Minutes 27 April 2017



Duncan Macdonald (Chair)
Helen Oubridge (Treasurer)
Anna Cordell (Secretary)
Angela Lodge
Patrick Gaskell-Taylor
David Nyman
Charles Wicksteed

1 Treasurer’s report

Balance brought forward to include Subscriptions, donations and grants - £3,034.75

Expenditure - £2,000.07 - includes insurance, TCV membership, September 2016 celebration, hexagonal benches, web hosting and stationery

Insurance is slightly down, now £186. We pay membership for Trust of Conservation Volunteers, £38. Not sure whether we need to be members anymore because we pay insurance separately now.

Balance - £1,034.68.

Hexagonal benches were installed in June 2016. This was the last of the grant money used. The same man who did the fencing made the benches. They have been properly coated and have anti-vandal coating. HO was concerned the anti-vandal nuts weren’t put on but now have been. These are positioned at the far side of the lower pond and halfway at the side of the big pond.

The celebration cost only £58.07.

Insurance and conservation volunteers have now run out. We haven’t yet paid. This is for public liability for events. It is about £160. If we pay £38 for conservation, it remains at £160. It also covers up to 500 x man hours. It was £156 last year. The number of events which are held in the park are fewer.

The subs are down. This might be because there has not been a newsletter. Also, we didn’t bring a collection bucket to the party, which we aim to do this year.

2 Responsibilities for FoHG committee

Agreement to remain:
Charles, first point of contact
Helen, Treasurer (still would like to step down. Volunteers to replace her would be welcomed)
Anna, Secretary
Duncan, Chair

3 Birdwatching

A list has been made of birds spotted at the park. A request was made for people to email us. It includes sparrowhawks, kingfishers, parakeet, heron, to name but a few (please see attached bird list).

4 Feedback on events

Party in September 2016 went well. About 50 people attended and new people were added to the email group members list.

5 Gardening

DN still sends out email alerts for gardening days. Just a few help out as and when. Weeding isn’t popular. However, planting is.

DN tried to get green bin compost to put on the rose beds. HO will try to get green bin compost to put on the beds around the pond.

Last year the pond was overrun by weed. DN left a piece in the centre for the fish to dive under. He dumped the rest onto the islands. The weed then disappeared. DN also noticed the water lilies are currently not there. HO explained that they die back, are deciduous and grow back. The weed might have been killed by ice and could be an ‘overseas invader’ which is temperature sensitive, so it could have been killed off. Curly leaves are from the UK and not so sensitive.

Duck weed is back. HO explained if the nutrient levels are low, it won’t persist. DN took most of it out.

6 Works in the park

Turkey Oak - On the bank opposite the main entrance has been cut down due to sickness. HO wonders whether we can do something with the stump and asked if anyone knows of a tree surgeon who could either create something out of it, such as making a sculpture or a seat?

Arch - HO had a call from Rob Wiltshire from the Council Parks dept, saying he has raised a purchase order for repairing the arch. This will take place in June or July, at least until the ground is dry as they will need to bring in a crane. First, they will repair the verticals, the base and matching fence and new path in at a diagonal. Once done it can be planted up. The fencing around the arch structure isn’t working. People are trying to climb on it.

Gate - DN noticed that the chain on the gate at main entrance has gone, which is good as it no longer bangs or damages the wood. DN installed part of an old boot to add further protection to stop the banging.

Plants - CW hung a label to an azalea, ‘NO CUT’, in the hope that the Council gardeners will leave it alone. Some of the plants we didn’t want cut down have been cut.

7 Pond

P-GT noticed the pond wasn’t running today. HO explained that when the levels get low due to lack of rain, the pump stops. P-GT could not see many fish. However, there are in a lot in there, especially black ones, which turn to gold. There are some large koi.

8 Proposed events

- Gardening Club continues.

- Anyone who would like to do guerrilla gardening is welcome.

- Garden party/picnic - was agreed that September is still a good time to do it - first week kids go back to school - Saturday 9th September 2017, 2-4pm, FoHG picnic, games, etc.

9 Newsletter

The newsletter will come out of the minutes to highlight the party.

10 Date of next meeting

It was agreed that there is no need for an imminent meeting - perhaps one nearer the time of the party. However, we might communicate via email instead.