logo Minutes of a Committee meeting
held on 6 September 2017


Attendees: Susan Stobbs(Chair), Sarah Green (Treasurer), Dick Baxter, Ray Gay, Jo Hesslewood, Caroline Lenoury and Cary Parker. Apologies had been received from Ismail Akram and Charles Hattersley.

1. Matters arising from the minutes of the last meeting

There was general consensus that the Strawberry Fair and Midsummer Fair had run smoothly, and that Jon Harris’ walkabout had been very enjoyable.

2. Future Events

Picnic on Sunday 17 September: it was agreed not to put up a general notice in the orchard and to use two tents. The committee were encouraged to bring more soft drinks, as well as other food etc. and folding tables and chairs if available. The Chair, as Health and Safety Officer, will ask the Council to do a sweep for needles etc. before the picnic. Volunteers on Sunday September 10: there will be some bulbs to plant and general tidying. Astra Zenica volunteers Friday 29 September- Dick reported the arrangements as far as he knew them.

3. Council matters

The Chair reported on recent drug related problems in the orchard and there was a useful discussion. A notice giving full contact details for the Council and police will be put on the FOMC noticeboard. The cutting regime on the Common was discussed with a general consensus that there were now too many large patches of nettles: the Chair undertook to raise this with the Council. Dick was encouraged to talk to Kenny about tree planting. It was confirmed that the West Cambridge Committee meeting on 28 September will be discussing homelessness in the City. Antony French is hoping to arrange a Friends Forum meeting soon for all representatives of Open Spaces in the City. The Chair hopes to meet with Alistair Wilson and the police to discuss drug issues next week. Ferry House has been sold and the new owner is keen to get involved with FoMC

4. Orchard matters

Dick reported on the current state of the mowers and it was agreed to let him and Barry try some emergency repairs during the winter before any other decisions were taken. The Chair had a not very productive meeting with Guy Belcher to discuss the orchard entrance. We will be planting more shrubs and spring bulbs during the autumn. The hops are doing well and we have had an excellent crop of fruit.

5. Money matters

The Treasurer reported that we had a balance of £510.52 in the bank and a further £65 in contributions were raised during the walkabout. This is sufficient for what we had budgeted for, but not for any additional expenditure. It was agreed that we should talk to Brunk about a contribution to our funds from their bank account, should this be closed.

6. Biodiversity

The bees have been very active this summer and Susan will talk to Will Beavitt to see whether we can take some honey out of the hive. Sightings of bats have been few, but there are some. Jo reported that the bat boxes should be cleaned annually and this would enable us to see if there are any signs of nesting. No signs of swifts nesting, but there were more birds around this summer.


Susan Stobbs (chair)
8 September 2017.


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