Report on the IMMC meeting held on 17th September 2015 at 7:30pm

                                    at Community Centre, St. Martins

IMMC/Friends of Ifton Meadows and the Shropshire Wildlife Trust to host an open meeting with fungi expert John Hughes.

John’s infectious enthusiasm for his subject kept us all engaged as he disseminated information through a number of self-imposed questions. He spoke about how fungi grow and spread and then posed the problem of whether their fruiting bodies are deadly or delicious. He showed us pictures of many different varieties that are found in Shropshire, several of which are edible, despite their appearance.

 He warned us of the Deathcap, which kills 25 people each year. It has white gills on the underside and a ragged basal stalk. He then went on to talk about Fly Agaric (the red one with white spots ) which is related to the Deathcap. He linked it to the tale of Alice in Wonderland as its hallucinogenic properties are reflected in the story.

The meeting closed at 9.30 after refreshments.                

The follow-up “Fungi Walk” on Ifton Meadows on 27th September which was well attended and very successful. Great numbers of fungi of a large variety of species were found and John’s encyclopaedic knowledge of his subject was enjoyed by all, on the lovely sunny morning.

IMMC/Friends of Ifton Meadows

Minutes of the IMMC meeting held on Tuesday 11th August 2015 at 7:30pm

                                    at Community Centre, St. Martins

Present: Ann Williams, Elizabeth James, Camilla Olah, Bryan Williams, Roy Davis

Circulation: Ann and Bryan Williams, Neil Graham, Elizabeth James, Camilla Olah, Shaun Burkey, Mark Blount, Steve Davenport, Colin and Margaret Chapman, Roy Davis, Dave and Joan Hayes, Nigel Cane-Honeysett, Helen Stollery, Hilary Richards, Claire Ford, Heather Lloyd, Paul Roberts, Sue Worsfold.

Copy e-mailed to Sue Schofield for inclusion on the St.Martins website.

Minutes of the previous meeting were read, agreed and signed.

Fungi Events:Ann showed the poster designed for the Fungi Events in September (17th at7.30pm – talk, 27th at 10.30am – walk). Suggestions for modification were to vary the print size, the enlargement of the photo and the addition of an eye-catching title. Payments will be collected at the door/gate, & cake and beverages will be available on 17th.

Meadows Map:Camilla showed an A3, coloured map of the Meadows, showing the different regions, for display on the notice boards. Ann will try and get 6 colour copies.

Outstanding tasks:Ann will ask Shaun to report back on whether finance will be available to achieve these in the near future.

Tasks include the upgrading of the track to the Mosaic Viewpoint in order to make it smoother and more wheelchair friendly, mowing of the Skylark Mound as previously agreed, mowing of the Events Field, mowing the Railway Meadow after the plants’ seeds have set, help with removing of birch saplings from the Skylark Mound and the eventual straightening of the fence at the Colliery Entrance. She will point out to Shaun that, following the recent spell of dry weather, access to the Skylark Mound would be easier now than after the autumn rains.

Big Local:Following last month’s meeting with Andy Rimmer, the committee will bear in mind the links with other organisations he suggested and the funding that could be available for future tasks. No response is anticipated at the present time.

Monitoring:    This has been continuing, and 16 examples of plants not previously recorded have been identified this summer. The wild marjoram at the western end of the Railway Field has attracted a lot of butterflies and other insects and seeds could be collected and strewn around in the butterfly scallops. Roy pointed out that these will germinate better if trodden into the ground.

Horse Field:We still have no notification of how much of the field has been sold. The line of the footpath crossing the area was discussed and the meeting felt that Sue Schofield’s suggestion for re-routing of the footpath should be endorsed. Roy suggested that the track to the Mosaic Viewpoint should also be designated a “right of way”. Ann will contact Sue, Shaun and Steve Davenport to give our point of view.

The meeting closed at 9.00pm.

Attending, Neil Graham, Elizabeth James , Ann & Bryan Williams

Apologies received from Camilla Olah

Minutes where read, approved and signed.

Matters Arising:

Shropshire Wildlife Trust: Fungi Walk confirmed as Sunday 27th September 2015. Following a discussion it was agreed that the Fungi talk would take place at the Centre before hand - dates put forward where Thursday 17th (preferred date), Tuesday 15th or Wednesday 16th these dates to be sent to John Hughes via Diane Monether and checked with Sue at the Centre on Thursday. Our application for affiliated membership will go to the board in July.

Green Gym will be next Sunday 14th June. Scheduled is maintenance on the notice boards which we have already done and ragwort pull - due to the weather very little is showing so we shall leave it till next month. It was decided that we would use this afternoon to monitor the lower pathway on right of the bridge/Colliery entrance.

Monitoring: copies of monitoring which took place in May was passed around. Pink Campanula needs to be added for May/June this is on the left of the bridge.

 Any other business.

Neil commented on finding a group of people from Cannock on the Meadows recently.

It was also suggested that we do not have the recreation area cut until after the flowers have shed their seeds in the Autumn and we are not at the moment planning any events. This would allow this area to become a wildflower meadow. It was also pointed out that when we usually have a picnic we do so at the top near the mosaic.

Neil also stated that he had seen a small butterfly with red wings and white spots. ? was it a butterfly or a moth.

Meeting Closed.

Since the meeting we have heard from Shaun that there is a proposed 'solar farm'at Pentre Farm adjacent to the Meadows and we have been asked for comments within the next week.After speaking to Shaun we have no further information but something like this is for the WHOLE community to decide and should not be rushed. If you have any comments could you please let me know a.s.a.p. or get in touch with Shaun direct. You can contact him on 07990 08542 or email shaun.burkey@shropshire.gov.uk.

 IMMC/Ifton Meadows

Minutes of meeting held on 12th May 2015 - 7.30 p.m. at St. Martins Community Centre.

Attending, Roy Davis, Elizabeth James , Ann & Bryan Williams

Apologies received from Camilla Olah and Neil Graham.

Minutes where read, approved and signed.

Matters Arising:

Maypole - No further contract was received from All Saints Church, Gobowen after they had been informed that we were prepared to let them have the May pole for their function on  9th May.

Shropshire Wildlife Trust: Ann and Bryan gave a report on their visit this morning with Diane Monther at Shropshire Wildlife Trust centre, Shrewsbury. Following a discussion it was agreed to go ahead with the application. John Hughs - Fungi expert from the Trust had agreed to hold a talk followed a few weeks later by a guided walk around Ifton Meadows LNR. This would be a joint event with Shropshire Wildlife Trust and the fee would be a donation towards the Trust. Walk would take place on Sunday 27th September 2015.

Green Gym on Sunday 9th May - Ann and Bryan, Roy and Sue Worsfold. Work carried out was - ditch's cleaned and excess ivy removed from a number of trees in Prices Dingle. Followed by Monitoring: Sue and Roy where a great help with this. 51 items record in the Dingle.

Monitoring: Monitoring had been done independently by Ann and Bryan and also Roy.  Also by members at Sundays Green Gym see above.

Any other business.

Following emails between Maggie Rowlands, Shaun Burkey and Steve Davenport (which we were copied in) regarding 'Dog poo' on site.  Ann had spoken to Maggie Rowlands to find out what was being  discussed. Maggie stated that she was going to apply to the 'Big Local' for money to buy  bio degradable poo bags and dispensers. She also asked if IMMC would be prepared to be banker for her application. This was put to the meeting and declined.

Discussion that followed re: this topic concluded that giving biodegradable bags was encouraging people not to use the bins. An alternative was for someone maybe Maggie to go into school and explain about health problems caused by dog poo. Educating adults via children. The poo paint suggested by Shaun was thought to be a good idea.

Meeting Closed at approx 9 p.m.

Minutes of the IM MC meeting held on Tuesday 14th April 2015 at 7:30

Present: Ann Williams, Neil Graham, Elizabeth James, Camilla Olah,  Bryan Williams, Roy Davis

Circulation: Ann and Bryan Williams, Neil Graham, Elizabeth James, Camilla Olah, Roy Davis, Sue Worsfold, Shaun Burkey, Mark Blount, Steve Davenport, Colin and Margaret Chapman, Dave and Joan Hayes, Nigel Cane-Honeysett,  Helen Stollery, Hilary Richards, Claire Ford, Heather Lloyd, Paul Roberts.

Copy e-mailed to Sue Schofield for inclusion on the St.Martins website.      

Minutes of the previous meeting were read, agreed and signed.

Green Gym. High winds on Sunday made the planned work on the top impracticable but the wooden notice boards were all treated instead. We were glad to welcome some new helpers.

Flowers in the Dingle. The flag irises are coming out near the old pond area. The daffodils are doing well for their first season, although the English ones with the orange trumpets are taller than expected. There is a good display of primroses on the bank by the stream at the top of the dingle and lots of celandines and wood anemones further down. The bluebells are beginning to show colour.

Maypole. Ann has had a request from All Saints Church in Gobowen to borrow the maypole. This was purchased by Ifton Meadows at considerable expense so it was decided to ask for a £25 deposit and state that any damage or loss should be sorted at their expense. Otherwise we are happy for it to be used.

Shropshire Wildlife Trust. When Ann contacted them previously it appeared that it would cost us £100 to become affiliated members. However, after further investigation it appears that this cost is not relevant to us. Ann will make further contact with Diane, the volunteer co-ordinator, who has shown interest in Ifton Meadows in the past.

Monitoring. Camilla has been going through our monitoring file and noted that our records are rather thin over the last year. Ann suggested that we each do a monitoring walk once or twice a month and record the results on paper to give to Camilla. Records should show in which part of the Meadows the observation was made, what was identified and a possible brief note of anything about the observation, such as abundance or scarcity.

The meeting closed at 8.30pm.

Present: Ann Williams, Neil Graham, Elizabeth James, Camilla Olah,  Bryan Williams

Circulation: Ann and Bryan Williams, Neil Graham, Elizabeth James, Camilla Olah, Shaun Burkey, Mark Blount, Steve Davenport, Colin and Margaret Chapman, Dave and Joan Hayes, Nigel Cane-Honeysett,  Helen Stollery, Hilary Richards, Claire Ford, Heather Lloyd, Paul Roberts.

Copy e-mailed to Sue Schofield for inclusion on the St.Martins website.      

Minutes of the previous meeting were read, agreed and signed.

Colliery Entrance. An emergency repair has been made to the fence and gateway. We were disappointed that this was not the oak fence that had been suggested, but the County had cut the funding.

Price’s Dingle. We still do not know who has been cutting trees in the Dingle. The mystery patch of soil at the top of the Dingle turned out to be the work of moles. The snowdrops were not as prolific this year as in the past. If anyone   has been digging them up, this is illegal.

Hafod visit. The visit to Hafod to view the site and information boards took place as planned. We were impressed with their etched panels of historical data, mounted onto big rocks.

Reed Bed. Having previously decided that we could no longer maintain this area, Neil suggested that the Community Service Group could be asked to clear the area of trees. Neil will ask Shaun about it.

Green Gym. We worked on bramble control on the Brownie Meadow, cutting back the spreading ground cover. This should encourage the flowering plants to spread more freely. There are plenty of brambles on other areas of the site for a good crop of blackberries.

Information Leaflet. Ann, Bryan and Camilla had met one afternoon to advance preparation on the new leaflet. The map was approved but the photos were felt to be too dominant at present. More work remains to be done on this. Early stages of costing the new leaflet were agreed. Ann will get a rough quote and Elizabeth will survey the accounts to see what the previous set cost.

Railway Field. All agreed positively that we should now make urgent strides towards incorporating the Railway Field into the L.N.R. Ann will write to Shaun Burkey, Mark Blount and Steve Davenport requesting immediate action.

The meeting closed at 9.00p.m.    

Minutes of the IMMC meeting held on Tuesday 13th January 2015 at 7:30pm

Present: Ann Williams, Neil Graham, Elizabeth James, Camilla Olah, Bryan Williams

Circulation: Ann and Bryan Williams, Neil Graham, Elizabeth James, Camilla Olah, Shaun Burkey, Mark Blount, Steve Davenport, Colin and Margaret Chapman, Dave and Joan Hayes, Nigel Cane-Honeysett,  Helen Stollery, Hilary Richards, Claire Ford, Heather Lloyd, Paul Roberts.

Copy e-mailed to Sue Schofield for inclusion on the St. Martins website.

Minutes of the previous meeting were read, agreed and signed.

Colliery Entrance. No report from Shaun has been received about the replacement fence. Neil will make enquiries.

Price’s Dingle. It was noted that someone has been cutting down trees. Neil will ask Shaun if he knows anything about it. Snowdrops were in flower by January 11th this year.

Information Boards. The long awaited visit to Hafod to view their boards was arranged for Friday 23rd January. We will meet at the Centre at 11.00 a.m.

Horse Field. We are disappointed that no information has been forthcoming from anyone on this matter.

Table Top Sale. We were pleased to receive the money this generated for us by our provision of refreshments.

Reed Bed. It was decided that we can no longer maintain this area. Neil will talk to Shaun about the tree growth.

Green Gym Schedule.                 February – scrub and bramble clearance from Brownie Meadow

                                        March – butterfly scallops, wildlife corridor and skylark notices

                                         April – bramble clearance on MosaicTop

                                         May – recording flora and fauna on circular route

                                         June – Notice board treatment, ragwort pulling

                                         July – ragwort pulling

                                         August – recording flora and fauna in the Railway Field

                                         September – cover skylark notices, clearance of bramble re-growth

                                         October – tree pruning on Birch Field

                                         November – leaf and drain clearance in the Dingle

                                         December – outstandingtasks

The meeting closed at 8.30 p.m.

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Minutes of the IMMC meeting held

on Tuesday 11th Nov.  2014 at 7:30pm

Present: Ann Williams, Neil Graham, Elizabeth James, Camilla Olah, Bryan Williams

Circulation: Ann and Bryan Williams, Neil Graham, Elizabeth James, Camilla Olah, Shaun Burkey, Mark Blount, Steve Davenport, Colin and Margaret Chapman, Dave and Joan Hayes, Nigel Cane-Honeysett,  Helen Stollery, Hilary Richards, Claire Ford, Heather Lloyd, Paul Roberts.

Copy e-mailed to Sue Schofield for inclusion on the St. Martins website.      

Minutes of the previous meeting were read, agreed and signed.

Colliery Entrance. Shaun is having difficulty engaging contractors for the new fence. Ann has mentioned cycle racks to Shaun. Neil suggested a site alongside the parking bays for the cycle racks. Camilla will look at the racks by Oswestry station to see if these would be of a suitable design for us.

Information Board. Camilla displayed the A3 base map she had prepared and discussion followed about what details to put on it. A base colour of pale green was agreed for the area of the reserve, with a black outline. Three suggested routes for exploring the Meadows were agreed. The longer route would follow the perimeter of the site, the mid-length circuit would go via the mosaic and then down towards Pen-y-Banc before returning via the railway field, and the shortest route would go round the skylark mound. These would be shown on the map in different colours and could be indicated on the ground with a series of coloured posts. Wheelchair access would be highlighted on the map. It was further agreed that the part of the dingle known as Pixie Wood should be labelled on the map. Subjects suggested for photos to go round the edge of the map included skylark, dingy skipper, bumble bee, winter scene, spring flowers in the dingle, fungi, sloes, ragwort with cinnabar moth caterpillars and an oak tree. Ann then showed some anti dog-fouling posters and a picture of a no-cycling board.

Ragwort Bags. Ann has asked Shaun if he could get the bags removed from the colliery entrance.

Green gyms. 250 wild daffodil bulbs were planted on Nov 2nd but arrangements to plant the remainder on Nov 9th went awry. Further arrangements will be made shortly.

The Pond. Camilla suggested that the present channel be maintained, allowing the multiple habitats of watercourse, island and bog to develop naturally. Elizabeth agreed but Neil was vehemently opposed as he felt that this led to flooding. Ann suggested a compromise by removing the stone where the water enters the pond area and seeing what happens. The stone could be returned to its current position later if this option was preferred. Bryan and Neil will get the stone shifted.

The Horse Field. Ann had sent a letter to Mark Blount addressing our concerns over the proposed land sale, with copies to Shaun Burkey, Steve Davenport and the Shropshire Council legal department. Shaun, Steve and the legal department have acknowledged receipt of the letter.

Forthcoming Events. We will provide refreshments for the table-top sale at the Centre on 22nd November to raise funds for the Meadows. Ann had received a phone call about the Big Get Together at the school on 15th November, but this was too short notice for us to be able to take an active part. Neil will try and put out some leaflets there.

Normal business was completed by 8.30pm with the agreement that next month there will be no meeting at the Centre, but we will gather at The Keys for our annual dinner.

Neil then introduced a discussion about the Parish Plan, which persisted until the meeting finally closed at 9.30pm.                   

Annual report for IMM/Friends of Ifton Meadows

November 2013 to October 2014.

Lantern Parade

2013 lantern parade had to be cancelled due to high winds which damaged marquees fortunately Festival fireworks, band and Brownies did not require compensation so we were able to return £461.70 to St.Martins Parish Council. New poles were purchased to repair one marquee in December.

 Future Parades

Following the loss of half of our volunteers it was decided that we needed to try and get more helpers. With this in mind two meetings were held at the Centre during March.Posters, flyers and newspaper articles where used to promote these events but insufficient interest was shown. Due to lack of support we reluctantly decided that we could not go on and would not be organising any more Parades.

Green Gym

A shortage of volunteers this year as meant that we have not always been able to keep on top of everything but we have tried. Cutting brambles, pulling ragwort plus many other jobs is not something for the faint heart

 Colin Chapman completed laying part of the wildlife corridor by Pen y Bank making a new pathway at the same time. The new hedge looks good and our thanks go to Colin for his hard work.

Land Issue:

During last year the Railway field was included into the site and this is going from strength to strength. A wild flower meadow in the making.

Mark Blount from Shropshire Council came to our meeting In November 2013 to discuss the land known as the Horse field. Since then the council have decided to offer a portion of this land for sale.

Prices Dingle

Problems with the pond and concrete gabions are still on-going.

A new section of boardwalk and new drainage has been installed.

On 17th July we visited the new L.N.R. in Oswestry.  We were welcomed by the Friends of Shelf Bank who then gave us a guided tour of the site.

On 27th July we had an open picnic at Ifton Meadows. The weather was warm and sunny and those that did come along had a good afternoon relaxing and playing boules.

2014 saw a new magazine in St. Martins called ‘Village Life’. With Camilla’s help I have written three articles under the heading ‘Friends of Ifton Meadows’.

Thanks to Pentre Nurseries who have again supported us by donating £70 from the sale of  books.

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                  Friends of Ifton Meadows

On Saturday 27th July we had an open picnic at Ifton Meadows sun shone for us and those who attended had a pleasant afternoon.

Unfortunately the cinnabar caterpillars never arrived so our idea of bio-control of the ragwort on site did not materialise. However, on a positive note we did find a small number of home grown caterpillars. This is a good sign because we have in the past had a slightly different variety of cinnabar moth. Hopefully next year will see an even larger hatch.

You will have noticed work taking place to the pathway in Prices Dingle. The path at the bottom near the railings has been raised and extra drainage has been installed. We hope this will reduce flooding of this area in the winter. In the future work will also be taking place in and around the pond.

We have been asked to have a kite festival. If you would like us to go ahead with holding such an event please send us an e-mail or give us a call.

We are always looking for extra practical assistance, so if anyone would like to help us at the Green Gyms we will be on site from 1:30 on the 2nd Sunday of each month (weather permitting) so come and join us.

If you want to know what is happening why not join us at our monthly meetings on the 2nd Tuesday of each month (excluding December) 7. 30 p.m. at St.Martins Centre.

More information and photographs at st.martins-online.org.uk and on our facebook group page "Friends of Ifton Meadows".

Contact e-mail:  beawilliams52@btinternet.com, Tel: 01978 710327 or via our facebook page

September 2014

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Minutes of the IMMC meeting held on Wednesday 10th September  2014

Present: Ann Williams, Neil Graham, Bryan Williams, Camilla Olah

Apologies: Elizabeth James

Circulation: Ann and Bryan Williams, Neil Graham, Elizabeth James, Camilla Olah, Shaun Burkey, Mark Blount, Steve Davenport, Colin and Margaret Chapman, Dave and Joan Hayes, Nigel Cane-Honeysett,  Helen Stollery, Hilary Richards, Claire Ford, Heather Lloyd, Paul Roberts.

Copy e-mailed to Sue Schofield for inclusion on the St.Martins website.

No meeting was held in August as several members of the committee were away.

The marquees have been sorted and test-erected. One whole and one fragile marquee were constructed from a combination of existing remains plus the new poles. Neil will visit Dave and Joan re their marquees, but our storage space is limited.

The picnic went off well. Those who came enjoyed the view, games and the sunshine.

The village life article has been submitted and Ann has asked for it to be also uploaded onto our website.

The cinnabar moth caterpillars never arrived, despite numerous attempts to follow up the order.

Neil had a meeting with Shaun Burkey, walking around The Meadows. Neil reported on the following topics they discussed:

For the paths - stone will be delivered.

The Colliery entrance fence will be replaced with split oak fencing, which will go straight across to provide additional parking. We will ask for the fence to be four rails high and for cycle racks to be installed at the same time.

The Skylark Mound – Shaun will arrange for the south side to be cut this year where the sapling growth is most vigorous. We will leave the skylark notices in place this winter but put bags over them to mask them. This will make it much quicker to renew the notices next spring.

Survey – Shaun has asked us to survey some of the visitors to the Meadows. The committee found some of the questions irrelevant but will try to complete several at the Green Gyms.

Information boards and leaflets – Shaun will be able to fund the replacement of the faded and outdated information board by the bungalow entrance and also new information boards at the Colliery entrance, plus the production of a new leaflet with a better map.

The pond – Shaun will fund the digging out of the silt in the pond and Neil will look into finding someone to do the job. Neil and Bryan will also investigate the possible digging out of a scrape at the back of the Events Field with a view to providing a more diverse habitat.

The Dingle footpath has been upgraded with overflows installed at the main areas of problem drainage. The committee will monitor the success of the project over the coming winter.

Monitoring – Shaun reminded us to keep monitoring the flora and fauna on the site. He will look into seeing if the site might be good enough to apply for National Nature Reserve status and rules relating to this.

Countryside and Paths Volunteer Forum – Shaun has asked for someone from the Meadows to attend. Neil will go if the confirmed time is suitable.

The Horse Field remains an outstanding issue, about which we would like to be updated. A further letter will be composed and sent to the Shropshire authorities.

Ann reminded the committee that the next meeting will be the AGM. The meeting then closed at 8.45pm.

Minutes of the IMMC meeting held on Thursday 22nd October 2015 at 7:30pm

                                    at Community Centre, St. Martins

Present: Ann Williams, Elizabeth James, Camilla Olah, Bryan Williams and later joined by Roy Davis    

Circulation: Ann and Bryan Williams, Neil Graham, Elizabeth James, Camilla Olah, Shaun Burkey, Mark Blount, Steve Davenport, Colin and Margaret Chapman, Roy Davis, Dave and Joan Hayes, Nigel Cane-Honeysett,  Helen Stollery, Hilary Richards, Claire Ford, Heather Lloyd, Paul Roberts, Sue Worsfold.

Copy e-mailed to Sue Schofield for inclusion on the St.Martins website.        

Minutes: The September minutes were read.  Omissions at the beginning and end were noted and will be rectified.

Mowing:  Concerns were expressed at the excessive mowing on the Skylark Mound. We had expected 1/3 to be cut, not all of it, and it was felt that the cut was too low and may affect the re-growth of some grass types. Complaints about this had also been received from several concerned members of the public.

Concerns were also expressed regarding the railway field, where the grass cuttings were left on the ground rather than being picked up. Other grass cuttings had also been dumped on top of the brambles instead of being removed.

Fungi: The fungi talk and walk were much appreciated.

 

Green Gym:  The next green gym will be on November 8th at 2.00pm – later than usual because of Remembrance Day. We will work on Colin’s hedge by Pen y Banc.

The meeting closed at 9.00pm.

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Minutes of the IMMC meeting held on Tuesday 8th July  2014

Present: Ann Williams, Neil Graham, Bryan Williams, Camilla Olah

Circulation: Ann and Bryan Williams, Neil Graham, Elizabeth James, Camilla Olah, Shaun Burkey, Mark Blount, Steve Davenport, Colin and Margaret Chapman, Dave and Joan Hayes, Nigel Cane-Honeysett, Rita and Duncan Jowett, Helen Stollery, Hilary Richards, Maggie Rowlands, Claire Ford, Heather Lloyd,  Stuart Jermy, Paul Roberts.

Copy e-mailed to Sue Schofield for inclusion on the St.Martins website.

The minutes of the previous meeting were read, agreed and signed.

Thursday 24th July – Alex will attend instead of Camilla to help sort and label marquee poles.

Sunday 27th July - “Picnic on the Meadows”.  Ann is producing a poster.

An article for “Village Life” has been submitted.                       

Cinnabar moth caterpillars have still not arrived from the suppliers. Neil will contact Shaun Burkey about this and other outstanding issues:

Skylark Mound – no mowing required this year, but one third is to be mown and grass collected in September next year.

Price’s Dingle – young people have been partying at the top of the dingle, breaking down a fence and leaving rubbish around. The C.S.O. has been informed.

Dingle Footpath – a progress report would be appreciated.

The Pond – we are awaiting the work to commence for maintaining water flow.

Paths in general – more stone has been requested for path improvement in boggy areas.

 Colliery Entrance   the wobbly posts  need urgent attention.

The Horse Field -  Neil reported that the sale of the garden end of the Horse Field has not yet gone through. Ann and Neil will compose a letter to Mark Blount, re-iterating our concerns, especially future vehicular access across the field.

The meeting closed at 8.45 pm.      

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Ifton Meadows

June saw us planting two ‘wild Shropshire plum trees’ grown from cuttings taken from a local hedge.

The trees were planted in the ‘Brownies Meadow’at the same time we  cut back the new bramble growth  we need to do this regularly so that the  ‘common orchid’ found there can flourish.

June saw an early start for our monthly meeting when we joined the ‘Friends of Shelf Bank’ for a guided walk around their newly designated Local Nature Reserve in Oswestry. Members then returned to St.Martins Centre to complete the normal business and enjoy a welcome cup of tea.

 We had hoped that by know we would have started our new anti-ragwort programme. i.e. releasing a large number of cinnabar moth caterpillars but so far they have not been delivered although we were told that they had started to lay at the beginning of June. So all I can say is that I hope they arrive shortly or we will be back to digging it by hand again. A thankless job that we have been doing for several years.

 Most of us are now aware of the crisis in the honeybee population. But bumblebees have been much in evidence this year, both in our gardens and on The Meadows. Take a walk on the paths around the skylark mound or through the railway field and you may well see bumblebees gathering food from the flowers. If you look carefully you will see that there are many different types of bumblebee. You might spot a red-tailed bumblebee which lives in social colonies and forages from a wide range of plants. Or you could see a tree bumblebee which has a distinctive colour pattern and has recently spread northwards from the south-east. It has an orange furry upper body, a black back and a white bum. There are always lots of things to see on The Meadows and a leisurely stroll is a good way to spot them.

If anyone is interested in helping, we will be on site on 2nd Sunday of each month (weather permitting) so come and join us.

Fancy a picnic? Why not join the Friends of Ifton Meadows from 12 noon on Sunday 27th July up by the mosaic? This is a “bring your own food and drink” social – ALL WELCOME.

More information at st.martins-online.org.uk and our Facebook page = Friends of Ifton Meadows.

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Minutes of the IMMC meeting held on Tuesday 13th May 2014

Present: Ann Williams, Neil Graham, Elizabeth James, Bryan Williams, Camilla Olah

Circulation: Ann and Bryan Williams, Neil Graham, Elizabeth James, Camilla Olah, Shaun Burkey, Mark Blount, Steve Davenport, Colin and Margaret Chapman, Dave and Joan Hayes, Nigel Cane-Honeysett, Rita and Duncan Jowett, Helen Stollery, Hilary Richards, Maggie Rowlands, Claire Ford, Heather Lloyd,  Stuart Jermy, Paul Roberts

The minutes of the previous meeting were read. Agreed and signed.

Camilla reported the reading of Ann’s statement from IMMC to the Annual Parish Meeting on 17th April. Ann informed the committee that she had contacted all the people who had recently expressed an interest in the lantern parade and told them that it is cancelled.

The new section of boardwalk in the dingle was discussed. It was felt that the quote that Shaun had obtained was very expensive and it was a pity that finances did not stretch to meet the cost of the more durable recycled plastic boards. However, Ann will ask Shaun to go ahead with what he can afford.

Ann has sent an article about The Meadows for inclusion in the new magazine Village Life.

Emily has been in touch and would like to do some volunteering . We look forward to seeing her at the green gyms. This month we had cleared around the planted trees on the Birch Field.

Neil and Camilla expressed appreciation for the magnificent display of bluebells in the dingle   this year. They have now been replaced by a carpet of wild garlic.

Dates for future events were then established. There will be a Volunteer Day at Minsterley on June 3rd. The committee meeting on Tuesday 10th June will be at the earlier time of 6.30 for a visit to the new LNR in Oswestry. There will be a Summer Picnic on Sunday 27th July at 12 noon, weather permitting. Time will be set aside in June or July to sort out the marquee but additional helpers will need to be recruited for this.

Neil agreed to collect the Ifton Meadows boards from the museum in Oswestry.

Ann will contact members of the committee when the cinnabar moth caterpillars arrive, to make arrangements for their distribution.

The meeting closed at 8.30 pm.

Monthly Meeting of IMMC at St.Martins Centre 7.30 p.m. on 12th February, 2014

Apologies from Camilla arrived next day.

In attendance Neil Graham and Ann & Bryan Williams.

Minutes read, agreed and signed.

Thanks where given to Neil and Camilla for their work at the Green Gym – raking up grass on skylark mound. Neil stated that more needs to be done before skylark breeding season starts. He then stated that he would take a wheelbarrow down to try and remove that already raked.

It was decided that we need to have a site visit with Shaun regarding the deterioration of the gabions.

The money that Shaun has received for the site will help but will probably not be sufficient to cover all the work. Sandbags have been used in the past and maybe this might be an option.

Confirmation of the order for ‘cinnabar moth caterpillars’ has at last been received. They should arrive sometime in May.

It was agreed that the Railway field should be included in the LNR status of the site a.s.a.p.  This should be raised with Shaun.

Lantern Parade: An open meeting will be arranged for 26th March with invitations to Schools, Churches and everyone who has shown an interest in the past. We have lost half of our volunteers and can no longer take on this event without a large number of new volunteers. This will be two weeks after our monthly meeting which is on 11th March. Posters etc., to be ready for this meeting.

Meeting closed.

Present: Ann Williams, Neil Graham, Elizabeth James, Bryan Williams, Camilla Olah

Circulation: Ann and Bryan Williams, Neil Graham, Elizabeth James, Camilla Olah, Shaun Burkey, Mark Blount, Steve Davenport, Colin and Margaret Chapman, Dave and Joan Hayes, Nigel Cane-Honeysett, Rita and Duncan Jowett, Helen Stollery, Hilary Richards, Maggie Rowlands, Claire Ford, Heather Lloyd,  Stuart Jermy, Paul Roberts.

Copy e-mailed to Sue Schofield for inclusion on the St.Martins website.

The minutes of the previous meeting were read. Agreed and signed.

The members met at St Martins Centre at 6.30pm and went to Oswestry to meet with a group from the newly designated L.N.R. at Shelf Bank. We enjoyed a guided tour round the 7 acre site behind the medical centre and agreed to promote relations between the two groups. IMMC members then returned to St Martins Centre for the monthly meeting.

Diary dates were noted as follows:-                                                                                                                                 

 Thursday 17th July       Shelf Bank Fun Day                                                                      

  Thursday 24th July       2.00pm   Sort out poles for the marquees and label them                 

   Sunday 27th July       12 noon  Picnic on The Meadows, with Shelf Bank invited to join

Ann reported on a meeting with Shaun about the boardwalk in the Dingle. Shaun now has another suggestion for improving the footway and will arrange a further site visit. Ann has stressed the importance of maintaining good drainage under any further walkway.

Ann reported that the cinnabar moth caterpillars are late hatching this year but the eggs have been laid and await development.

Ann asked for suggestions for an article in the next issue of Village Life. Topics raised included the work of the Green Gym sessions, the meeting with the Shelf Bank group, bumblebees and the ragwort problem.

Neil was reminded to collect the Ifton Meadows boards from the museum in Oswestry and to arrange for the remaining “new faces” posters to be removed from the village notice boards.

The meeting closed at 8.40pm