Minutes of a meeting of the Ryburgh Wildlife Group Committee held at Stone House on 12th May 2023
Present: Mike Rundle, Chairman, David Cooling, Barley Wilson, Gill Waldron
1) Apologies Neil Dandy, Nick Parsons, Ian Wilson
2) Minutes of meeting on 27.3.23 were approved. Spring Show liaison was considered a success, there was good interest from a number of people and it may have sparked some membership thoughts in some. The walk on Ryburgh common was generally successful (also see AOB, Item 8)
3) Financial Report The bank account contained £2686.79 on 12th May. Public Liability Insurance of £200 is due soon.
4) Membership Report There are 3, potentially 5, new members. Currently there are more than 70 members or households, of which just more than 50% live in Great or Little Ryburgh. Membership currently runs for a year from joining date, it may be better to gradually rationalise to a single renewal date. Current longer term members direct debit date is October.
5) Pollinator Pathway Progress in a number of areas.
a) Sennowe estate – 3 gamekeepers accompanied the RWG walk around the estate and expressed support for the concept. Railway line draft management plan was given to Tom Cook and interest was expressed. Verbal assurances about land abutting the RWG reserve were made. Informal conversations with some other interested parties from the estate are positive.
b) Matt Jones of Norfolk Wildlife Trust suggests a meeting to discuss liaison with UW farming group, he will confirm with Barley. He has done a habitat appraisal for Stibbard PC which has several new members who are interested to improve conservation. A meeting at the Junction field would be good, and possibly invite Colkirk PC too. ACTION BARLEY
c) Pudding Norton Hall, expressed concern about nesting lapwings on the last field on the right before the Dereham road, Ian and Steve liaised with RSPB rep too. Possibility of negotiating a set aside margin in that field has arisen.
d) Next steps – some committee members to meet with Barley, Matt and PC members from Stibbard, Colkirk on the Junction field and invite estate representatives support to join the meeting. Discussions at the committee meeting concluded that it was important to understand reasons why RWG principles are not valued by all, and perhaps reach a greater level of mutual understanding and potential cooperation.
ACTION BARLEY AND OTHERS (not yet specified)
6) David’s vision and Action Important to find a form of words which express succinctly our aims and to test local opinion about it (using the anniversary events to gather opinion). Perhaps a draft version on the website and inviting responses. David suggested ‘Nature at the heart of everything’, and ‘Nature at the heart of the community’. And an aim to make the village a ‘beacon of wildlife’. Practical schemes will be important, for example a series of bug hotels through the village, possibly encouraging a ‘Men’s Shed ‘idea to construct bug hotels, nest boxes and other structures. We should also involve the school, a proposal to fund some pollinator pathway bulb planting was agreed.
ACTION David and Mike to draft a mission statement to present at the BBQ July 1st
7) Future Events BBQ date was changed to July 1st, 12-4 on the field, if wet in the hall. Celebratory BBQ should be free for members, non members £5, family £10. Posters, social media advertising, UWD, tickets available in shop. Wildlife events – pond dipping, insect and flower quadrat comparisons, woodland walk with leaf identification, children’s quiz.
ACTION Gill, posters, tickets etc, Barley, book hall, social media request to Sharon, ALL available/interested for activities, who to cook the BBQ? Neil for H&S, risk assessment. May need a small subcommittee for the logistics.
8) Any other business
a) some feedback about empty bird feeders in the hide to be passed on to Steve.
b) Difficulties experienced by a visitor to the village on the Fuel Allotment walk highlighted gaps in our risk assessment and planning. She was inadequately shod for the terrain and was behind the group, until Barley went to her aid. Our risk assessment must include advice about appropriate clothing for participants in walks and we must organise a back marker.
ACTION Neil, with input from Nick as a professional walk leader. Possibly aim for a draft risk assessment protocol to be applied to all walks for the agenda of the next meeting?
9) DATE OF NEXT MEETING MONDAY JUNE 19th at Stone House. Apologies from David who will attend via Zoom