Primrose Hill Community Woodland Trust February 2013 newsletter
At long last we are now in possession of a plan for drainage for Fonthill Road. I am sure I do not need to tell you of the problems we have with water on Fonthill Road entrance and the main ride from the gate into the wood, you can see the damage it’s done? Eclosulis was contacted by Wessex Water to come up with a feasibility plan. Basically the idea is to place across the road a drainage ditch very much like what you would see for drainage on housing estates and public pavements (basically a metal grill). The idea is to channel water away from the problem area down the side of the deer fencing along side the school boundary. Due to the extent of our problem this metal grill is more like a smaller size cattle grid you would see as you access to a farm to stop animals escaping. Please go to the web site www.drainagegrids.co.uk to see just what I mean. However I can see the value of this system on more level road, my concern is would it work when you have a problem with multi or very uneven levels, like we have in Fonthill Road? The school has done a great job of trying to direct the water off the road which is coming down from the farm track. This gives you some idea of how the water would flow and where. The “where” part of this is another problem I can see as it runs down inside the deer fence then into the wood lower down the ride and continue on down the ride with a run off into the farm land below giving Sue and Luke the problem. I personally do not feel comfortable if the proposed plan is just going to pass on the problem. My feeling has always been to direct the water down the main rides from the main gate to where we did the test drainage ditch we dug. But after seeing how the water has flowed from the recent heavy storms around this ditch I would be happy if it was allowed to just run off into the trees with no catchment’s area. So what is the solution? First of all the committee need to discuss this plan giving all the trustees a chance to express their views. Then I would hope that we would meet with the school, the owner of the farm track and Sue and Luke individually to give them a chance to comment on the plan and express their concerns if they have any which I am sure they will have. Once all parties have agreed then we go to the next stage and get a quote to carry out the work. Then the big question is who and how it is paid for? I again personally feel that the charity should burden the lion share of any cost. One thing is for sure something must be done. As we have been discussing the subject of money we now have our end of year accounts for 2012. Which I am sure you will agree 2012 has been one of the most difficult years for any charity to raise funds including ours. Donations include gift aid reclaims we are nearly down £11,000 on 2011 year. Being an optimistic person I am I have the feeling that 2013 will be a better year for donations? The lifeblood of this
charity has and always has been the standing orders we receive each month. After talking recently to a person who is already giving us a standing order, she suggested that like her, others might be happy and wish to increase their monthly standing order? As I said in my last newsletter a small donation each month would make all the differences to our finances. So please give consideration to this ladies suggestion and increase your standing order to us if you can. Waitrose supermarket is celebrating 75 years as a store; to celebrate this they have offered local communities around the country, including ours, some trees to plant in celebration. From the list of trees we were offered we have selected two Oak and two Rowan trees. The Oak plays host to the largest number of insects when it is a mature tree and the Rowan is superb for its berries, much appreciated by birds. They are planning for planting to take place on the 26th February at 10.30am. You are very welcome to come and meet management and members of staff. With a bit of luck you may even be in one of the photos? I did say to them they are welcome to bring as many staff as they like, I am sure we could find them something to do? I did make the suggestion that as they were in the wood they make like to of a bit of pruning? However I have the feeling that at sometime or other they will be delighted to organise a group to spend sometime helping us with maintenance work. The Primrose Hill Community Woodland is delighted to be asked to be part of their celebrations. Which leads nicely onto my next subject our need for help? Over November, December we did try to organise some work party days. We had very limited success which I am sure is due to the weather. Trevor had succeeded in getting a write up printed into the local paper which is a success in itself, only to find just the odd person or none at all turning up to help, leaving the work mostly done by the trustees. Individuals and other trustees have at other times come and done some pruning which we are very grateful for, thanks to all. The wood is at a stage where we need to get a lot work done with pruning. The best time to do this is sadly in winter months when the weather is not very helpful! A few of you would have seen me on my own or with Simon cutting down the dogwood in January. We have now completed that task of clearing the dogwood from post 6 to 7 but not yet cleared it up and burnt. That will have to wait till a later date when I hope to be able to get the Ranger Scouts to come and help with clearing and burning. I have also had a go at tidying up the blackthorn and bramble growing alongside the deer fencing in that part of the wood. I intend to continue clearing and pruning my way around to post 5. Then start working on the dogwood on the main ride from gate to post 7. If you see us working and feel like getting your hands dirty for a while you are welcome to join us or if you would like to offer your time at a later time to suit you, then please ask me what we would like done. That way we know that the work is being done in a controlled fashion.
Bath Natural History are hosting three interesting events in February starting on Monday 4th subject “Tree Aging Process‐ an ecosystem approach to health and disease” should be interesting given Ash Die Back? On the 12th a visit to Slimbridge and 23rd Cotswold Water Park. For further information please go to their web site www.bathnats.org.uk This is a very friendly group who would make you very welcome, and you would learn a lot about the world of nature. Ash Die Back disease. There is very little I can add to this subject but research is very much ongoing and will remain so for a long time to come. However there is a report that the forestry commission in one area has taken nurseries off the register of nurseries that was once had imported infested trees. The reason given was the concern raised by nurserymen that it could or would affect trade, more importantly was that the nurserymen may not cooperate with the forestry commission on reporting any new outbreaks. I can fully understand why the commission has taken this action, I also agree with them. It is very easy for us to judge and say what should be done, but we need the co‐operation of the industry if we are to beat this tree disease. At the moment the only confirmed outbreak is north of us some 20 plus miles away in South Gloucester, there is also one in Wiltshire some 30 plus miles way, let’s hope it stays that way? On the 21st January the committee attended an official reception in the Mayor’s parlour to receive the cup that we won in this year’s Britain in Bloom. You may be aware, the intention was that the mayor would visit the wood presenting the cup, but due to extreme wet weather this was cancelled. The mayor has promised that he will at sometime or other visit the wood in his official capacity. Trevor waved his magic wand making arrangement with the mayor’s office to find a suitable date in his busy schedule. I am so fortunate to be a chairman of Primrose Hill Community Woodland with such dedicated trustees committee members. This gave me the opportunity in the company of the mayor and lady mayoress to express my sincere thanks to Howard Burgess for his vision of the wood and his support back in 1996, to also to thank Sue for her outstanding contribution as company secretary, also give me personally great pride in thanking the committee in front of such honoured company and spending surroundings, lastly but not least thanking my dear wife for her support, love and backing from the very start. Finally I would like to thank all our visitors, supporter’s, fellow trustees for their kind words of support given to us both over my dear wife’s illness. She started chemo on the 25th January, we remain very positive that this will do the trick. Thanks you all. Richard J L Cox Chairman