Present: Mike Rundle (in chair by phone for the first half of the meeting), Steve Cale, David Cooling, Neil Dandy, Nick Parsons, Barley Wilson, Ian Wilson, Gill Waldron.
- There were no apologies for absence.
- Financial Report The current account stands at £2731.90 credit. Gill volunteered to be a signatory on the account since she is already an authorised signatory for a charity with Barclays. ACTION, Mike, Gill
- Membership Secretary Report There are two new members, one couple haven’t renewed membership, some have yet to reply but the situation is fundamentally stable with most subscriptions up to date. Currently there are about 70 members of which 35-45 live in Ryburgh. Discussion about the desirability of new members especially in view of new people now living in the village ensued, the conclusion was that wider advertising and information would attract interested newcomers (see items 5-7)
- AGM Review CC registration of new committee members Mike referred to the AGM minutes of 16th November 2022 being very short on the detail of the proceedings of the AGM and confirmed that Steve has resigned and Gillian and David have joined the committee. He will alter the details of the Group on the Charity Commission website accordingly. The Group’s accounts prepared for the AGM were not put before it. He suggests they are considered at the next committee meeting and subsequently made available to members by being put on the website. ACTION, Mike
- Nectar Corridor Barley reported three successful events last year, the launch at the Spring Show with support and gifts of plug plants from the NWT, two community cafes with a pollination focus, and the bulb give away one Saturday outside the shop which attracted a lot of enthusiastic interest. Generally a successful start. The plan to build on it this year includes focussing on 3 places in the village which would benefit – the strip of land against the pavement immediately east of Highfield Close, a further narrow bank further into the village opposite the entrance to Willow Farm and the verges to the Wine Rack land where bug hotels made of wine racks would be an excellent addition. Signage would be useful to demonstrate RWG activities.
Other venues were identified which could be developed in later years. Plans to extend the pollinator corridor out of the village along road verges, railway line and the village lanes were extensively discussed in 6).
ACTION, Barley to confirm consents, Mike to liaise with WR manager
- Hedgerow Management Plan Ian, Steve and Nick together provided a resume of the current situation, the vast majority of local hedgerows are trimmed far too short and the scrub, especially brambles, around their bases cleared out unnecessarily. After a long discussion the conclusions were, that despite continuing frustration, there may be local farmers, especially the younger ones, who are at least inclined to be sympathetic to environmental concerns, and the Upper Wensum Cluster Farm Group liaison officer, Lizzie, currently on maternity leave is supportive. Recent proposed changes in farming subsidy may also help if adopted to create a more regenerative approach to land management. ACTION to develop ideas for closer working with Sennowe and others, and engage with NWT, perhaps a joint meeting? – ALL
- Forthcoming Events Steve founded the RWG in 1998, it was agreed that events to celebrate that would give opportunities to discuss our vision for the next 25 years and to attract new members. Proposals included a talk from Steve (probably September) to detail the changes and positive developments which RWG has facilitated/contributed to, over the last 25 years, perhaps demonstrating the advantages in bird numbers in untrimmed hedgerows west of the village compared with others. Also a ‘party’ to celebrate , in the summer, ? a BBQ outside Hall or playing field with some displays, photographs, explanations etc for attracting new members. Also, another Sennowe walk, round the lakes if possible. Nick will host the postponed Holkham goose walk in November.
ACTION – ALL, to consider event planning to propose at the next meeting. Steve – to talk to Tom Cook re a Sennowe walk.
- AOB a)Neil registered that he had circulated a revised health and safety policy for the committee.
b)Steve spoke of frustrations with the PC blocking rewilding part of the playing field in Colkirk and proposed a plan whereby a number of interested inhabitants would prepare and fence the area etc given PC permission. This provoked a discussion about liaison with other local wildlife groups, mutual support and information gathering, which it was decided would stop short of joint membership or the RWG taking on other interested groups. Barley suggested inviting the Colkirk PC to view our community orchard, she could give information about grants available, suggesting that Steve look at Breckland’s policy to find the equivalent of the NN Sustainability Fund.
ACTION – Steve, Barley, Mike (re funding construction costs in principle)
- c) Barley said that Gemma from NWT is coming for a meeting this Thursday 2nd Feb 11 am. ACTION – Barley, Nick (if possible)
NEXT MEETING Monday February 27th, 7.00, Blue Boar.