I am pleased to advise that at a well attended AGM the following officers of the committee were unanimously re-elected to the following positions:
Chair Tony Bedford
Secretary Janice Robertson
Treasurer Pauline Studman
I have attached my report below for information.
I would also like to thank Sarah Griffiths from the Parks Trust for coming along and updating us on the Parks Trusts plans for the reserve and other PT land over the next 12 months - I look forward to seeing many of you at our various open days and events throughout the coming year.
Friends of Linford Lakes Nature Reserve
Annual General Meeting 15thMay 2019
Officers and Committee
The Officers of FoLLNR have remained unchanged since the last AGM. Saffron Summerfield has now resigned from the Committee due to other commitments but will continue to be involved whenever possible.
Chair Tony Bedford
Secretary Janice Robertson
Treasurer Pauline Studman
Committee Members are currently:
Parks Trust Representatives include:
Election of Officers
Our constitution states that the elected officers shall serve for a term of one year and thereafter be elected at the AGM.
This year I will be standing for re-election as Chair, Janice Robertson as Secretary and Pauline Studman as Treasurer.
I would like to take this opportunity to offer special thanks to Janice and Pauline for their work as Secretary and Treasurer respectively, to Roy Platten for the work he has done in organizing our events over the last year and to Pauline and Neil for once again being at the heart of all our Open Sundays by running the “Catering Department”.
Thanks too to all the Committee Members who have given up their time to help organize, plan and manage events throughout the year and of course a very special thanks to our very kind Cake Bakers and donators.
I am pleased to advise that our membership has remained stable over the last year and still stands at around 400. Due to General Data Protection Regulations it is no longer possible for The Parks Trust to pass details of new permit holders to FoLLNR so we now rely on posters, our website and word of mouth to recruit new members - so please do mention us if you get into conversation with new visitors to the reserve.
FoLLNR Activities since the last AGM
The FoLLNR Committee has continued to meet regularly since its formation to discuss and plan (in agreement with The Parks Trust), conservation tasks, events and fundraising activities.
We continue to hold Open Sundays on the third Sunday of every month throughout the year. Attendance at these events has continued to grow and we regularly host over 100 guests and members.
We also continued to organise and host various events. During the last year these have included guided walks, talks, presentations and the now infamous Fish & Chip Quiz Night courtesy of Keith Gander. As in previous years we have hosted the popular “Discovering Wildlife” Summer of Fun event in co-ordination with Great Linford Parish Council.
We have continued to organise Bat and Moth evenings and thanks go to Martin Kincaid, Andy Harding and Gordon Redford for making these events so successful.
We should also mention some of the special interest groups available to FoLLNR members led by The Parks Trust including the Mammal, Bee and Butterfly Monitoring Teams.
Bird ringing by the local BTO group has again continued on a monthly basis throughout the year and, when possible, bird ringing has been co-ordinated to take place on an Open Sunday so that visitors can watch and ask questions.
Our Flickr site currently features just under 4300 images, although under new Flickr rules some older images have disappeared.
I have tried to maintain our Blog Site (fohescnews.blogspot.co.uk) which was set up in March 2012 to communicate news of views, events, sightings etc. and I hope it will continue to be an important part of our communication system. The sightings list within the blog has been kept up to date and we welcome feedback on any species we have missed. The blog has now had over 62,000 hits since its inception.
Practical Work Parties
We have averaged at least one work party per month over the last year and our most notable achievement has been the completion of the new Sand Martin nesting bank– “The Sand Castle”.
We have also carried out our usual tasks including:
Clearing scrub and cutting back overgrowing trees around the reserve, keeping paths clear, seeding meadow flowers and planting and relocating small trees, installing nest boxes and bird feeder stations, maintaining seating benches around the reserve, painting tables, benches and tidying the front of house, repairing and cleaning hides.
Special thanks must go to David Carter for his work in and around the front garden and to Neil Studman, Alan Clarke and Simon and William Bunker along with their team of willing volunteers for their work on the “Sand Castle”, along with all our other Sunday Volunteers, for their skills and energy on a variety of tasks around the reserve.
I would also like to thank the Milton Keynes Green Gym for the work they carry out around the site.
Our primary sources of funding continue to be the sales of refreshments, second-hand books, the occasional calendar and other sundry items at the Open Sundays and events.
Fundraising has enabled us to keep the reserve supplied with bird seed for the feeders and to provide money for tools, work materials and support various projects. It has enabled us to contribute to the cost of the “Sand Castle” and to purchase a new petrol strimmer/brushcutter and the appropriate protective equipment.
BTO Bird Ringing Group
Over the past 12 months Kenny Cramer and his group have conducted around 30 ringing sessions at Linford. During the course of these sessions they ringed just over 1000 birds.
Already during this Spring, ringing has indicated that the nature reserve continues to be a hot spot for a wide range of warblers and those ringed this year include:
Blackcap, Cetti’s Warbler, Chiffchaff, Garden Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat and Willow Warbler.
This year’s re-traps have shown that birds first ringed 5 years ago continue to turn up at the nature reserve.
These ringing records prove - if proof were needed – that Linford Lakes nature reserve continues to be one of the most valuable wildlife assets in North Bucks and how important it is to maintain the special measures that have been put in place to protect it.
Working with the Parks Trust
We must of course also thank the Management and Staff of The Parks Trust, who give great support and recognition to FoLLNR and carry out the maintenance tasks and projects that are beyond the resources of volunteers like ourselves.
I and other members of the Committee maintain regular communication with The Parks Trust to discuss work plans, projects and ideas and have a good working relationship based on mutual aims and goals.
I would particularly like to thank Martin Kincaid who has again been very supportive, along with Phil Bowsher, Sarah Griffiths and Carla Boswell who have given great support particularly with health and safety, insurance and other administrative issues.
Since the planning application for around 250 houses on the land adjacent to the nature reserve was refused by the Planning Inspector in March 2018, the condition of the land around the fishing lakes has deteriorated to an appalling level. The land is privately owned and with the exception of care for a number of trees covered by Tree Preservation Orders there is little anyone can do to improve the situation. Clearly the best solution would be for The Parks Trust to acquire the land to be run as part of - or in concert with – the nature reserve. Much will depend as always on cost, funds and the owner’s willingness to dispose of the land he now appears to treat so cruelly.
We will continue to:
· Build on the excellent foundations we have laid down and grow the membership of the Friends Group, so that the members may have a strong voice in helping influence the future of the site.
· Work on agreed tasks and projects as outlined in the Site Management Plan to maintain and enhance the condition of the site for wildlife and visitors.
· To explore the opportunities for activities available on Open Sundays, walks, events and special interest meetings to meet the interests of the membership.
· To agree with The Parks Trust and the membership any plans for future projects and possibilities for enhancing the site habitat and members’ enjoyment of our environment and wildlife.
· Strongly oppose any threats to the habitat, wildlife and our members’ enjoyment of the site and to encourage our partners The Parks Trust to do the same.