Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on Wednesday, 16 November 2022
Present: Ian Jefferies (Chairman), Rose Coram (Treasurer), Roy Parkinson, Pat Tomlinson, Steve Simmonds, Mandy Thomas (Secretary)
A full list of attendees is filed with the minutes.
- Apologies: Brian Harris
- The minutes of the AGM held on 8 November 2021 were read, accepted as a true record and signed by the Chairman.
Matters arising: it was noted that the wheeled strimmer, which had not been purchased may now be superseded by a multi-functional tool. Other items would be covered in the Chairman’s Report.
- The Chairman’s Annual Report:
The Chairman presented his report, commenting in particular that the new gateway had been a great success and he thanked Ryde Town Council for their generous grant which had made this possible.
The current plan was to strengthen the southern boundary using native hedgerow plants and trees. In addition, Ash Die Back had been confirmed on site by the IWC Tree Officer and it would be necessary to remove 45 trees from the site. This would be done by prioritising the infected trees. The wooden walkway was also in need of replacement at a suitable time, probably after the Ash Die Back had been addressed.
The Trustees, local Councillors and Guardians had met on site earlier in the year to say goodbye to Dr Pam Sim, who had been a founder member of the Trust. Pam was wished a long and happy retirement. The Chairman also advised attendees that this would be his last report as Chairman and Trustee of the PLMG, but commented that he had every confidence in the new team to continue the work of protecting and maintaining the Green for the future.
With regard to the Ash Die Back, although 45 trees seemed a lot, attendees were reminded that a few years ago there had been a high number of young oaks threatening the Mother Oak’s space. At that time some 90 trees taken been out around the Mother Oak, which as can be seen today, was a great success. The trees left in place had made significant growth. In addition, a new generation of material had grown such as Field Maple and Hazel. The IWC Tree Officer had also commented on the Pipistrelle bat population and it was noted that perhaps we need to encourage more bats to inhabit our wildwood. There are 38 species of bats on the Island.
Looking to the future, the native hedgerow will augment the boundary from the gateway to the arched entrance. As part of his role as a Guardian of the Green, the Chairman advised that he would be writing a quarterly seasonal report to ensure that the website was kept up to date. Nature could not be rushed, but strength and diversity must be encouraged.
- The Treasurer’s Report:
The Treasurer circulated a copy of the report and advised that the past twelve months had seen significant improvements. Apart from the generous grant from Ryde Town Council earlier in the year, there had been an increase in donations. This was partly due to the introduction of the Guardian scheme and Rose thanked Mandy for developing this scheme. Donations from online shopping had also increased and as at 31 September our account balance was £5,778.36.
The additional funds would enable the Trust to purchase native hedging plants and trees to strengthen the southern boundary and new materials for the walkway. It was noted that a lot of railway sleepers would be required, which were currently £35 each. A heavy-duty multi-tool, which would be a significant investment for the future as well as more environmentally friendly, was also under investigation.
- Any other business:
(a) Helen Butler (Wight Squirrels) offered Trustees the opportunity to obtain native hedgerow plants and trees free of charge as part of the Wight Squirrel initiative to improve the environment for our native squirrels. A further discussion would be held between Trustees and Helen after the meeting.
(b) Roy Parkinson thanked Ian for his forestry consultancy work, help and support over past years, which had been invaluable.
(c) Roy Parkinson reported on two recent incidents of cars being stuck in the public bridleway beside the Green. He suggested that a specific sign be erected to discourage cars from continuing to drive down Play Lane. In addition, he felt that perhaps a combination lock should be installed at the wooden gateway, which would only then need a telephone call to enable recovery companies to remove vehicles from the lane.
Steve Simmonds informed attendees that the Isle of Wight Council had previously mentioned installing drop-posts in the lane. Councillors Simon Cooke and Richard May offered to contact IWC to make further enquiries and inform them of these recent incidents.
(d) Steve Simmonds presented Ian Jefferies with a retirement gift and announced that a tree would be planted on the Green in recognition of the contribution that Ian had made to the PLMG over the years, which had been invaluable. Attendees applauded Ian for his dedication and hard work and were pleased to note that he would continue with his role as one of the Guardians of the Green.
The meeting closed at 2.37pm