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BRAMFORD MEADOWS MEMBERS AND FRIENDS NEWSLETTER 2-2014 Newsletters: Several people have mentioned to me the difficulty in dealing with documents that are either in a more recent Word format than theirs or are too big for their ISP to download. The size is due to photographs that I included last time that were rather large for a document. For this issue I have produced it as a “PDF” file that can be read by Adobe Reader and is much smaller to transmit. You can download the reader from http://get.adobe.com/uk/reader/. I hope this sorts things out for everyone. Just to check I will include a couple of recent pictures. There is quite a lot to report in this issue and I have also included a list of the committee members who would be pleased to deal with any queries. Walk-about for members and friends: Last year we organised a couple of walks around the meadows to show members and friends what was going on and to discuss any ideas or concerns. Although we have the open day in May I think it worth giving you all the opportunity of a more private look around. If you are interested we shall meet in the car park at 11.00 on Sunday 6th April. Please let me know if you would like to come along so that we have a rough idea of numbers. Please bear in mind the likelihood of wet feet. Sheep: You can easily see that the grass the sheep were on last year is in a much better state than the rest of the north meadow. The farmer has contacted us recently and intends to fence off another section of the field – down to the next cross ditch so that sheep can be left on for longer. The rest of the meadow he will cut for hay and remove at his expense. Mink raft: A raft has been placed in the stream that contains a clay pad that will record mammals footprints as they walk through a tunnel. We are not publicising the exact location as it needs to be undisturbed, but here is a picture of it. We hope it will help us to identify what mammals are in the river and also to check for American mink introduced for farming, but which has escaped into the wild. This causes havoc amongst water voles and other native species.

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Work on the meadows: We are still working on setting up work parties of volunteers to help keep down the cost of running the meadows. We have had two impromptu sessions with committee members dealing with fallen trees and they have been a great success with everyone mucking in and having a good (if somewhat exhausting ) time. This is us last week removing fallen branches from the stream. We hope to start work on clearing branches and ivy from the car park in April as well as filling in some of the holes that have developed there. We will let everyone know the date and hope to see some of you there to help. Suffolk Wildlife Trust (SWT) days on the meadow: SWT have kindly agreed to organise two days on the meadows this year and we now know some details of these. The first will be a “Discovery day” on Saturday 10 May. This will follow the same format as the one held last year and all local school children will be given a leaflet at school. We will also be advertising more widely through the village in the hope that we get more people along this year. It is a day out for the family to enjoy the meadows and perhaps learn something. The other day is quite important and is aimed primarily at adults although accompanied children are welcome. This is to be a “Wildlife survey day” to be held on Saturday 5 July. The idea is to get as many people as are interested to spend the day identifying what species we have on the meadows. The day will start with bird identification during the dawn chorus (pretty early in July) and will finish with moth and bat sessions at dusk. During the day we will have experts along to help you identify birds, mammals, invertebrates, reptiles, trees, plants and grasses. So everyone should be able to find something they are interested in and join in. This is a two way process with people learning how to find and identify things and BOS getting the start of a comprehensive list of species. You don’t have to be there all day and we will produce a timetable nearer to the time. If you are an expert on any group of species please let me know and we will make use of your knowledge on the day. The church fete is to be held on that day and I have been discussing this with the organisers. We hope that the two can combine to encourage more people to attend both functions. It does mean that those combing the meadows will be able to have a break to see the stands, have a cup of tea or visit the flower show. The Parish Room will be open during the day and will form the centre for the recording of what is found. Car parking may be an issue so we will let everyone know nearer the time where the best place is to leave vehicles

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Further detail on both of these events will be published as soon as we can. In the meantime I shall mention both in the village news. Please try and attend these activities and bring along as many friends and neighbours as possible. It is important that the village uses the meadows and enjoys them. Behind the stream and wild flowers: We have been consulting SWT about how to treat the woodland that lies between the stream and the railway on the north meadow. The advice seems to be to leave it alone. Woodland in a flood plain is a particular kind of habitat that is worth preserving in its own right with no interference from us. This is good news financially at least. One idea put forward is to build a hide on the west bank of the stream that looks into the wood as well as along the stream itself. This is a long term project, but worth thinking about. The idea of encouraging wild flowers on the south meadow is not regarded with optimism. Despite this we intend to leave a fair area behind the toilets un-mown for three years and we will see if anything develops. If not we will at least have saved on grass cutting costs. Horses on old Fison’s land: The horses on what was Fison’s land are causing us quite a problem. Although not on the meadow itself they are, or were, between it and the railway line. They have destroyed all of the scrub there as well as pushing down the fence to reach the stream. This is damaging the banks which would mean having to ditch them again if it continues. I have written several times to the owners, but they are waiting for planning permission from Mid Suffolk DC before committing to anything. I have some hope now that they might at least repair the fence. BOS Committee: The new BOS committee (formerly management group) have agreed that they may be contacted by anyone in regard to the meadows. The list that follows shows their main responsibilities and gives their home telephone number. Please feel free to call with any query you might have. These are people that you have chosen to run the meadows so please make use of them. Each member of the committee has taken on responsibility for one or more aspects of the trusts work. This should enable us to move forward between meetings and also to spread the work load more evenly. So if you are interested in any particular topic, or have information about it or assistance to offer, please use the list to see who best to contact. The list follows on the next pages John Hooker 7 March 2014 jeh@jolin.plus.com

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Tel: 01473 240843

Mob: 07753617023

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The following was agreed at the BOS Committee meeting in January 2014 for circulation to all members. JOHN HOOKER Tel: 240843 Committee chairman and trustee • chairing committee meetings • membership • publishing newsletters and news articles • producing tenders and contracts for suppliers PETE BRAND Tel: 741127 Treasurer and trustee • keeping accounts and making paymentsmaking payments • negotiating financial arrangements with parish council • arranging insurance Health and safety • maintaining the safety check list and promoting its proper use. • keeping a register of tree checks and outcomes Documentation • keeping web site up to date NIGEL HOWARD Tel: 747006 Company secretary and trustee • • • ANN BUTLER Membership

agendas and minutes of all meetings organising general meetings, AGM and voting procedures.

• Temporarily absent from committee GARETH KEY Tel: 742648 Company chairman and trustee CHARLIE CLARKE Tel: 748772 Meadows and habitat managers: • LINDA SCOTT Liaison

General management of the meadows, car park stream and sluice Tel: 240843

building and maintaining working relationships with bodies such as the SWT, RGT, SCC and MSDC as well as utility companies • establishing and maintaining contact with adjoining landowners • liaison with potential non-commercial suppliers such as prison service DAVID SHACKLETON Tel: 748732 COLIN YOUNG Tel: 747761 Species recording and future projects: •

arranging for a count of current and future species of flora and fauna

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ED GILDERSLEEVES Volunteer work:

Tel: 745218

• establishing a list of potential volunteers noting what they have to offer • setting up working parties in conjunction with meadows management First task to establish working methods and safety rules used by others (NT, WLTs) MIKE RUDKIN Tel: 462066 Public image: Responsible for: • designing a company logo, notice boards and information signs • setting a style for all correspondence and newsletters WAYNE HOLTON Tel: 748180 Grants: •

seeking sources of grant aid and making applications as required

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Bramford Open Spaces Newsletter No. 2