ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING of the Friends of Shrewsbury Park 16 November 2023 at Shrewsbury House, Bushmoor Crescent
WELCOME & MATTERS ARISING FROM 2022 AGM – not covered in the agenda
This year’s calendar was the result of our merchandising survey in January.
Park signage – permanent, informative identification of wildlife, landscape, habitat, views. (Project will be pursued through the Greenwich Neighourhood Fund available through RBG. The plan is to apply in the spring award period
Improve paths in Nature reserve area and removal of camp – will continue next maintenance day.
CHAIR’S REPORT – by Kris Inglis It’s been a year of regrouping for the Friends and the Management committee – being flexible with the Parks and Open Spaces department and encouraging new volunteers to membership and activities. I’d like to give a quick rundown on what DID happen;
FEBRUARY – Daffodil bulb planting across Rowton Road open space with the help of 10th Royal Eltham Scouts; late but successful results. Also some hard work by members clearing the steps to Wrekin Road. I would like to thank Zena and Dave for supervising this activity.
MARCH – Dedication of a bench to our dear friend Sonja O’Sullivan, overlooking the view.
APRIL – Bird Walk led by Tim Rymer
MAY – Dawn Chorus walk, with Tim, which led to discovery of a sparrow hawk nest. Quiz at Shrewsbury House run brilliantly by Geoff and Dee Goodwin.
JUNE – Foraging Walk led by Kevin Godby, expanded the knowledge of this popular pastime.
JULY – Summer Festival, in a new format due to many hiccups and circumstances, turned out to be a happy and inclusive giant picnic atmosphere. Thanks to everyone who helped or simply joined in on the day.
Meadow maintenance day with volunteer teams from Barclays Bank and Scouts, all rallied together by Ruby Shand who is involved with both groups.
AUGUST – Bat Walk led by Les Clark on International Bat Weekend
SEPTEMBER – History Time Walk led by Andy Brockman ending up at Shrewsbury House bar
OCTOBER – Production of 2024 calendar from members contributions. Launched sales in the Park one Saturday
NOVEMBER – Call out for volunteers to spread wood chippings delivered by Council to improve Dothill pathway. Ten people showed up to help!
**Thank you so much to all the walk leaders who volunteer their time and specialised enthusiasm as members of FSP. We’re developing a reputation as a natural park and haven for wildlife thanks to these walks.
TREASURER’S REPORT – by Sandra Bauer, read by Zena Marshall
Since last year, the management committee have made a number of decisions around how to handle the Friends Of Shrewsbury Park finances.
The first decision was to change from NatWest bank where we did not have access to electronic banking, nor a debit card merely a cheque-book. After researching, we decided to go to Metrobank who welcomed community accounts. The new account was opened in July this year.
Secondly we decided to purchase a debit card reader, so that we could take electronic payments at events. We were able to test this when selling our calendars. The SumUp machine also enables us to have an online store. People can order calendars from this website and pay online.
The treasurer has full access to electronic banking and can make transfers. Two other members of the management committee hold debit cards so that they can make payments where necessary.
The new account does mean that we need to limit the amount of cash we take as there are charges for processing cash into the bank account. Wherever possible we would like to move to contactless payments.
To summarise the year’s financial position, we are in a slight deficit when compared to the previous year. However, we have recovered most of the cost of the memorial bench that we had installed earlier this year. There is a clear plan for maximising income, which will enable us to make improvements to the park and continue to hold events.
Accounts for 2022-2023 are available on the website or on request email@example.com
Mowing schedules and concerns have been clarified more than ever this year with the Parks Dept who share the same objectives of preserving the variety of species habitats on Shooters Hill (including the adjacent golf course and farm). You may have seen the big blue tractor, finally mowing the meadow in November. The plan is to start rotation mowing this summer, 1/3 of the area per year. This is the proven and sound approach for plants and insects, the base of a healthy environment for all.
Amenity mowing (keeping grass short for sport and playing) in the field by the carpark, main walk to and including big field, will be continued 3 times a year. Desire line paths that you see around other areas will also be maintained.
*We are always talking with Parks Dept re paths with disability and buggy access.
*We try to keep a balance of the range of park users’ expectations.
*We aim to make the best use of the council’s resources coordinated with FSP volunteers’ time and energy.
ELECTION OF MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
Present committee was introduced and agreed to continue for another year: Sandra Bauer, Alan Deacon, Kristine Inglis, Zena Marshall, Ron Senkus, Iris White – with two brand new members John Rastall and Roy Williams.
The committee was proposed, seconded and voted in unanimously. Any FSP member can volunteer to join the committee, please contact a current member for a chat or email firstname.lastname@example.org any time.
If you feel you could train up for the Treasurer’s position don’t hold back.
OUTDOOR VOLUNTEER GROUP
We are very heartened by a growing number of volunteers for planting and maintenance days this past year. I’d like to build up that bank to call on when needed, for example the November woodchip-spreading marathon!
And your yearly generosity of time for the day of the Summer Festival is what makes that event happen, thank you.
AOB: comments and concerns from attendees – many points and queries shared and answered.