2015 AGM Minutes (draft) - Hay Bridge Nature Reserve



2015 AGM Minutes (draft) - Hay Bridge Nature Reserve
Hay Bridge Nature Reserve Society AGM 2015
Held at the Study Centre, Low Hay Bridge on Saturday 25th April 2015
Minutes of the Meeting
In the Chair: Robin Cope
In attendance: 41 members of the Society
The meeting was opened at 2.30pm by Roderick Smith, President of Hay Bridge
Nature Reserve Society (HBNRS). He welcomed the Trustees of the John Strutt
Conservation Fund (JSCF) and members of HBNRS to the 42nd AGM of the
Society and explained the proceedings of the meeting.
He then went on to welcome the two winners of the HBNRS Art Competition. He
pointed out to Members the winning pictures, which are now on display in the
Study Centre, congratulated the winners and led Members in a round of
Apologies: Apologies were received from Steve Miller, Marion Brown, Paul
Cass, Chris Berry and Richard de Roebuck.
2014 AGM Minutes These were approved as a true record of the 2014 AGM.
Proposed: Nick Chaloner Seconded: Barbara Sykes.
Matters arising: There were no matters arising from the 2014 AGM minutes.
Chairman’s Report: I would like to start by thanking the Committee for all the
time and work that they have given to the Society over this last year. This has
been a fantastic benefit to the Reserve and my thanks to all of those who have
volunteered their time and who have worked to make this last year a successful
one. I would like to especially note Steve Miller who is stepping down after many
years on the committee but has said that he will continue to look after our
website and take photographs on the reserve. Thank you, Steve, for all your
As you can see, more work has been undertaken on the display boards both
inside and outside the Study Centre; some of you may have noticed the new
board coming down from the car park; there is also a new board inside the Study
Centre. Particular thanks are due to Helen Loxam and Nick Chaloner for all the
work that they have put into making this happen and to the designers for coming
up with such a modern and clear look. Helen and Nick put a tremendous amount
of work into Hay Bridge, most of which is not visible, so it is great to have a
chance to say ‘thank you’ for everything that they do.
The seasonal walks, which are led by Chris Berry and organised by Nick
Chaloner have continued to be very well attended. Chris is great fun and very
informative to listen to and I would recommend one of his walks to anyone.
Several are planned for this year.
We have already held several well supported events this year such as the Bird
Race, and later in the year there will be a Dawn Chorus walk, a visit to the
Rusland Show where we present information about the Reserve and Deer Rut
morning events on the reserve led by Helen and Keith Loxam. A full list of events
for the rest of 2015 can be found on the Society’s website
One of the new events in the last year has been the HBNRS Art, Photography
and Writing competition. Marion Brown, put together the competition and the
works of the winners are displayed here today. I would like to welcome the
winners, Polly and Allan, and their families to our AGM and thank them for
contributing to the life of the Society.
Over the past year we have produced three Newsletters and I would like to pass
on my thanks to all those who have been involved in taking the photographs,
writing the reports and producing the newsletter. Helen Loxam passed on the
writing of newsletters to Nick Chaloner last year and he has done a tremendous
job. I would also like to thank all those members who have given us their email
addresses (37 more than last year to give 185 in all out of some 500
memberships) as this has allowed us to keep down printing and postal costs. I
would also like us to take this chance to thank Nick and Jane Chaloner for all
their help in stuffing the newsletter envelopes, which we have now reduced to a
fine art.
Many of you will be aware of the Natural History group that Bernie Young is
setting up to monitor the changes on the Moss. Bernie is here and later today will
talk to those that have been in touch with her so that she can tell them where she
is up to with her plans.
Hazel Dole, a committee member of several years standing, is now very closely
involved with encouraging school visits to the reserve and will liaise with Helen
Loxam and JSCF about how we can grow this side of our work.
I would also like to thank Keith and Byron for all their hard work over the last year
and whose passion and care for the Reserve enables us all to enjoy it at its best
throughout the year.
Personally, I would also like to thank you all for being Members of this society
and for enabling the Committee to undertake its works and for visiting the
Reserve when you can. I would also like to thank again all the Members of the
Committee who have put in a tremendous amount of work over the past season
and without whom nothing would be possible.
Finally, I would like to thank the John Strutt Conservation Foundation for the
excellent way in which they have looked after the Reserve in the past year and
without whom the Hay Bridge Nature Reserve Society would not be possible.
Treasurer’s Report: The Annual Accounts were circulated. The Treasurer noted
that there were several extra-ordinary items which had been paid for in the last
year, including the new display boards and the staging at Black Beck Tarn. It was
noted however that the Society’s funds showed a healthy positive balance.
The Treasurer also stated that there were currently 488 memberships, of which
some 2/3rds were families.
David Archibald raised the question of contents insurance for items on display in
the Study Centre and was reassured that this was covered by the JSCF from the
annual payment made by the Society.
Bob Singleton asked why no wages were included in the accounts and was
advised that the Warden’s salary was paid by the JSCF and that the Society had
no employees.
Andrew Sykes proposed a vote of thanks to the Treasurer.
This was approved along with the annual accounts.
Proposed: Andrew Sykes
Seconded: Sue Smith.
JSCF Report: Sir Martin Holdgate delivered a special report on behalf of the
JSCF with regards to the imminent completion of the purchase of two lots of land
from Hullater Farm. These are the Hullater Mosses and the land between the two
cattle grids leading into the Reserve known as the Bouth Lot.
The Hullater Mosses are adjacent to the Hay Bridge Moss and are a Site of
Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The JSCF intends to manage both areas of
Moss together and to maintain the current water courses (although there may be
some realignment of certain streams to enhance drainage).
The Bouth Lot, also known as Burnt Lot Plantation, is made up of potentially
valuable mixed habitats. The JSCF intend to conduct a full survey of the area
and to develop a management plan.
Sir Martin emphasised that the acquisition of these two lots would enhance the
Reserve, probably making it one of the most valuable, in terms of conservation,
in the South Lakes area.
Helen Loxam as the JSCF Representative on the HBNRS Committee then
presented the rest of the report:
Further work under the Higher Level Stewardship Scheme, has been carried out
during the last 12 months, including hedge laying between Littlelands and
Sammyfield, together with filling in the gaps with new planting. We have also
planted a completely new hedge along the Hulleter track in Great Assey Syke; a
mammoth task completed by Keith Loxam and Byron Lee. This hedge has also
been set with standard Oak and Field Maple at intervals, with further standards
planted in the small copse in High Moor. The standards were a generous
donation from a member, for which, I would like to record the JSCF’s thanks.
In addition to Littlelands in 2013, following the hay cut last year, Sammyfield and
Fogmire were also rotavated and sown with brush-harvested wildflower meadow
seeds, with extra Yellow Rattle added.
Following planning approval for the outer bund, completion work on Hay Bridge
Moss is underway. The areas of fish-scale bunding completed last year are
already achieving their purpose, the areas are holding water and the sphagnum
mosses are developing. A pair of Lapwing successfully reared young out there
for the first time last year.
The potash pit has received a makeover, firstly by removal of vegetation and the
felling of a couple of trees whose roots were causing damage, and then by the
expert hand of Byron Lee repairing the areas of damage to the stonework. Stone
wall ‘gapping’ is constantly required, especially because of the heavy deer
numbers in the area, and Byron’s dedication and expertise is enormously
appreciated by the Trustees who wish, once again, to record their thanks to him.
The two Forest Schools continued to make use of the Reserve during 2014, and
we have also had visits from several other schools, some of which were return
visits, and others were first timers, all eager to return. Bookings are now starting
for this year which include a visit by the Royal Geographic Society.
I have also been advised that the Reserve will be featured on the S4C TV
Channel in late May of this year.
Election of Committee: The Chairman advised the meeting that Steve Miller
had decided to resign his place on the Committee, but that he would be happy to
remain as the Society’s webmaster and provide Reserve photography. A vote of
thanks to Steve was made and agreed.
The rest of the current Committee stood down and then stood for re-election en
Robin Cope
Trevor Lloyd
Helen Loxam
Chris Berry
Hazel Dole
Catherine Burrell
Nick Chaloner
Marion Brown
Bernie Young
Proposed: David Archibald
Seconded: Jane Chaloner.
It was further proposed that the following Committee members be elected to
serve as Officers:
Robin Cope
Treasurer and Membership Secretary: Helen Loxam
Nick Chaloner
Proposed: Sir Martin Holdgate
Seconded: Sue Smith.
Announcements: The Chairman reminded members that the next planned
event was the Dawn Chorus Walk starting at 5.30am on Saturday 9th May from
the Car Park and finishing at approximately 8.30am in the Study Centre.
Any Other Business: There was no further business.
The formal part of the meeting was then brought to a close at approximately
Tea, coffee, cakes and sandwiches were provided and a raffle was held which
raised £57 for the Society.
Finally a detailed and interesting presentation was made by Colin Barr about the
Rusland Horizons project and the various elements of the scheme.