens Committee Meeting

25 February 2014

Present:     Apologies:
Anna Cordell (Secretary)
Patrick Gaskell-Taylor
Rebecca Hanley
Angela Lodge
Duncan Macdonald (Chair)
Helen Oubridge (Treasurer)
Adam Hewson
Charles Wicksteed
Ian Wilson

1. Public Liability Insurance

£197 – been paid

2. Leak

It looks like there’s a leak from the pump. Maybe get Dinorod to inspect the pipe or whether inspection chamber is full of water. Barnet is aware of it and intend to deal with it. Rebecca suggested getting our own inspection done. Tell Barnet first and suggest there’s a hole in blue tube, leaking water out into inspection area. Tree root near loos removed. Helen will ask Rob Wiltshire at Barnet if we can check why there’s water leaking. Maybe underground bomb chamber is causing water to leak? She will also ask Rob why the stream is empty. When the pump was last running – it didn’t look like water was coming over the top, more like dribbling. Could be that pump has not been on long. HO, RH

(Rob Wiltshire has informed us since this meeting that he had the pump turned off due to there being a problem with it. He believes it is blocked. He also turned it off due to repairs that were to take place on the stream by Volkerhighways. He believes there is still a leak in the pipe that runs from the waterfall to the outlet at the top of the stream as we have a rapid water level drop when the pump is being used, so he will try to organise a camera to carry out a survey of this pipe which he believes is an original cast iron pipe).

3. Ian

Ian’s son’s dog, Minnie, died suddenly of a suspected heart attack. Ian was Minnie’s main carer and took her around the park every day. He has decided for now to take a less active role in the committee, but is happy to help out at specific events.

4. Helen

Helen is stepping down as Treasurer at the AGM but will run the gardening club once a month. She would like people to think about taking on this role and elect someone at the next AGM. The Committee also needs someone else to be the main contact with Barnet Council and insurers.

5. Gardening and Club

Helen has a dozen large shrubs for this Saturday. She has pots of acers, azalias, euonimus and others; periwinkles, vincas and cyclamen. About 18 pots to plant. Helen said there is £4,000 left of grant money left in the account. Plants are quite expensive – she could spend £1000 on plants. Rebecca suggested keeping some of the money back for on-going maintenance. HO

Rebecca will organise a banner for the club. RH

Helen and Charles will do labels for the plants. Adam suggested getting high visibility jackets for the gardeners club. Anna suggested getting a logo designed for them. Duncan suggested a competition could take place for the logo – either in schools or at the party at Easter but would need to be simplified/stylised. Charles pointed out that the logo of a wisteria, which is at the top of the website page, could be used HO, CW

Next gardening club will be on 5th April 10am-12pm.

6. Katy

Katy will be paid by Barnet. She now has another project to do at Child’s Hill (through the work she did with Highlands Gardens).

7. Party

Because the November party was so successful, it would be good to have another in the summer – or Easter. The Committee decided on 26th April, after the Easter Holiday. Ian suggested a treasure hunt and wrote down many potential questions for the hunt – ie, ‘Which is the tallest tree?’, ‘How many gate entrances are there?’, ‘Who built the observatory?’, etc. It was suggested to use the party to advertise the AGM.

Tables and gazebos can be hired again from Cromer Road primary school. It was agreed to spend less on catering this time and possibly get food and refreshments, plus cake from Sainsbury’s. Helen will order more ducks and four large thermos flasks. She will also purchase treasure hunt prizes. (not all chocolate as some kids are lactose intolerant)

Helen will bring plants to plant HO

8. AGM

The next AGM will be on 6th May at 8pm, at Charles’ – 18 Abbotts Road, EN5

9. Community Youth Scheme

Bilal, the Community Youth Scheme officer, has offered to help with the gardening. Rebecca will ask if they’d like to help first Saturday of each month. They could come on 5th April. Helen will bring plants for them to plant. They could compost over the flower beds. HO, RH

Since the meeting we have heard that this group has been disbanded due to council cost-cutting.

10. Notes from Patrick

  • Grass needs to be re-sown where lorries came through Abbotts Road (it has been done once, but did not take)
  • There is a lack of grass on pondside (it has been re-sown)
  • Paths been re-tarmacked – rest needs to be done. Barnet have this in hand.
  • Gate at Prospect Road needs fixing (Rob Wiltshire has since informed us that the gate is warped but is lockable and he’s not sure why it is not being locked).
  • Dog litter bin near the pump house doesn’t close.
  • When mulch put down, none was put on the flower beds by the pond. Helen said that we are responsible for this, unless we ask for it to done. We could ask for compost to put over the bulbs.
  • There is not much litter about. Helen informed that the Council are doing a good job of keeping the gardens tidy.

11. Trees

The trees didn’t come down during the winter storms. Helen thinks that the Turkey Oak will go because it has fungus at the bottom. Helen is trying to grow an acorn. Although we could buy a five year old oak tree and have it replanted. She and Charles suggested labelling everything so that the Council don’t chop any down. It looks like the Council are now doing more work in the gardens.

12. Tree Survey

Charles has been contacted regarding the tree survey. He will forward the info by email. Helen sends statements on the horse chestnut trees.