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West Fife Woodlands Group

Minutes of July 6, 2017 (PDF file)


West Fife Woodlands Group

Minutes of Meeting

Held at Blairhall Community Centre: Thursday 01 June 2017


Attendance:

Stan Welch, Ronnie Collins, John Rogers, Andy Trumper, Hilda Carmichael,

Maggie Dalgleish, Alistair Hendry, David Welch.


1. Chair’s Welcome

Chair Stan Welch welcomed all to the meeting.


2. Apologies

Frank Waterworth, Peter & Liz McMullan, Lynda Milne, Alan McGuckin.


3. Minutes of Previous Meeting 06/04/17

Proposed by Alistair Hendry, Seconded by Stan Welch.


4. Matters Arising

None.


5. Floor Limit expenditure since previous meeting:

The purchase of a second container unit had been approved at previous monthly meetings as an urgent requirement for the additional storage of tools. Enquiries had confirmed the cost of a used container through normal suppliers was £1,200.00 upwards. Therefore the recent opportunity by the group to purchase one via a contact at STRC for £600.00 plus £200.00 delivery charges had been readily accepted. The container had been delivered in May and whilst it required some TLC work to ensure it was fit for purpose as a secure storage unit, it was agreed by all that the purchase has been a worthwhile investment by the group. The total cost of the container purchase at £800.00 including the £200.00 delivery charge is therefore recorded in the minutes for the purpose of an audit record of expenditure.


6. Treasurer’s Report

In the absence of Frank W, Treasurer, John R provided a report on the group’s current financial standing. Excluding project funds in the account, the availability of funds for day to day running costs and the impending renewal of insurance required additional funding to be sought to maintain the group’s viability in the long term.

Andy T agreed to source possible funders.

Action: Andy T


7. Correspondence

Details had been received on the annual Fife Access Forum to be held on Tuesday 13th June at Glenrothes. Stan W, Ronnie C and Andy T indicated they would attend to represent the group.

John R advised that he had received a communication from the RSPB to advise the group had been nominated to enter the Community Initiative Award section of RSPB’s Nature of Scotland’s Awards 2017. He intimated that he would complete the entry form.

Action: John R

Stan W reported that following the presentation at the AGM by Jackie Watson from the Lothian Bat Group, a member of the Kinross and Perth Bat group had advised that they were prepared to erect bat boxes at Valleyfield Woodland Orchard Garden.

He had spoken to IFLI regarding possible funding for the items. Provided there are funds remaining after the expenditure of all items due to be purchased during Year 4 of the project, any surplus may be used to purchase bat boxes.


8. FCS update

Through funding provided by FCS, two members of the group have completed a British Red Cross First Aid Course and another two members have successfully completed a C&G NPTC course on the safe use of brushcutters and trimmers. Well done to all concerned.

John R reported that FCS wished to undertake a safety audit on the group’s safety procedures. A date for the audit has still to be agreed. He and Andy T agreed to complete the audit on behalf of the group.

Action: John R, Andy T


9. Proposed organisational change to the group’s status.

In the absence of Alan McG it was agreed that this item would be carried over to the July meeting.


10. Woodland workout procedures

Andy T briefed the group on worksafe procedures he suggested the group needed to adopt at workouts. These procedures were necessary not only to comply with the group’s insurance policy but to improve the safe working for all members. It was recognised that members attended workouts on a voluntary basis but he hoped that the safety improvements would be accepted as essential and of safe practice when using power and other hazardous tools.


11. Woodland Workouts – scheduled activities to next meeting

The planned activities for five Mondays are as follows:

05 June:

Commence preparation and painting of new storage container.

Prune perimeter hedge at Orchard.


12 June:

Continue preparation and painting of the new storage container.

West Bing – remove and cutback regeneration on paths and at viewpoint.


19 June

Continue painting and preparation of the new storage container.

East Bing – remove and cutback regeneration on paths.


26 June

Reinstate path between Saline and Steelend.


03 July

Reinstate a path at Balgownie Woods,


Total workout hours completed since previous monthly meeting: TBA at July meeting.

Total workout hours since 05/09/16: TBA at July meeting.



12. Blairhall / Balgownie Path project update

Match funding applications had been submitted to FET and LEADER. A provisional funding offer had been received from FET. A decision on the LEADER application was not expected until August.


13 Orchard Garden Project update Year 4

A contractor (MW Groundworks) has been appointed to construct the community area and a date for the work to commence would be agreed as soon as possible.

John R advised there was additional funding available to a maximum of £2,000 for a launch or celebration event to be held involving the local community. All members were asked to put their thinking caps on to provide suggestions at the next meeting as to what kind of event could be held.

Stan W advised that an Interpretation Board is to be provided at the orchard by IFLI. The group would be consulted at the design and content stage.

The pruning of plum and other stone fruit trees requires to be carried out during July.


14. AOCB:

Saline/Steelend woodland path

Following discussion by Ronnie C for WFW, and Donald Murdoch for Saline Environmental Group, it was agreed that a path from Saline Golf Club to Steelend would be reinstated to provide a walking route for use by the local community.

A Monday workout (26 June) by group members would commence the work required at the Steelend section of path. An additional workout on a Saturday morning would be arranged to encourage members of Saline community to join with WFW members and participate in the work involved to improve the path from the Saline end.


15. Date of next meeting

The next meeting of the group will on Thursday 06 July 2017 commencing

7pm at Blairhall Community Centre.

Meeting ended 9pm.

Minutes prepared and completed by John Rogers, Secretary, West Fife Woodlands.

 

 


West Fife Woodlands Group

Minutes of Meeting
Held at Blairhall Community Centre: Thursday 06 April 2017

Attendance:
Stan Welch, Ronnie Collins, Frank Waterworth, John Rogers, Alistair Hendry,
Peter McMullan, Alan McGuckin

1. Chair’s Welcome
Chair Stan Welch welcomed all to the meeting.

2. Apologies
Andy Trumper, Hilda Carmichael, Maggie Dalglish, Liz McMullan, David Welch.

3. Minutes of Previous Meeting 02/03/17
Proposed by Alistair Hendry. Seconded by Peter McMullan.

4. Matters Arising
None.

5. Floor Limit expenditure since previous meeting:
The purchase of a hayrake costing £658.00 for the wildflower meadow grass at the Orchard had been approved by IFLI as part of the Orchard garden project Year 3 costs and therefore does not require prior approval by the Management Committee. It is noted in the minutes for the purpose of an audit record of the expenditure.
The agreement by the Management Committee for a payment of £400.00 to arrange for a contractor to clean the mud surface from several of the West Bings paths using a small JCB machine had been obtained by means of a round robin email to committee members. Authority to undertake the work had also been obtained from Fife Council and all the paths identified had been cleaned over a two day period.

6. Treasurer’s Report
Frank W provided a report on the group’s financial account.

7. Correspondence
Stan W advised that he had received a communication from John Nolan, an author originally from Blairhall. John is in the process of writing a book titled “20 Relaxing West Fife Walks”. One of the walks listed is the Blairhall to Balgownie path constructed by the group. The author has indicated that any monetary proceeds he receives from the sales of the book he will donate to West Fife Woodlands.

8. FCS Update
John R informed the meeting that arrangements had been made for members Angela Waterworth and Peter McMullan to attend a Red Cross First Aid course on the 24th April 2017 at the Gyle Centre, Edinburgh.
A brushcutter training 2-day course has been agreed for members Andy Batham and Andy Trumper to attend on 10/11 May 2017 at the FCS Area Office, Blairadam. Funding for the training will be provided by the FCS Community Fund. A request for funds to purchase power and hand tools has been added to the funding application.


9. Proposed organisational change to the group’s status.
Following brief discussions at previous monthly meetings, the group are actively considering changing from a community group to a charity or company. Alan McG provided a briefing on the possible changes the group would have to comply with to meet the criteria of either status. Whilst the workload initially to complete the registration process would be quite involved, it was not anticipated that it would continue to be as such after the initial setting-up process had been completed. Agreement by all present that the proposal should be on the agenda for further discussion at the next monthly meeting. Alan McG and John R informed the meeting that they would be willing complete the application administration if the group agreed to proceed with any change.

10. Annual Work Activity Schedule – proposed update
Frank W briefed members on some minor changes he had made following discussion at the March meeting to the work activity annual schedule. The updated schedule was accepted for future reference on workout planning.

11. Woodland Workouts – scheduled activities to next meeting
Due to the AGM being the next meeting there will be eight Mondays available for workouts prior to the next monthly meeting 01 June:
The planned activities are as follows:

10 April: Complete clearing regeneration growth on the proposed new path route to Devilla from the Old Drove Road.

17 April: Wildflower meadow grass cut and removal of cuttings at the Orchard garden.

24 April: Complete grass cutting work at the Orchard.
Cut grass at the green located at Woodhead Steadings and tidy surrounding regeneration growth..

01 May: Cut grass and prune back regeneration growth on the High Valleyfield to Culross path. Post meeting note: Workout cancelled due to Public Holiday.

08 May; Schools “Blossom Event” at the Orchard. Three primary schools attending: St Serfs, Culross, and Torryburn. If sufficient members available and not required to assist at the blossom event, work is to commence on trimming the perimeter hedge surrounding the orchard.

15 May } to be arranged following the AGM.
22 May } as above
29 May } as above

The total workout hours completed by members since the previous meeting were not available.
Post meeting note: Total workout hours to date will be advised at the June meeting.
Action: John R.

12. Blairhall / Balgownie Path project update
Stan W advised that meetings held with the respective landowners had been very positive. Progress on the funding applications was continuing and an estimate of total costs was being prepared by Gordon Walker, Project Manager.

13 Orchard Garden Project update Year 4
John R informed the meeting that tendering documents for construction work on the community and school areas had been issued. Bids for the work were required to be submitted by early May and the appointed contractor would be expected to commence the work during the first week of June.
Pupils from three primary schools St Serfs, Culross, and Torryburn will be attending the schools’ “Blossom Event” on Monday 08 May to be led by Margaret Miller, Schools Officer, Forth Valley Orchards Initiative. Two separate events to be held during the morning, both with duration of one hour each. St Serfs pupils will walk from the school to the Orchard to arrive at 9.30am Bus transport to convey Culross and Torryburn pupils has been arranged to arrive at 11am. A toilet facility for the school visitors has been agreed with the STRC.

14. Snowdrop Festival – Final review 2017
Total public donations gratefully received from the walks amounted to £368.13. After a small deduction by STRC for refreshment costs at the event, the remaining sum will be divided evenly between the two groups and used as a contribution by both towards their annual running costs.

15. AOCB
Following discussion at previous meetings, on how the group’s Secretary’s administration could be shared, John R proposed that an Assistant Secretary position be created. The post would be open to nominations from all members and whoever was elected would commence after the forthcoming AGM. The proposal was agreed.

Ronnie C confirmed that Jackie Watson from the Lothian Bat Group had agreed to be the guest speaker at the AGM. She had requested a projector and screen is available for her presentation.
Action: John R to arrange loan of equipment.

Peter McM asked if the group would be interested in submitting a small article for the Culross and Low Valleyfield Newsletter. The article could be a brief summary of the group’s current activities and be used to encourage recruitment of new members. There is a small charge of £15.00 for an entry in the newsletter and the next edition will be published in the Autumn. Consideration to be given to the idea after further discussion by the management committee.

16. Date of next meeting
The next meeting of the group will on Thursday 01 June 2017 commencing
7pm at Blairhall Community Centre.

Meeting ended 9pm.

Minutes prepared and completed by John Rogers, Secretary, West Fife Woodlands.


West Fife Woodlands Group

Minutes of Meeting
Held at Blairhall Community Centre: Thursday 02 March 2017

Attendance:
Stan Welch, Ronnie Collins, Frank Waterworth (part only to item 6), John Rogers,
Alistair Hendry, Andy Trumper, Peter & Liz McMullan, Maggie Dalgleish, Hilda Carmichael

1. Chair’s Welcome
Chair Stan Welch welcomed all to the meeting.

2. Apologies
David Welch.

3. Minutes of Previous Meeting 02/02/17
Proposed by Alistair Hendry. Seconded by Liz McMullan.

4. Matters Arising
Ronnie C informed members that a community meeting was being held at Blairhall Community Centre on 08 March 2017, commencing at 6.30pm with a representative from Police Scotland attending. The item for discussion is the ongoing problem of young motorcyclists using Valleyfield Woodlands, and in particular the East Bing and causing damage to the ground surface with their behaviour on the bikes. It is hoped as many representatives as possible from all involved community groups would attend the meeting and voice their concerns.
Confirmation received that WFW will be represented at the meeting.

5. Floor Limit expenditure since previous meeting:
None.

6. Treasurer’s Report
Frank W provided a report on the group’s financial account.

7. Correspondence
Stan W advised that he had received a communication from Claire Baker, MSP for mid-Scotland and Fife Region, congratulating the group on being awarded the Community Path Group of the Year 2016 at the Paths for All volunteer awards.

8. FCS Permissions compliance
John R informed the meeting that the Generic and Power Tool risk assessments he had submitted to FCS had been approved. The final approval of the compliance application for the group to undertake work activities during this year on FCS property is expected within six weeks. With regard to formal training on the use of the brushcutter, FCS has agreed funding for two members to receive training. Two members have also agreed to accept the offer of First Aid training as part of the compliance agreement. Funding will be requested, and following the approval of funds, members concerned will then be able to book the applicable courses as necessary.
Action: John R to complete funding application for 2017/18.

9. Woodland Workouts – scheduled activities to next meeting
There are five Mondays available for work prior to the next meeting:
The planned activities are as follows:

06 and 13 March: Continue clearing regeneration growth on the proposed new path route to Devilla from the Old Drove Road, (adjacent to Balgownie Road).

20 March: Cut back trees and regeneration growth on paths – West Bing

27 March: Re-locate snowdrops as required. Trim hedgerow surrounding the Orchard Garden. Bring spades.

03 April: Transfer of blaise material at Balgownie path – subject to receipt of approved FCS Permission document prior to workout.
.
The total workout hours completed by members since the previous meeting were not available.
Post meeting note: Total workout hours to date will be advised at the April meeting.
Action: John R.

10. Blairhall / Balgownie Path project update
Stan W advised that meetings are planned with the respective landowners on the route of the path. An excellent response of letters of support for the path had already been received and continues to be from local community groups, local residents and other supportive organisations.

11. Orchard Garden Project update Year 3
John R informed the meeting that tendering documents for construction work on the community and school areas were expected to be completed by mid-March and issued by Gordon Walker to suitable contractors.
Margaret Miller, Schools Officer, Forth Valley Initiative has suggested a Schools’ High Blossom Event be held W/C 08/05/17 with a representative group of P6/7 pupils attending from the schools who participated in the fruit tree planting. A draft copy of the proposed event had been prepared by Margaret and was briefed to members. All agreed that it was a positive idea. John R indicated the only stumbling block may be the costs of bus transport to convey the pupils to/from the Orchard. He agreed to discuss the issue with Margaret and ascertain if she could secure funding for transport.
John R confirmed that a report he had been requested to submit to IFLI on the anticipated total expenditure of the project to the end of funding (31/03/18) had been approved including a predicted overspend of £2k+. The expenditure agreed permitted the purchase of a hay rake for improved management of the wildflower meadow grass.

12. Snowdrop Festival 2017
An update on the turnout for the walks highlighted that adverse weather conditions on the weekends to date had resulted in a disappointing number of visitors. However, on the one Sunday when the weather was fair there had been an excellent turnout of thirty persons for the walk.

 

13. AOCB
Stan W enquired if John R had any suggestions for consideration on how best the current administration workload of the group secretary’s post could be reduced by assistance from other members. John R replied that he would have a proposal for consideration at the April meeting. Action: John R.

Ronnie C agreed to contact and confirm availability of a guest speaker for the AGM. Action: Ronnie C.

John R asked management committee members present at the meeting and non-attendees by email, if they intended to seek re-election at the AGM.
The following management committee members have indicated their intention to stand for re-election at the AGM: Stan W, Ronnie C, Frank W, John R, Hilda C, Peter McM, and Maggie D only if required to fill a vacant position. Two group members have already expressed an interest in standing for election to the committee: Andy Trumper and Liz McMullan.
Information on the election process and closing date for candidates will be advised to all members by an email from the Secretary immediately following the April monthly meeting.
Public notices advising of the AGM will be posted at Oakley and Blairhall C/Centres as required by the group’s Constitution. Action: John R.

14. Date of next meeting
The next meeting of the group will on Thursday 06 April 2017 commencing
7pm at Blairhall Community Centre.

Meeting ended 8.35pm

Minutes prepared and completed by John Rogers, Secretary, West Fife Woodlands

 


West Fife Woodlands Group

Minutes of Meeting

Held at Blairhall Community Centre: Thursday 02 February 2017

Attendance:

Stan Welch, Ronnie Collins, Frank Waterworth, John Rogers, Alistair Hendry,

Andy Trumper, Alan McGuckin, Peter & Liz McMullan, Maggie Dalgleish,

Hilda Carmichael


1. Chair’s Welcome

Chair Stan Welch welcomed all to the meeting.


2. Apologies

David Welch.


3. Minutes of Previous Meeting 12/01/17

Proposed by Alistair Hendry, Seconded by Liz McMullan.


4. Matters Arising

Stan W expressed his thanks on behalf of all members to Ronnie C for his excellent work cleaning the bridge at the Grange Burn. The improvement made to its overall appearance is very significant.

The recent fruit tree pruning training event at the Valleyfield Woodlands Orchard Garden project with twenty one members attending had been a great success for all involved, and members expressed their thanks for Margaret Miller, Schools Project Officer, Forth Valley Orchards Initiative for providing the training on the day.


5. Floor Limit expenditure since previous meeting:

None.


6. Treasurer’s Report

Frank W reported the group’s account balance was currently £6.563.62.

A draft copy of reports detailing non-project expenditure and income for 2016 was circulated to inform members prior to the annual finance report being prepared.


7. Correspondence

John R informed members he had received feedback from FCS on the Risk Assessment he had submitted for a “permissions” document to be issued for members to use power tools at Balgownie Woods. A list of proposed tasks for the group to undertake at the woods had also been received. Agreement by all that a meeting with FCS was required to discuss the issues.

Action: Stan W to arrange a joint meeting with FCS.


8. Woodland Workouts – scheduled activities to next meeting

There are four Mondays available for work prior to the next meeting:

The planned activities are as follows:

06 February and 13 February: Continue clearing regeneration growth on the proposed new path route to Devilla from the Old Drove Road, (adjacent to Balgownie Road).



20 February: Cut back trees and regeneration growth on paths – East Bing


27 February: Cut back trees and regeneration growth on paths – West Bing


The total workout hours completed by members since the previous meeting were not available.


9. Blairhall / Balgownie Path project update

Stan W advised that a meeting held by the project sub-committee with representatives from possible funders LEADER and FET had been very positive.

An “expression of interest” had been submitted to the funders by Frank W on behalf of the group prior to any application for funding being prepared.


10. Orchard Garden Project update Year 3

John R informed members that the period of consultation with the local Primary Schools involved in the fruit tree planting had ended. There had been no concerns raised by any of the schools.

On his return from holiday (03/02/17), Gordon Walker, Project Manager will be asked to arrange for Fife Council to formally approve the plans and to prepare tenders for the work involved.

Margaret Miller, Schools Officer, Forth valley Initiative has suggested a Schools’ High Blossom Event be held W/C 08/05/17 with a representative group of P6/7 pupils attending from the schools who participated in the fruit tree planting. A draft copy of the proposed event had been prepared by Margaret and was briefed to members. All agreed that it was a positive idea. John R indicated the only stumbling block may be the costs of bus transport to convey the pupils to/from the Orchard. He agreed to discuss the issue with Margaret and IFLI to ascertain if additional funding is available.

John R briefed the meeting on a report he had been requested to submit to IFLI on the anticipated total expenditure of the project to the end of funding (31/03/18).

Alistair H provided details of a suitable hay rake machine that could be purchased by the group to use as an attachment to the grass cutter for raking the meadow grass. John R agreed to forward the details for consideration within his expenditure report to IFLI

Action: John R

To discuss with Margaret Miller/IFLI the proposed schools’ blossom event.

Seek approval from IFLI to purchase hay rake.

Confirm with Gordon W that tenders are being prepared for construction of community area.


11. Snowdrop Festival 2017

Frank W confirmed he had made a successful application for funding to Comrie Colliery Environmental Trust (CCET) and the group had been awarded £800.00.

In addition, applications for funding to SCISWF and Scotmid Co-op had been approved and the sums of £250.00 and £100.00 respectively had been received. The total funding received will meet he group’s costs of participating in the festival.

A draft Trail Guides rota for the festival was provided by Stan W and will be emailed to all members involved as guides.

Arrangements made with Lesley Furnell, Chair STRC, that if there are no participants for a walk, the guides are to contact STRC members on the refreshments rota by not later than 2.10pm to prevent their unnecessary journeys to Shiresmill.

A request from Inzievar Nursery School had been received to provide snowdrop walks for the children over a two day period. Suitable dates for the walks to be arranged.

Actions: John R to prepare and release press release to local media.

Liaise with Inzievar Nursery to arrange dates for snowdrop walks. .

12. AOCB

AGM: Date of the meeting will be Thursday 11th May 2017 due to Blairhall Community Centre being used as a voting centre for local elections being held on 04th May.

Guest speaker to be decided and contacted for availability Action: Ronnie C.

John R advised that at the next group meeting the current committee members will require to decide if they wish to stand for re-election.

Agreement that the administration workload for the group’s Secretary had increased considerably over the past two years due to the additional activities of the group.

A proposal by Stan W that following the AGM, the administration work of the group will be shared out to involve other members to assist the Secretary.

Action: John R to prepare list of Secretary’s administration tasks.


Ronnie C briefed the meeting on a possible funding opportunity for the group to apply for funds up to a maximum of £10k from the “Forward West Fife” £60,000 project. The project is being provided by Fife Council and the Scottish Government to regenerate the local area following the closure of Longannet PS. The final selection of applicants will be required to present their case at a decision day event on 04th March 2017. Frank W agreed to complete the initial application form.

Action: Frank W.



13. Date of next meeting

The next meeting of the group will on Thursday 02 March 2017 commencing

7pm at Blairhall Community Centre.

Meeting ended 8.55pm

Minutes prepared and completed by John Rogers




++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

 


West Fife Woodlands Group

Minutes of Meeting
Held at Blairhall Community Centre: Thursday 12 January 2017

Attendance:

Stan Welch, Ronnie Collins, Frank Waterworth, John Rogers, Alistair Hendry,

Andy Trumper, Alan McGuckin, David Welch, Peter & Liz McMullan.


1. Chair’s Welcome

Chair Stan Welch welcomed all to the meeting.


2. Apologies

Hilda Carmichael.


3. Minutes of Previous Meeting 01/12/16

Proposed by Alistair Hendry, Seconded by Andy Trumper.


4. Matters Arising

None


5. Floor Limit expenditure since previous meeting:

None.


6. Treasurer’s Report

Frank W reported the group’s account balance was currently £6.542.62


7. Correspondence

John R informed members he had received advice from Aileen Murphy on behalf of the residents at the Woodhead Steadings, Culross that they had agreed to the group cutting the grassed area adjacent to the housing on three occasions this year with a donated sum being made as a payment towards the group’s annual running costs.

The first cut will be April/May, second mid-summer, and third late September.


8. Woodland Workouts – scheduled activities to next meeting

There are three Mondays available for work prior to the next meeting:

The planned activities are as follows:

16 January: Valleyfield Woods Orchard Garden – training on fruit tree pruning by Margaret Miller, Schools Project Officer, Forth Valley Orchards Initiative.


23 January and 30 January: Commence clearing regeneration growth on the proposed new path route to Devilla from the Old Drove Road, (adjacent to Balgownie Road).


Total workout hours completed by members since the previous meeting: 113.00

Total workout hours completed since 05/09/16: 670.00


9. Blairhall / Balgownie Path project update

Stan W intimated that a management sub-committee of members was required to progress the project forward. Members of the committee were agreed as follows:

Stan Welch, Ronnie Collins, Frank Waterworth, Andy Trumper, and Liz McMullan.

10. Orchard Garden Project update Year 3

Copies of the plans and cost estimates for the community area have been forwarded for comments to Richard Smith/Theresa Hughes of Fife Council and Kate Fuller of IFLI. The plans were also on public display at a local history and mining exhibition held on 28/10/16 at Valleyfield Community Centre.

Feedback received from Theresa Hughes on the plans had raised some issues and John R had suggested that Gordon Walker should be contacted and a meeting arranged with all interested parties attending to discuss the proposals. Stan W had agreed to contact Gordon Walker and arrange a meeting.

Post meeting note: A site meeting took place on 16/01/17 and the plans were agreed in principle by Richard S and will now be forwarded to the local primary schools for any comments before being finalised and tenders for the work being sent out.

Alistair H is continuing his search to source a suitable hay rake machine that could be purchased by the group to use as an attachment to the grass cutter for raking the meadow grass.

Action: John R to advise local primary schools of community area plans.


11. Snowdrop Festival 2017

Frank W confirmed he has made an application for funding to Comrie Colliery Environmental Trust (CCET) to cover the group’s annual costs to participate in the festival.

John R provided the 2017 leaflets to members to distribute to local outlets. He confirmed the Scottish Tourist Office, Dunfermline have received a supply. The new banners for display at two locations on the Dunfermline/Kincardine road were shown and Liz McM agreed to contact the landowners involved for agreement to erect them.

Stan W advised he has arranged radio publicity on BBC Radio Scotland for the group’s snowdrop trail walks with Radio Scotland broadcaster Mark Stephen. The broadcast will be sometime during January on Mark’s Saturday morning show.

A training walk for guides will be held on Sunday 29 January departing 2pm from Shiresmill car park.

Actions: Stan W to prepare guide rota and training walk


12. AOCB

The bridge at the former Gardener’s Cottage, Valleyfield Woodlands has recently been power washed and there is evidence that some of the timbers on the bridge require to be renewed due to natural deterioration. Photos of the damaged timbers have been sent to Fife Council (Richard Smith).

Post meeting note: Richard S inspected the bridge during his visit to the area on 16/01/17 and will advise FC bridge maintenance department to assess the repairs required.

Member Ian Marshall has advised that Speedy Hire Ltd do not currently have any container units for sale at a reduced price. A search will continue to source a container.


13. Date of next meeting

The next meeting of the group will on Thursday 02 February 2017 commencing

7pm at Blairhall Community Centre.

Meeting ended 8.55pm

Minutes prepared and completed by John Rogers



West Fife Woodlands Group

Minutes of Meeting
Held at Blairhall Community Centre: Thursday 01 December 2016

Attendance:
Stan Welch, Ronnie Collins, John Rogers, Alistair Hendry, Hilda Carmichael,
Andy Trumper.

1. Chair’s Welcome
Chair Stan Welch welcomed all to the meeting.

2. Apologies
Frank Waterworth, Maggie Dalgleish, Davd Welch, Peter and Liz McMullan, John & Emily Le Marie, Alan & Geraldine McGuckin.

3. Minutes of Previous Meeting 03/11/16
Proposed by Alistair Hendry, Seconded by Hilda Carmichael

4. Matters Arising
None

5. Floor Limit expenditure since previous meeting:
Snowdrop leaflets and banners purchase for Snowdrop Festival 2017 – £709.60. Expenditure agreed by majority of management committee members - email round robin request 17/11/16.

6. Treasurer’s Report
John R on behalf of the Treasurer informed members the group’s account balance was currently £7,419.51.

7. Correspondence
None.

8. Woodland Workouts – scheduled activities 4 weeks in advance
There are three Mondays available for work prior to the break for Christmas/New Year.
The planned activities are as follows:

05 December: Continue preparation of snowdrop trail and walled garden area for Festival 2017. Early finish at 11am to attend group’s Christmas Lunch at Carnock.

12 December: Continue preparation of Snowdrop trail.

19 December: Continue preparation of Snowdrop trail. Maintenance work on High Valleyfield to Culross path.

Next workout after the holiday break will be on MONDAY 09 JANUARY 2017.

John R advised that in the four workouts (November) prior to the meeting the group had completed 183 volunteer hours. For the month of October (figures were not available at the previous meeting) the total hours completed in the four workouts was 118 hours.
The total workout hours completed by members since a record was commenced on 05/09/16 is currently 557 hours.

9. Blairhall / Balgownie Path project update
Following the walkout of the proposed path route via the Old Drove Road to Devilla on the 13/11/16 by some of the members, it was agreed that Frank W will contact Paths for All (John Duffy) and CSGN for advice on possible funding sources. The consensus of opinion by the members who walked the route was that much of the path could be completed by the group undertaking the work; however, secure fencing will need to be erected on part of the route to protect landowners’ properties. Stan W intimated that a management sub-committee of members will require to be formed to take the project forward. Formal agreements for the construction of the path with all the landowners on the route are a priority prior to any funding application. The Bell Ingram Feasibility Report (October 2009) on the route which was commissioned by the group will provide an estimate for the fencing materials required, although inflation since the report was produced may have significantly have increased costs. A project manager will be required – an approach is to be made to Gordon Walker who project managed Year 1 of the Valleyfield Orchard Garden project.
Action: Stan W / Frank W

10. Orchard Garden Project update Year 3
No progress has been made since the previous meeting on development plans for the schools’ and community area. Copies of the plans and cost estimates have been forwarded for comments to Richard Smith/Theresa Hughes of Fife Council and Kate Fuller of IFLI. The plans were also on public display at a local history and mining exhibition held on 28/10/16 at Valleyfield Community Centre.
Feedback received from Theresa Hughes on the plans had raised some issues and John R had suggested that Gordon Walker should be contacted and a meeting arranged with all interested parties attending to discuss the proposals. Stan W had agreed to contact Gordon Walker and arrange such a meeting.
The visit on the 15/11/16 by Davie Black of Plantlife Scotland, an acknowledged expert on the maintenance of meadow grass, provided some excellent advice on-site to the group and this was followed by a written report on suggested methods and possible machinery (hay rake?) that may ease the burden of the grass cutting task. Margaret Miller of Forth Valley Orchards also attended the visit and agreed to return on Monday 16 January 2017 to provide members with training on fruit tree pruning.
Actions: Stan W to arrange joint meeting with Gordon Walker/Theresa Hughes to discuss community areas plans.
John R to confirm attendance at site on 16/01/17 by Margaret Miller.
Alistair H to investigate costs of suitable machinery as an attachment to the grass cutter for lifting the meadow grass.

11. Snowdrop Festival 2017
John R advised he had placed a printing order to Multi Print (Scotland) Ltd, Kirkcaldy, for new leaflets and two display banners for the event. Costs are as detailed in Item 5 with an additional fee of £60.00 paid to renew the Crown Copyright licence for the snowdrop trail plan illustration in the leaflets.
Frank W has indicated he will make an application for funding to Comrie Colliery Environmental Trust (CCET) to cover the group’s annual costs to participate in the festival.

No response has been received from Fiona Fisher of Fife Council regarding the group’s request for work to improve the underfoot conditions on the terraced areas of the walled garden for the safe working of powered/hand tools. This is despite two reminders being sent by John R. The issue will be raised by Stan W with Theresa Hughes at the forthcoming orchard garden meeting to discuss the community area plans.
Stan W advised he has arranged radio publicity on BBC Radio Scotland for the group’s Valleyfield snowdrop trail walks for the Snowdrop Festival 2017 with Radio Scotland broadcaster Mark Stephen. A script with details of the event will be required for the broadcast (Jan 2017) on Mark’s early morning Saturday show.
A training/rehearsal walk for guides and a guide’s rota requires to be produced early January. The Therapy Riding Centre (TRC) is also to be advised of the details and confirmation obtained that they will provide refreshment facilities for participants on completion of the walks.
Actions: Stan W to provide Snowdrop trail script to BBC Radio Scotland.
Prepare Snowdrop Trail guide rota and confirm arrangements
with the TRC.
Frank W to complete CCET funding application.

12. AOCB
The bridge at the former Gardener’s Cottage, Valleyfield Woodlands has recently been power washed and there is evidence that some of the timbers on the bridge require to be renewed due to natural deterioration. Photos of the damaged timbers have been sent to Fife Council (Richard Smith). No feedback received to date.
No response has been received to request by group to Babcock International (Rosyth Dockyard) for a donation of an additional storage container unit.
Group member Ian Marshall has contacted Speedy Hire Ltd who may be able to supply one at a minimal cost. An additional container for the TRC has also been requested.

13. Date of next meeting
The next meeting of the group will on Thursday 12 January 2017 commencing
7pm at Blairhall Community Centre.
Post meeting note - please note amended date for next meeting. This is due to the New Year holiday closure of the Community Centre until 09 January.

Meeting ended 8.55pm

 


 

West Fife Woodlands Group

Minutes of Meeting
Held at Blairhall Community Centre: Thursday 06 October 2016

Attendance:
Ronnie Collins, John Rogers, Alan McGuckin, John and Emily Le Marie, Hilda Carmichael, Maggie Dalgleish

1. Chair’s Welcome
Vice Chair Ronnie Collins welcomed all to the meeting.

2. Apologies
Stan Welch, Frank Waterworth, Peter and Liz McMullan, Alistair Hendry.

3. Minutes of Previous Meeting 04/08/16
Proposed by Hilda Carmichael, Seconded by John Le Marie

4. Matters Arising
John R had received an invitation from Fife Council for the group to have a stall at the Blairhall Christmas Fayre on Saturday 19th November 2016. The consensus of opinion by members was that the group did not have any saleable items for a stall and therefore it would not be advantageous to participate in the fayre.
Fiona Fisher, Conservation Officer, Fife Council made a recent visit to the walled garden area at Valleyfield to view the terraced area that the group wish to have underfoot conditions improved for safe working, Following the visit, John R had prepared a Method Statement for the works required and has at Fiona’s request subsequently submitted it to Fife Council for approval.

5. Floor Limit expenditure since previous meeting:
Whilst not strictly within the criteria of the £200.00 floor limit rule that pre-agreement was required by the management committee, it was agreed to record for audit purposes in the minutes of the meeting that there had been a payment made of £1005.00 to Green Cut Garden Services for digger and dumper trucks hire for the recent Stirling’s path build...
Post meeting note: Further payment of £252.00 made to S & M Dalgleish Ltd for hire of driver, tractor and trailer to transport blaise material from Balgownie to path build site.
Both these payments were made from the Paths for All grant received for the Stirling’s shelter belt path build.

6. Treasurer’s Report
John R reported on behalf of the Treasurer that the group’s account balance was currently £7,741.75. However, the two payments being processed at present and detailed in Item 5 have not been deducted from this balance.

7. Correspondence
John R reminded all of the closing date (Friday 14 October) for registering to attend the Paths for All Award Event.
The planned visit by two CSGN members on the 26/09/16 to the wooded areas managed by the group had been a very positive experience with the visitors impressed by the achievements. Stan W and John Le M had accompanied the visitors.
Ronnie C advised the clearing of the canal area adjacent to the lower end of the walled garden at Valleyfield Wood by Co-op volunteers and WFW members planned for Saturday 01 October 2016 has been rescheduled for Saturday 22 October 2016. He suggested the group may wish to provide some light refreshments to the Co-op team as a gesture of goodwill and he intended to contact the TRC for agreement to provide access to toilet facilities.
Action: R Collins to arrange refreshments and toilet facilities for the work activity.

8. Woodland Workouts – scheduled activities 5 weeks in advance
Work planning meeting held 11 August 2016. A schedule was agreed and produced by Frank W. A laminated copy is now available in the group’s container unit for reference at workouts
There are four Mondays available for work prior to the next monthly meeting.

These are the planned activities:

10 October: Mow meadow grass in the Orchard Garden using the ride-on grass cutter and push mower. Rake cuttings to piles at end of rows. Trim grass around individual fruit trees where mower inaccessible. Leader - John R
Post meeting note: Assistance on above tasks provided by TCV team on 12/13 October.

17 October: Continue work of 10 October as required. Wheelbarrow grass cuttings to suitable area outside of Orchard. If ride-on mower repaired, trim path edges of High Valleyfield to Culross path. Leader - Stan Welch
Post meeting note: Assistance on above tasks provided by TCV team on 19/20 October.

24 October: Continue work as detailed 17 October. Leader- Stan Welch

31 October: Mow path edges and picnic seat areas at the West Bing not completed on previous workout (03 October). Prune back overhanging branches on pathways.
Leader – Stan Welch

Following a suggestion from Frank W, the total workout hours between monthly meetings will be collated and recorded in the minutes of the following meeting.
September 2016 – Total workout hours by members: 255.5

9. Blairhall / Balgownie Path project update
Path completed 07 September 2016 - no further update required.
Completion of final report to funder (PfA) to be submitted.
Action: Frank W

10. Orchard Garden Project update Year 3
Proposed development plan for community areas received from appointed independent project manager just prior to group meeting. Plans to be discussed initially by group’s management committee and then forwarded to IFLI/Fife Council for comments.
Post meeting note: Agreement by management committee for community area plans to be forwarded to Kate Fuller, IFLI, for display in a small 'travelling exhibition' focused on links (historical and more recent) between Bo'ness and Valleyfield to be held on the 28th October 2016 at Valleyfield Community Centre. This will provide an ideal opportunity for the plans to be viewed by local community.
Action: John Le M to liaise with Kate Fuller on information required for exhibition.
John Le M raised the issue that the group had not received any information on the Interpretation Board being designed and produced by IFLI. Enquiries to be made to IFLI on progress.
Action: John R to contact IFLI

11. Snowdrop Festival 2017
Agreement by all that a new supply of information/guide leaflets and flyers need to be purchased for 2017 festival –same quantities as this year’s order. Dates of festival to be confirmed prior to placing order. An additional two display banners similar to the one purchased this year to be ordered and located at the best locations to increase public awareness of event.
Action: John R

12. AOCB
Group’s Christmas Lunch 2016 - Dates and possible venues were discussed in detail. Vote by all members present and the following arrangements unanimously agreed:

Date of lunch: Monday 05 December 2016 – 12.30 for 1pm sitting
Venue: The Carnock Inn, Main Street, Carnock

Action: John R to make enquiries at venue and make a booking if date available.
Post meeting note: Lunch booking confirmed for date required and a £10.00 deposit per person required by 15 November 2016

Date of next meeting
The next meeting of the group will on Thursday 03 November 2016 commencing
7pm at Blairhall Community Centre.

Meeting ended 8.55pm
Minutes prepared and completed by John Rogers

 


West Fife Woodlands Group

Minutes of Meeting

Held at Blairhall Community Centre: Thursday 01 September 2016


Attendance:

Stan Welch, Ronnie Collins, Frank Waterworth, Alistair Hendry,

John Le Marie, Hilda Carmichael.


1. Chair’s Welcome

Chair Stan Welch welcomed all to the meeting.


2. Apologies

David Welch, Peter and Liz McMullan, John Rogers


3. Minutes of Previous Meeting 04/08/16

Proposed by Alistair H, Seconded by Frank W.


4. Matters Arising

As documented in the previous meeting minutes the agreed date and time for the visit from Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT) will be10:00 am on Monday 26 September 2016 at Shiresmill Carpark.


Frank W has arranged to meet with Robin Law (Auditor of WFW Accounts) on 2 September 2016 to discuss the options and implications of WFW becoming a charity.

Action: Frank W

5. Floor Limit expenditure since previous meeting

S&M Dalgleish paid £532.80 on 4 August 2016 for tractor and driver hire for shifting Blaize from Comrie Opencast bing to Balgownie Mains. (For future use on path construction)


6. Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer, Frank W reported the group’s account balance as £7,915.35 following recent payment from RSPB of £2045.00


7. Correspondence

Emails from Fiona Fisher (Fife Council) to Stan Welch and John Rogers agreeing to meet members of the group and Theresa Hughes (Fife Council). Objective to discuss making the walled garden in Valleyfield Woodland Park safe for WFW to undertake work on the vegetation. Date for on-site meeting agreed as 10:00am Wednesday 21 September 2016.

Action: Stan W and John R


8. Woodland Workouts – scheduled activities 5 weeks in advance

Work planning meeting held 11 August 2016 and schedule produced.


There are five Mondays available for work prior to the next monthly meeting.


These are the planned activities:


5 September: First of three days effort on Stirling’s Shelter belt. (See section 9 below).

12 September: Clear up in Valleyfield Woodland Park and cut grass. Leader Stan W.

19 September: Grass cutting East Bing. Leader Stan W.

26 September: Grass cutting West Bing and Viewpoint. Plus meeting with CSGNT.

3 October: Grass cutting West bing and Viewpoint. Leader Stan W.


Also Saturday 1 Oct 2016 clearing of canal area in Valleyfield Woodland Park utilising volunteers from the Co-op. Liaison, lunch and toilet access to be arranged by Ronnie Collins. (Frank W’s note: Perhaps discuss any Fife Council conservation requirements with Fiona Fisher at meeting on 21 Sept 2016.)

Action: Ronnie C, Stan W and John R.


9. Blairhall / Balgownie Path project update

Work on path construction to be undertaken Monday 5th to Wednesday 7th September 2016.

Stan W confirmed that he had arranged materials, equipment and personnel to undertake the work on these three days.

There was some discussion about options to prevent the use of the new path for vehicular access to Balgownie Wood. Gates and ditches were considered. It was agreed to take any action necessary at a future date.

It was agreed to make a donation of £100.00 to the Culross “Old folks” for Tim Collins tree felling contribution.

Action: Frank W


10. Orchard Garden Project update year 3

The meeting planned for 20 July 2016 with Gordon Walker didn’t happen due to bad weather on the day. A new meeting to occur when a proposal has been obtained from Gordon W.

Action: Stan W to contact Gordon W


A cut of the grass will be scheduled in the October 2016 work plan.


11. AOCB

Stan W had attended a recent OWL meeting at which it was proposed that WFW should suggest small projects that local Primary Schools could undertake. Put your thinking caps on!


Work for Saline CC: Ronnie is waiting for a response from Donald Murdoch.


12. Date of next meeting

The next meeting of the group will on Thursday 6 October 2016 commencing

7pm at Blairhall Community Centre.

Meeting ended 8.05pm (Is this a record?)

Minutes prepared and completed by Frank Waterworth



West Fife Woodlands Group

Minutes of Special General Meeting (SGM) held Thursday 04 August 2016

at Blairhall Community Centre – commencing 7pm


Attendance:

Stan Welch, Ronnie Collins, Frank Waterworth, John Rogers, Alistair Hendry,

Hilda Carmichael, Peter McMullan, Maggie Dalgleish.


Agenda: Proposed changes to the group’s Constitution

To consider the amendments/additions previously circulated to all members in a draft document and to hold a vote of members for the proposed changes to be adopted.


A vote was taken and all members present and one email vote unanimously agreed that the proposed changes be adopted and be made permanent in the Constitution.

SGM ended 7.15pm.


Minutes of Group Meeting

held at Blairhall Community Centre: Thursday 04 August 2016

commencing 7.15pm


Attendance:

Stan Welch, Ronnie Collins, Frank Waterworth, John Rogers, Alistair Hendry,

Hilda Carmichael, Peter McMullan, Maggie Dalgleish.


1. Chair’s Welcome

Chair Stan Welch welcomed all to the meeting.


2. Apologies

David Welch, Liz McMullan, John & Emily Le Marie,

Alan & Geraldine McGuckin, Ian Marshall.


3. Minutes of Previous Meeting 07/07/16

Proposed by Frank W, Seconded by Alistair H.


4. Matters Arising

None.


5. Floor Limit expenditure since previous meeting

None.


6. Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer Frank W reported the group’s account balance as £6,471.40.


7. Correspondence

Stan W advised he had received a letter from the Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT) indicating that they would be interested in meeting members and visiting some areas maintained by the group.

Agreement by all to offer two options of visit dates.

Post meeting note: CSGNT will visit group on Monday 26 September 2016.

John R reminded members of the email invitation from IFLI to attend a reception in appreciation of their valued contribution as a volunteer. The reception is on Friday 09 September 2016 at Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum, Stirling commencing 7pm. RSVP is via the website on the invitation or by phone to Kate Fuller, IFLI Community Engagement Officer.


8. Woodland Workouts - work planner yearly schedule

The management committee members’ meeting to discuss and agree the work activities on an annual basis was still outstanding. John R to arrange a meeting date asap. In preparation for the meeting, Frank W agreed to collate all the work activities received and produce a finalised draft list.

Post meeting note:

Committee meeting held Thursday 08 August. All work activities discussed/agreed at meeting and allocated a specific period during the year for work to be undertaken.

Follow-up action – draft spreadsheet and activity list year planner produced by Frank W and emailed to committee members for any comments/additions.


9. Blairhall / Balgownie Path project update

The section being prepared for a permanent footpath construction is the Stirling Copse path to the Drove Road. A local contractor had felled a considerable number of trees requiring be removed from the path route and these were being cleared by group members during recent Monday workouts. Another workout is required to complete the task and this was agreed for Monday 05 August.

As part of the PfA grant for the path, a press release was required for the local media to publicise the path work. Frank W had prepared a press statement and has confirmed with the landowners Mr & Mrs Stirling that it is acceptable for release.

Stan W will confirm with powered plant operators when they are available during September and a three day build of the path by members will be arranged.

Actions: John R to email workout details to members.

Stan W to contact plant operators to confirm available dates in September.


10. Orchard Garden Project - Valleyfield Woodland Park

John Le M/John R attended a site visit arranged with Gordon Walker who agreed to produce draft plans for possible development of both community areas. The planned site visit by Stan W/John Le M/ John R (WFW) and Theresa Hughes (FC) on the 20 July had been cancelled due to severe weather conditions on the day and no further meeting date has been arranged..

John R advised he will contact Gordon W prior to the next meeting for progress on any plans in the pipeline,

Stan W added that whilst he had received a preliminary phone call from the IFLI designer for the Interpretation Board to be located at the site, he was not given any specific details during the conversation on the proposed format or information that will be displayed on the board.

Action: John R to contact Gordon W


11. AOCB

Ronnie C had suggested at the previous meeting that the group should consider becoming a registered charity. Frank W had agreed to discuss the issue with the local auditor of the group’s account and report back for this meeting but advised that the auditor is currently on a prolonged holiday break.

Action: Frank W to contact auditor on his return.

Ronnie C intimated he had details of a Co-op group volunteer team prepared to do woodland work in the area. He suggested that the group should utilise the team to undertake one of the group’s tasks requiring a high number of volunteers.

12. Date of next meeting

The next meeting of the group will on Thursday 1 September 2016 commencing

7pm at Blairhall Community Centre.

Meeting ended 8.40pm

Minutes prepared and completed by John Rogers



 

West Fife Woodlands Group

Minutes of Meeting

Held at Blairhall Community Centre: Thursday 07 July 2016


Attendance:

Stan Welch, Ronnie Collins, Frank Waterworth, John Rogers, Alistair Hendry,

John Le Marie, Hilda Carmichael.


1. Chair’s Welcome

Chair Stan Welch welcomed all to the meeting.


2. Apologies

David Welch, Peter and Liz McMullan, Emily Le Marie,

Alan & Geraldine McGuckin, Maggie Dalgleish.


3. Minutes of Previous Meeting 07/04/16

Proposed by Alistair H, Seconded by John Le M.


4. Matters Arising

None.


5. Floor Limit expenditure since previous meeting

None.


6. Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer, Frank W reported the group’s account balance as £6,575.86p.


7. Correspondence

John R confirmed he had emailed all active volunteers in the group an invitation from IFLI to attend a reception in appreciation of their valued contribution as a volunteer. The reception is on Friday 09 September 2016 at Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum, Stirling commencing 7pm. RSVP is via the website on the invitation or by phone to Kate Fuller, IFLI Community Engagement Officer.


8. Woodland Workouts - work planner schedule

John Le M had prepared a draft document with work activities he had received from some committee members. Additional activities were added to the list during a lengthy discussion by all attending. John Le M added that at the recent visit to the group by the ‘Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards’ the judges had noted that we did not have a management plan for the woodland area maintained. A management plan for Balgownie Wood is being sought from FCS.

Frank W agreed to collate all the work activities received and produce a finalised list. Stan W intimated that a management committee meeting will be required to discuss and agree the time phase on a yearly planner basis when each activity will be best undertaken. John R agreed to arrange venue/date for such meeting in early August.

Action: Frank W / John R


.


9. Blairhall / Balgownie Path project update

Next section to be tackled is the Stirling Copse Path to the Drove Road.

Frank W confirmed the ‘Paths for All’ funding had been received and a site visit had been recently been completed by John Duffy of PfA accompanied by WFW members. There are a considerable number of trees requiring to be removed on the path route. Stan W reported that after discussion with Paul Cruise of Living Solutions on the tree work involved, he was advised that the group were unable to undertake the task as they only had a licence to work on Fife Council and FCS owned land. The area in question is privately owned. He had therefore contacted local sources who had completed tree work previously for the group and they had agreed to do the tree removal required. A sufficient supply of blaise material had now been obtained from Comrie Colliery thanks to Maggie and Sandy Dalgleish. The next stage will be to confirm the best access path to the Stirling’s copse and the Drovers Road for the material and the machines i.e. digger, bobcat, and dumper trucks. Stan W suggested that the proposed month for the construction of the path should be a suitable period in September 2016.


10. Orchard Garden Project - Valleyfield Woodland Park

At the management committee meeting on 23 June it was agreed that Gordon Walker, freelance project manager be contacted to ascertain if he would visit the site to discuss possible options for Year 3 works (schools’ and community areas). John Le M/John R attended subsequent site visit arranged with Gordon W who agreed to produce draft plans for possible development of both areas.

Richard Smith and Theresa Hughes, Fife Council had been advised of the site visit

and had subsequently responded that they would require a site visit with group members present to discuss development options.

Post meeting note: John Le M/ John R (WFW) and Theresa Hughes (FC) had arranged a site meeting on Wednesday 20 July 2016 but it was cancelled due to severe weather conditions.


11. Group’s Constitution document update

The contents of the amended draft document were accepted by all the committee members present. John R agreed to email the draft to all group members for any comments/objections before it is the only item to be formally discussed at a Special General Meeting to be held on Thursday 04 August 2016 when it is hoped the changes will be approved.

Action: John R to email draft document and advise date of SGM to members.


12. AOCB

Ronnie C suggested that WFW should now consider becoming a registered charity.

He understood the application process to register as a charity was straightforward and it was relatively inexpensive to maintain the status on an annual basis. Frank W confirmed he would discuss the issue with the local auditor of the group’s account as he had a previous working knowledge of administration experience with several small charity organisations. Action: Frank W

The next meeting of the group will on Thursday 04 August 2016 commencing

7pm at Blairhall Community Centre.

Meeting ended 8.45pm

Minutes prepared and completed by John Rogers


 


West Fife Woodlands Group

Minutes of Meeting

Held at Blairhall Community Centre: Thursday 02 June 2016



Attendance:

Stan Welch, Ronnie Collins, John Rogers, Alistair Hendry,

Peter McMullan, John Le Marie.


1. Chair’s Welcome

Chair Stan Welch welcomed all to the meeting.


2. Apologies

Frank Waterworth, David Welch, Liz McMullan, Emily Le Marie,

Alan & Geraldine McGuckin, Hilda Carmichael.


3. Minutes of Previous Meeting 07/04/16

Proposed by Peter McM, Seconded by Alistair H.


4. Matters Arising

John R reported that he had renewed the group’s annual insurance for 2016/17 with Zurich Insurance - Premium total £275. 67.

He had also received an invitation to renew the group’s TCV annual membership at £38.00. With the annual insurance now being administered directly by Zurich, the discount given as a TCV member was only £11.00. A round robin email to management committee members to consider if TCV membership should be renewed had agreed to continue it for another year but to assess if it had any other additional membership benefits to the group before the next renewal date.


5. Floor Limit expenditure since previous meeting

HLF (IFLI) Grant Orchard Garden project: Mulch mats and staples for 179 fruit trees. These items are listed as ‘planned purchases’ in the HLF budget 2016-17

Total cost £401.76 incl. vat.

Whilst not strictly within the criteria of the £200.00 floor limit rule that pre-agreement was required by the management committee, it was agreed to document for audit purposes in the minutes of the meeting that there had been additional purchases made recently due to an underspend in the Awards for All Grant (AfA) 2015/16 Orchard Garden project.

Rover petrol push grass mower Total £408.33

Hyundai 4 stroke brush cutter Total £166.67

Two safety visors with built-in ear defenders had been purchased from the same supplier @ £61.84. Total cost for all items £764.21 incl. vat

Hand tools - planned purchase’ AfA Budget: Trench spades, bow saw, and loppers + two First Aid kits. Total £304.08 incl.vat.

John Le M had arranged with IFLI on behalf of the West Fife Villages group for IFLI to fund the management fee to maintain the WFV website by Links Media for one year at a cost of £570.00. For accountancy purposes the fee had initially been paid from the WFW account but had now been repaid to the group by IFLI.



6. Treasurer’s Report

In the absence of the Treasurer, John R advised that the group’s account balance was £5,670-03p.


7. Correspondence

An invitation as project leads to attend IFLI’s Mid Term Learning Review Workshop 06 June 2016 at Callender Park, Falkirk had been received by Stan W, John R and John le M. All had accepted the invitation.

Stan W advised of two FCS events that group members have been invited to participate:

08 June 2016 - East Grange - reseeding of birch trees

27 June 2016 - Oak trees event at Balgownie Wood.

The latter date is a Monday and it is proposed that the FCS event will be the group’s workout activity. Further details will be emailed to members when known.


8. Woodland Workouts- work planner schedule for next 4 weeks

Monday 06 June - Balgownie path - continue path base work transporting blaise material. John Le M/Alistair H to cut grass on Culross path.

As agreed at the management committee meeting earlier this year, planned workout activities will be restricted during June/July/August in normal circumstances to once per month.

Monday 27 June - Balgownie Wood - FCS oak tree event.


Future Workouts: John R reminded all present that the management committee had agreed to prepare a list of all work activities required to be undertaken by the group over a twelve month period and John Le M would collate the information in preparation for planner chart to be completed. Stan W agreed that a separate management committee meeting was required for this item to be fully discussed and a plan agreed/prepared.

John Le M added that at the recent visit to the group by the ‘Scotland’s Finest Woods Awards’ the judges had noted that we did not have a management plan for the woodland area maintained.

Action: Stan W to arrange meeting of group’s management committee to discuss/agree a work plan.


9. Balgownie/ Blairhall Path project update

Next section to be tackled is the Stirling Copse Path to the Drove Road.

The funding application to Paths for All had been approved and £1,500.00 had been awarded with a completion date for the path 31/12/2016. Thanks to Frank and all concerned for this successful funding.

A work plan date with detailed costs now needs to be agreed and Stan W agreed to speak to Eddie McFarlane re- a possible site visit to get advice on the entrances to the Stirling gateway and the Drovers road. Also, to discuss equipment needed, etc.

Sandy/Maggie D should also be present if possible. Machines required for the work will be a digger/bob cat and 2 dumper trucks.

A sufficient supply of blaise material was a source of concern due to the company operating Comrie Colliery being taken into Administration but Ronnie C agreed to confirm with A Kenny, Manager, if a supply is still available to the group.

Actions: Stan w to speak with E McFarlane and to arrange a meeting of the management committee to form a working group for the project.

Ronnie C to confirm sufficient supply of blaise material available.




10. Orchard Garden Project - Valleyfield Woodland Park

The recent Monday workout to position mulch mats and to remove the flowering blossom from the trees had been successfully completed. Ten support stakes had also been repositioned and straps tightened. The grass had been cut and the site looked much improved.

John R had arranged for two gate aluminium signs to be made to replace the temporary laminated signage on the gates at present.

John Le M highlighted the fact that the group urgently need to work on the IFLI Year 3 plan. This includes a Community space and a Schools Area to be constructed immediately outside the Orchard. Consultation with the local communities for their ideas and suggestions will be required. Consideration should seriously be given to employing a Project Manager to cost and plan this stage of the project. A meeting of the management committee is required at the earliest date to discuss the item.

Action: Stan W to arrange a meeting of group’s management committee to form a working group for Year 3 of the project.


11. Group’s Constitution document update

The document requires to be updated to reflect the group’s disassociation with ENTRUST and the involvement of SEPA. A member of the Fife Council team has kindly provided John Le M with suitable wording to amend the changes required.

A clause detailing the new £200 floor limit expenditure condition is to be added.

John Le M will prepare an amended draft document to be forwarded to committee members for comments and then it will be emailed out to all members twenty one days before it is formally discussed at a Special General Meeting proposed to be held immediately before the group meeting on 04 August 2016.

Actions: John Le M to prepare draft document.

John R to email document to members as agreed above.


12. AOCB

A one hour training session on the new Rover petrol push mower will be held on Sunday 05 June 2016 at 2pm. Training will be provided by R Collins. Meeting point will be the West Bing car park.

Action: John R to email details to members.


The next meeting of the group will on Thursday 07 July 2016 commencing

7pm at Blairhall Community Centre.

Meeting ended 8.45pm

Minutes prepared and completed by John Rogers



 

West Fife Woodlands Group

Minutes of Meeting

Held at Blairhall Community Centre: Thursday 07 April 2016



Attendance:

Stan Welch, Ronnie Collins, Frank Waterworth, Alistair Hendry,

Peter & Liz McMullan, John & Emily Le Marie, Hilda Carmichael, Maggie Dalgleish


1. Chair’s Welcome

Chair Stan Welch welcomed all to the meeting.


2. Apologies

David Welch, John Rogers


3. Minutes of Previous Meeting 03/03/16

Proposed by Alistair H, Seconded by Peter McM.


4. Matters Arising

Following the funding application made to Scottish Finest Woods, Frank W advised

the group that he submitted an additional A4 page supplement to the application,

following advice from Alison Irvine.

Speaker for AGM has now been booked. Daniele Muir, Scotland Officer, British

Dragonfly Society.

Container sourcing is ongoing. Action Ronnie


5. Treasurer’s Report

Frank W reported that the account balance was £6,263-11p. Group is owed

£1647-46p by IFLI

Robin Law from Culross has agreed to audit the accounts. He comes with a lot of

experience. He advised that amounts paid back to group members should be

minuted. John Le Marie was paid £7500 in January 2015 and Stan Welch was paid

£1629.77 in March 2015.

Robin also recommended that any amounts over a certain figure should be

documented in the group minutes. It was agreed that amounts over £200 should be

minuted.


6. Correspondence

Letter from Growforth in Hillend, as Trade customers, giving us details of current

discount week and general information about use of trade cards.


7. Woodland Workouts for next 4 weeks

Week 1 - Training on hand tools while working on the path in the Stirling Copse.

Bring as many wheelbarrows/shovels as possible to continue spreading blaze along

the wet areas on Beech Walk as time permits.

Week 2-4 - Work on clearing paths in the East Bing particularly towards the viaduct.

Tractor training will be carried out in the East Bing during that time. Work here will

involve, saws, brush cutting, lopping, & litter picking.

Maggie D to consult Duncan Wilson on how to deal with the numerous stumps in the

area e.g. Alder stumps. Action Maggie Dalgleish

Future Workouts

Discuss possible litter clear up at the Newmills end of Valleyfield Woods. This would

probably involve Fife Council and the use of a skip.


8. Balgownie / Blairhall Path Project

Next section to be tackled is the Stirling Copse Path to the Drove Road.

On 29/4/16 Frank submitted the initial funding application to Paths for All. This is

classed as a Path Improvement. Expected to hear the outcome of the application in

June. A costing application now needs to be completed including how this will be

match funded. Action. John Le Marie/Stan/Frank

It was felt that as land owners, the Stirlings should be sent a copy of the funding

application and thus be aware of its implications.

Frank has taken photos of the path at present, prior to work commencing. These can

be used in the funding application.

Plan: Stan to speak to Eddie McFarlane re a possible site visit to get advice on the

entrances to the Stirling gateway and the Drovers road/ equipment needed etc.

Sandy/Maggie should also be present if possible. There needs to be room for a

digger/bob cat/and 2 dumper trucks.

Bing material should be available for the next few months.

Maggie has signage which the group can use “Slow Tractors Turning”


9. Orchard Garden Project - Valleyfield Woodland Park

Tasks to be done:

1. Approx. 10 stakes need to be repositioned and straps tightened

2. Grass needs to be cut shortly using the tractor + sickle cutter close to the trees

3. Need to work on the IFLI Year 3 plan. Needs to be costed and /itemised and put

out for consultation. This requires a meeting to be set up to action this.


10. 10th Anniversary Snowdrop Trail Event 2016

Generally very good feedback but still a lot of people unaware of the event.

Group felt it might be worth purchasing another few banners at a cost of £60 each.

These could be displayed in farmers’ fields on portable carts on wheels. Liz to

approach the Brewsters. John Geyer also has a display cart at the entrance to the

Shiresmill road.

Money collected and given to the group from the RDA was £107.50


11. AGM

Monday 12th May at 7pm. Wine and Nibbles. Speaker organised.

Invites as previous years with the inclusion of the Stirlings /IFLI/Richard Smith/

Councillors


12. AOCB

Ronnie to get 2 keys cut for the entrance gate to the West Bing. To be stored in the container.

Discussion as to whether the group should have a web site. Further info on how to achieve this to be carried out by Alistair/Maggie/Ronnie


13. Next Meeting

The next meeting of the group will be the AGM on Thursday 12th May, commencing

7pm at Blairhall Community Centre.

Meeting ended 8.30pm

Minutes prepared and completed by Liz McMullan

 


 

West Fife Woodlands Group

Minutes of Meeting

Held at Blairhall Community Centre: Thursday 03 March 2016


Attendance:

Stan Welch, Ronnie Collins, John Rogers, Frank Waterworth, Alistair Hendry,

Peter & Liz McMullan, John Le Marie.

Visitor: Ian Marshall


1. Chair’s Welcome

Chair Stan Welch welcomed all to the meeting with a special welcome to Ian who had shown an interest in becoming a member of the group.

2. Apologies

Jim Dunsire, David Welch, Hilda Carmichael, Andy Batham, Andy Trumper.


3. Minutes of Previous Meeting 04/02/16

Corrections and Clarifications:-

Duncan Wilson listed as attending the meeting did not attend.

Scottish Finest Woods Awards 2016 - The competition has a first prize cash award of £1,000.00 in each of the two categories and not as stated £2,000.00.

With the above corrections, the minutes were accepted as a true record of events.

Proposed by Alistair H, Seconded by Liz McM.


4. Matters Arising

Chair Stan W wished to have it recorded in the minutes the outstanding success of the schools fruit tree planting event at the Orchard Garden site held during February with his sincere thanks to all WFW members involved with the event. Complimentary comments on the event and how much the children had enjoyed themselves had been received from various sources including the schools who participated.

John Le M also wished to record in the minutes the preparation and the work plan produced for the event by John R who responded by adding his thanks to all members involved and their tremendous support of the working arrangements.

Stan W and all members present also expressed their thanks and appreciation to Ronnie C for the work he had completed on a new Interpretation Board at the gate to the start of the Blairhall/Balgownie path. He had collated all the information required and then constructed the board prior to erecting it at the site.

John R indicated he will not be able to attend the monthly meeting in April due to holidays.

Frank W confirmed he proposes to contact Alison Irvine, Senior Access Officer FC regarding the access path crossing Righead Farm and the current planning application submitted made by the owner.

Following the funding application made to Scottish Finest Woods, Frank W advised that the group have been invited to submit an additional A4 two page supplement to their application. Action: Frank W





5. Treasurer’s Report

Frank W reported that the account balance was £6,114.69. Of this amount, £827.69 is available as the HLF grant for the Orchard Garden project. The remaining balance

is £5,287.00.

6. Correspondence

Correspondence on a £1,000.00 grant available from Central Scotland Green Network (CSGN) to enhance wetlands areas had been received. An application for funding to enhance the wetlands on the Blairhall/Balgownie path route will be considered at the next opportunity when funding is available.

A telephone call had been received from a Mrs Mary Wilson with information that she had a set of photographs relevant to the former Valleyfield Estate and would the group be interested in viewing them. John R had contacted Mrs Wilson to confirm interest and was awaiting delivery of the photographs.


7. Group Funding - non project

Ronnie C advised he was awaiting a decision on his funding application to Coal Industry Special Welfare Fund (CISWO).

(Post meeting note: A grant of £250.00 from CISWO had been received.

Frank W confirmed he was awaiting a decision on a funding application to Asda 5p Plastic Bag Community Grants Fund.

(Post meeting note: A grant of £1,200.00 from Asda had been received).


8. Balgownie / Blairhall Path Project

Ronnie C advised that he has been recently been conveying blaize material to improve the path base at the top end of Balgownie Woods. The aspirations of the group are to extend the path to link with Devilla Woods.


9. Orchard Garden Project - Valleyfield Woodland Park

John R informed members that this month was the final reporting quarter for Year 2 HLF funding grant. He advised there were sufficient funds available to purchase a hedge trimmer for the perimeter hedge and a scaffold platform for pruning/fruit picking. After a short discussion, it was decided to delay these purchases until Year 3 due to the current shortage of storage space in the tool container unit.

The possibility of purchasing another container unit was raised and it was agreed to seek possible suppliers of used container units for sale.

Action: Stan W/John Le M agreed to make enquiries.


10. 10th Anniversary Snowdrop Trail Event 2016

The event still has another two weekends to run and will be discussed at the April meeting to compare with previous years.


11. Group’s Constitution - revision

With the termination of the group’s association with ENTRUST, the Constitution needed to reflect this and be amended. It was decided that a meeting prior to the AGM would be the most suitable and convenient venue.


12. Woodland Workouts

The next two proposed workouts will be multi-tasked:

  1. To improve the underfoot conditions of a path at the rear of the TRC area that is prone to drainage problems.

  2. Check the fruit tree stakes at the Orchard site to ensure in correct positions.

  3. A priority was to commence weed control and pruning of the paths at the former East Bing. The lower entry gate initially requires to be cleared of weed to provide access for the grass cutter.


13. AOCB

A Speaker was required to provide a presentation at the AGM on 12th May.

John R suggested that Daniele Muir, Scotland Officer, British Dragonfly Society had indicated to him at a recent OWL meeting that she could assess our two recently constructed ponds on the Blairhall/Balgownie path route for the presence of pond life and then provide a presentation at the AGM. Action: John R to make enquiries.

(Post meeting note; Daniele has agreed to attend and provide a presentation at the AGM following a visit on the same day to the ponds).


The group had received an invitation from the TRC to provide/build an item in the ‘Sensory Garden’ of the site. All agreed that the TRC Secretary should be contacted for further details and possible suggestions of what was required.


14. Next Meeting

The next meeting of the group will be on Thursday 07 April, commencing 7pm at Blairhall Community Centre.


Meeting ended 8.55pm

Minutes prepared and completed by John Rogers, WFW Secretary

 


West Fife Woodlands Group

Minutes of Meeting

Held at Blairhall Community Centre: Thursday 04 February 2016


Attendance:

Stan Welch, Ronnie Collins, John Rogers, Frank Waterworth, Alistair Hendry,

Peter & Liz McMullan, John & Emily Le Marie, Hilda Carmichael, Alan & Geraldine McGuckin, Duncan Wilson, Maggie Dalgleish, Jenny Ventham, Cllr. Bobby Cleland.


1. Chair’s Welcome

Chair Stan Welch welcomed all to the meeting.

2. Apologies

Jim Dunsire, David Welch, Andy Batham.


3. Minutes of Last Meeting

Accepted as a true record of events.

Proposed by Alistair H, Seconded by Frank W


4. Matters Arising

None.


5. Treasurer’s Report

Frank W reported that the account balance was £10,437.79. Of this amount £3,361.75 is the HLF grant for the Orchard Garden project. The available funds of the account at the current date is therefore £7,437.83 There will be several invoices due payment later this month as result of additional purchases that will have to be paid from outwith the HLF grant for the schools fruit tree planting event.

6. Correspondence

Frank W briefed members on a planning application he had been made aware of only today (4th Feb) that involved Righead Farm and the access footpath that runs across the land and which has been a longstanding issue of dispute since the property had been built (2012). Many walkers and cyclists had used the path prior to the property with adjoining garden works being built, and which now impede the route The WFW group intends to extend the path to Devilla Woods. The planning application submitted does not take into account the previous public use and access to Devilla Woods by means of the path. Any objections to the application require to be submitted by the closing date of midnight tonight. General consensus of opinion of the group was that whilst there was no objection to the planning application in general, a condition of acceptance should be that the access path should be re-instated as it was prior to the property being built and access restored to members of the public


7. Group Funding - non project

Ronnie C advised he was awaiting a decision on his funding application to Coal Industry Special Welfare Fund (CISWO). A decision is expected now mid - February.

Frank W intimated he has submitted a funding application to Asda. A decision on the application is also expected during this month.

The funding application to South West Fife Area Local Community Planning Budget (LCPB) for non-project costs had been successful and a grant of £2,700.00 had been approved for the group. A record of thanks and appreciation was noted for the ongoing support of the group’s woodland activities by Fife Council and the LCPB Committee members involved in the approval of the grant.

An application to enter the Scottish Finest Woods Awards 2016 is being pursued by the group. The competition has a first prize cash award of £2,000.00 with additional smaller cash sums as other prizes.


8. Balgownie / Blairhall Path Project

Ronnie C updated members on the work involved to complete the Interpretation Board with the total cost at £237.00. Due to the dimension of the board it will require additional supports to ensure it is stable and secure when in position. Two finger posts still to be purchased - one to be located at the Viewpoint and the other at Beech Avenue. A request for funding to ‘Beautiful Scotland’ to enable a picnic seat to be provided is being pursued by Ronnie C.

Jenny V raised concerns regarding a report she had received of the blaize material for path work being dumped in close proximity of overhead electricity powerlines.

She received confirmation from the members involved that there was sufficient safe distance maintained between the material and the overhead hazard.


9. Orchard Garden Project - Valleyfield Woodland Park

This was the main item of the meeting with ninety minutes allocated to the final planning arrangements and confirmation obtained of the availability of members for the various tasks and dates of the event. It was agreed to appoint Team Leaders for each of the three teams that each school group will be divided on arrival. John R agreed to take on the role of the event co-ordinator as suggested by Kate Fuller, IFLI, on all days except on Monday 22nd February. Liz McM agreed to cover on this date. Copies of the working arrangements and timetable for the event will be provided in due course to all members involved. A fruit tree planting plan of the orchard had been prepared by Stan and David W. The delivery date of the trees, compost, etc. had been confirmed with the trees on arrival requiring be identified and grouped as required for each day of planting.


Actions: John R to finalise timetable and availability of members and other relevant

documentation. Stan W and team to prepare the fruit trees for planting.


10. 10th Anniversary Snowdrop Trail Event 2016

The rehearsal walk had been completed on Sunday 31 January. All arrangements for the first guided walks on the forthcoming weekend (06/07 February) and subsequent five weekends have been confirmed. All agreed the distribution of the updated leaflets and flyers had been extensive and the newly purchased outdoor banner advertising the event made an impressive appearance posted on the side of the TRC outhouse. The walk guide rota, media statement release, risk assessment and emergency plan documents had all been prepared and distributed as necessary.


11. Woodland Workouts

The two proposed workouts prior to the commencement of the fruit tree planting event will mainly be focussed on the preparation of the Orchard Garden for the fruit tree planting apart and the infilling of the gaps of the perimeter hedge. One additional small task will be to improve underfoot conditions at an extreme wet patch of ground immediately in front of the West Bing access gate to the Blairhall/Balgownie path. A transfer of some surplus Type 1 material at the orchard site to the area will hopefully improve the surface.


12. AOCB

An invitation had been received from the management committee of Blairhall Community Centre for members to attend the AGM on Wednesday 24th February 2016 at 7pm.

Ronnie C and John R intimated they would attend. A report on the group’s activities during 2015 had also been invited for inclusion in the annual report.

Action: John R agreed to submit a report.


13. Next meeting

The next meeting of the group will be on Thursday 03 March, commencing 7pm at Blairhall Community Centre.


Meeting ended 8.55pm

Minutes prepared and completed by John Rogers, WFW Secretary


 

West Fife Woodlands Group

Minutes of Meeting

Held at Blairhall Community Centre: Thursday 04 January 2016


Attendance:

Stan Welch, Ronnie Collins, John Rogers, Frank Waterworth, Alistair Hendry,

Peter McMullan, John Le Marie, Emily Le Marie, David Welch, Hilda Carmichael


1. Chair’s Welcome

Chair Stan Welch welcomed all to the meeting.

2. Apologies

Jim Dunsire, Liz McMullan, Maggie Dalgleish, Andy Batham.


3. Minutes of Last Meeting

Correction required on Item 7: Group Funding - non project.

With reference to Frank W’s submission for funding to Asda it was incorrectly reported that the funding was to assist with the Snowdrop Festival costs. This should have read that the funding submission was for the general running costs of the group. No other corrections required and therefore the minutes were accepted as a true record of events.

Proposed by Alistair H, Seconded by Ronnie C.


4. Matters Arising

Frank W advised that following his request to ENTRUST for the group to be removed from the Environmental Bodies (EB’s) register in the Landfill Communities Fund he has received confirmation that the group had been removed from the register. The group therefore does not require to have any further involvement with ENTRUST.


5. Treasurer’s Report

Frank W reported that the account balance was £8,308.73. Of this amount £3,361.75 is the HLF grant for the Orchard Garden project. The available fund of the account at the current date is therefore £4,946.98. There are several invoices due payment and expected during January which will reduce the available balance significantly.

6. Correspondence

Correspondence had been received from Fife Volunteer Group regarding a person who was interested in the WFW activities but would require to use bus transport or obtain a lift from a member to attend the group’s workout activities or meetings. Additional travel costs incurred could be claimed and reimbursed to any member providing assistance. After a short discussion it was agreed that any person interested in the group must be prepared to make their own travel arrangements to attend.


7. Group Funding - non project

Ronnie C advised he was awaiting a decision on his funding application to Coal Industry Special Welfare Fund (CISWO). A decision is expected end of January.

Frank W intimated he has submitted a funding application to Asda. A decision on the application is also expected this month.

Following correspondence sent to Lynn Hoey of Fife Council to advise her of the group’s financial problems and a suggestion made to apply for funding from the South West Fife Area Local Community Planning Budget (LCPB), John R had submitted an application for a grant of £2,700.00.

Post meeting note: This funding application was approved and the group were awarded the amount requested. All WFW members wish to record their thanks and appreciation for the ongoing support of Fife Council for the group’s woodland improvement activities

Hand tools purchase: Three new pairs of loppers have been purchased to replace existing damaged sets. Other hand tools are also in need of replacement and will be obtained in due course.


8. Balgownie / Blairhall Path Project

Ronnie C updated members on the work involved to complete the Interpretation Board with the total cost at £237.00. Due to the dimension of the board it will require additional supports to ensure it is stable and secure when in position. Two finger posts still to be purchased - one to be located at the Viewpoint and the other at Beech Avenue. A request for funding to ‘Beautiful Scotland’ to enable a picnic seat to be provided was being considered

Stan W confirmed that with the FRB re-opened and traffic control measures ended, the work planned before the Christmas break but cancelled on the Balgownie section of path will be completed on the first two Monday workouts 11th and 18th January 2016. The work required is on the base of the path which Ronnie C has already made substantial efforts to improve on his own. It is hoped that the TCV team will be able to attend and provide assistance at the workouts.


9. Orchard Garden Project - Valleyfield Woodland Park

John R advised that all the Primary Schools wishing to participate in the fruit tree planting and other activities event in February had confirmed pupil numbers to attend. The total number of pupils at the site over the six days will be 279 plus teachers.

As many WFW members as possible will be required to assist each day in managing the event-10am -12.30pm. To set up facilities and return them to storage each day, members will require to attend from 9.15am to 1pm.

Twenty eight heritage type tree varieties have been ordered from a Perth based supplier. Growforth Ltd (Hillend) will supply the standard fruit trees varieties required in addition to stakes, tree guards, fertiliser, etc.

Other tasks in progress for the event:-

  1. A detailed plan of the trees positioning and type to be completed by end of January.

  2. A rota of members’ availability and event allocation.

  3. Agreement for use of toilet facilities by pupils has been confirmed with the Therapy Riding Centre (TRC)

  4. Following approval by members of a new Hi-Viz vest with the group logo on back, an order has been placed for twenty five vests for members to wear whilst managing the event.

  5. Meeting to be arranged in January with Kate Fuller of IFLI to finalise arrangements. Post meeting note: Meeting held on Wednesday 27/01/16.

  6. Arrangements to be made for plant holes to be dug by mini digger.

Post meeting note; holes dug out on Monday 25/01/16 - many thanks to Tim Collins and new WFW member Duncan Wilson for this work.

Following advice from Duncan it was agreed that the soil removed would not be replaced as originally planned.

  1. A Risk Assessment and Emergency Plan for the event to be prepared by John R and provided to Headteachers. Post meeting note: required documents completed and emailed to schools 26/01/16.

Actions: Stan W, John R, and project sub-committee.

10. 10th Anniversary Snowdrop Trail Event 2016

Agreed date for the weekend walks are weekend commencing Saturday/Sunday 06/07 February and then each following Saturday/Sunday with the final walks on 12/13 March. All walks will commence at 2pm from Shiresmill car park. The provision of toilet and refreshment facilities has been confirmed with the TRC.

The rehearsal walk will be on Sunday 31 January commencing 2pm from Shiresmill car park. All guides are invited to attend.

John R confirmed an order for 1,000 snowdrop leaflets and 500 flyers had been placed with Multiprint, Kirkcaldy. A vinyl outdoor banner with eyelets was also available from the same printers - cost £59.00 + vat. John R suggested that it could be suitably worded to permit the use of it each year to advertise the snowdrop walks. All members present agreed that a banner would be worthwhile purchase.

Following items still to be completed prior to 06 February: walk guide rota, media statement release, risk assessment and emergency plan.

Action: Stan W/John R


11. Woodland Workouts

Please see Item 8 for details of planned workouts.


12. AOCB

John R produced a 2016 wallplanner chart and suggested that all paths and other woodland areas maintained by the group should be detailed with either a name or number on the chart and with a date/s for a workout s as required throughout the year. This suggestion was also made at the beginning of last year but did not materialise. All agreed that it was a good idea and would enable workouts to be pre-planned for the complete year and permit flexibility of workouts for any work on areas requiring urgent attention.

Action: Stan W/Alistair H


13. Next meeting

The next meeting of the group will be on Thursday 4th February 2016, commencing 7pm at Blairhall Community Centre.


Meeting ended 9pm.

Minutes prepared and completed by John Rogers, WFW Secretary



Minutes of Meeting

Held at Blairhall Community Centre: Thursday 03 December 2015


Attendance:

Stan Welch, Ronnie Collins, John Rogers, Frank Waterworth, Alistair Hendry,

Liz McMullan, John Le Marie.


1. Chair’s Welcome

Chair Stan Welch welcomed all to the meeting.

2. Apologies

Jim Dunsire, Peter McMullan, Hilda Carmichael, Maggie Dalgleish,

Andy Batham.


3. Minutes of Last Meeting

Accepted as a true record of events.

Proposed by Alistair H, Seconded by Ronnie C.


4. Matters Arising

Frank W reported he is awaiting a response from ENTRUST regarding the ‘Voluntary Revocation Request’ submitted to end the group’s association with the organisation.


5. Treasurer’s Report

Frank W reported that the account balance was £8,695.11. Of this amount £3,361.75 is the HLF grant for the Orchard Garden project. The available fund of the account at the current date is therefore £5,333.36 but there are several invoices due and requiring payment which will reduce balance to approximate £4,600.00.

6. Correspondence

Stan confirmed he had contacted Sarah Purves of Green Network (Fife Council) and

advised her as requested of the group’s current projects/activities.


7. Group Funding - non-project

Recent applications by Ronnie C and Frank W to secure funding for the group’s general account have been unsuccessful. It was a matter of serious concern to the group’s management committee that available funds in this account were shrinking at a significant rate and with no replacement income secured at present. It is estimated that if significant new funding is not obtained at an early date the resulting situation will seriously jeopardise the group’s on-going viability in less than eighteen months’ time.

Ronnie C advised he has recently applied to the Scottish Coal Industry Special Welfare Fund (CISWO) for funding. Decision expected end of January.

Frank W intimated he has submitted a funding application to Asda to assist with the Snowdrop Festival costs. Decision expected January.

John R reported he had recently emailed Lynn Hoey of Fife Council to advise her of the group’s financial problems. As a consequence, Lynn has invited the group to apply for funding from the South West Fife Area Local Community Planning Budget (LCPB). John R has agreed to complete funding application.

Several members voiced concerns that many of the group’s hand tools (loppers in particular) are requiring to be renewed, Apart from three grass rakes there have been no new tools purchased since 2013. Ronnie C suggested that the Paths for All (PfA) organisation may be able to provide a grant for tools purchase.

John R agreed to make enquiries to PfA if a funding application could be submitted.

Action: John R


8. Balgownie / Blairhall Path Project

Ronnie C briefed members on the problems he is experiencing with the completion of the map for the Interpretation Board. The map definition quality required by the printer is proving difficult to download by PC. Assistance is being sought from Fife Council to resolve the issue. The administration documents for the Ordnance Survey publishing licence have been completed.

Ronnie indicated that he had recently spent many hours on building up the base of the new path build at the Balgownie end to provide a more stable and firmer surface as the section in question is not suitable for walking on in its current condition. There was still more work required to complete the task and he suggested that it could be undertaken by members on Monday workouts.

Stan W agreed with the idea and confirmed Mondays 14th and 21st December 2015 would be the designated workout dates for the task. He would also make enquires to ascertain if the TCV volunteer team were available to assist.

Action: Stan W


9. Orchard Garden Project - Valleyfield Woodland Park

John R advised that all the Primary Schools wishing to participate in the fruit tree planting and other activities event in February had confirmed pupil numbers to attend. The total number of pupils at the site over the six days will be 279 plus teachers.

As many WFW members as possible will be required to assist each day in managing the event.10am -12.30pm.

Twenty eight heritage type tree varieties have still to be sourced and ordered.

Additional tasks to be completed by end of January 2016:

  1. A detailed plan of the trees positioning point to identify fruit type required

  2. Arrangements to be made for plant holes to be dug by mini digger and then soil loosely replaced - last two weeks in January.

  3. Agreement for use of toilet facilities by pupils to be confirmed with Therapy Riding Centre (TRC). Post meeting note: Confirmed by L Milne, TRC Sec.

  4. New Hi-Viz vests with group logo on back to be purchased for group members managing the event- also can be used by guides on Snowdrop Trail walks.

Post meeting note: John R has sourced online supplier and will purchase one vest for approval by group committee.

(e) Meeting to be arranged in January with Kate Fuller of IFLI to finalise arrangements

Actions: Stan W, John R, and project sub-committee.

10. 10th Anniversary Snowdrop Trail Event 2016

With no funding secured to provide any special event to celebrate the 10th anniversary all suggestions for events other than the walks are on hold at present.

Agreed date for the weekend walks are weekend commencing Saturday/Sunday 06/07 February and then each following Saturday/Sunday with the final walks on 12/13 March. All walks will commence at 2pm from Shiresmill car park. The provision of toilet and refreshment facilities has been confirmed with the TRC.

Prior to the group meeting, John R had circulated by email a proof copy of the updated snowdrop leaflet and a flyer. All agreed that an order should be placed with the printer for 1,000 leaflets and 500 flyer copies. The Crown copyright licence fee for the trail map will also require to be renewed.

Action: John R


11. Woodland Workouts

Please see Item 8 - as discussed and agreed by Stan W.

Workouts for remainder of 2015 to be on recent path build at Balgownie Woods. Workout email advice to request members attending to bring own wheelbarrows and spades if available. Meeting point will be at Balgownie Woods via FCS gate.

Post meeting note:

It was decided by Chair Stan Welch that due to the traffic congestion and road access restrictions to Balgownie as a result of the Forth Road Bridge closure, it would be difficult for members to travel to this location and therefore it would be best if the proposed work was delayed until the bridge re-opens and some normality returns to the roads. The two workouts were therefore re-arranged to undertake work at the walled garden area, Valleyfield Woodland park (VWP).

Action: John R


12. AOCB

A visit recently by a Fife Council representative with Ronnie C attending on behalf of the group to the walled garden area at VWP was to discuss and assess if the ‘Community Payback Team’ could be utilised on work activities at the site. Agreement for the use of the team was confirmed and a date for their attendance will be arranged early in the New Year. Toilet facilities for the team have been agreed with the TRC.

Following on from this item, the question of the future intentions by Fife Council on the walled garden area was discussed and Stan W agreed to make enquiries to the Council to establish if they had any future plans to make improvements, in particular to maintain the wall to a safe standard, but also to improve the overall appearance of this significant historical site in Fife for visitors.

Action: Stan W


13. Next meeting

The next group meeting will be on Thursday 7th January 2016, commencing 7pm at Blairhall Community Centre.


Meeting ended 8.55pm.

Minutes prepared and completed by John Rogers, WFW Secretary


 

West Fife Woodlands Group


Minutes of Meeting

Held at Blairhall Community Centre: Thursday 05 November 2015


Attendance:

Stan Welch, Ronnie Collins, John Rogers, Alistair Hendry, Maggie Dalgleish.

Hilda Carmichael.


1. Chair’s Welcome

Chair Stan Welch welcomed all to the meeting.

2. Apologies

Frank Waterworth, John Le Marie, Jim Dunsire, Peter McMullan, Liz McMullan


3. Minutes of Last Meeting

Accepted as a true record of events.

Proposed by Alistair H, Seconded by Ronnie C.


4. Matters Arising

John R reminded members that the next OWL meeting is to be held on the 19th November 2015. Stan W, Ronnie C and John R propose to attend to represent the group.


5. Treasurer’s Report

John R reported on behalf of the Treasurer that the group’s current account balance was £7085.11. This included a sum of £3,361.75 received from the HLF (via IFLI) and Awards for All funders specifically for the Orchard and Kitchen Garden Restoration Project at Valleyfield Woodland Park.


6. Correspondence

Stan W provided details of correspondence he had received from Sarah Purves of

Green Network, (part of Fife Council) enquiring about the group’s woodland activities.

Stan confirmed he would contact Sarah and advise her of the current projects.


7. Group Funding - non-project

The response to the requests sent to the eight local Community Councils to provide a small sum of annual funding support to assist in the general financial overheads of the group has been very disappointing with only Oakley and Comrie CC very kindly providing a donation for this year only and with the advice to request further donations on an annual basis. Two other CC’s had apologised that they had insufficient funds to provide any funding. There has been no response from the remaining Councils and it was therefore agreed that it was fruitless exercise to continue this funding initiative.

Frank W has agreed to complete a grant application to ‘foundationscotland’ who may be able to provide some funding for running costs. This was following a suggestion made by John Duffy of PfA who is aware of other similar groups experiencing the same funding problems.

Ronnie C has also completed an application to the Co-op Community Fund for similar funding and additionally to provide funds for the Snowdrop Trail 2016.

Post meeting note: Both these funding applications have been unsuccessful.

NB. It is therefore imperative that the group obtain as a matter of priority an alternative funding source for their ‘general fund’ annual running costs to maintain the group’s long term viability.

Action: All members


8. Balgownie / Blairhall Path Project

Ronnie C has commenced the task of preparing an Interpretation Board and obtaining signage posts. All will require approval by Fife Council before being erected. Following last month’s meeting when the item was discussed, Ronnie has purchased lifting gear apparatus on behalf of the group to remove any fallen trees that may cause an obstruction on the path in the future.

Action: Ronnie C


9. Orchard Garden Project - Valleyfield Woodland Park

Stan W confirmed that he and two other members of the project sub-committee have placed an order for 148 fruit trees to be supplied for the Schools Event in February 2016. Additionally, 28 heritage type tree varieties have still to be sourced.

Action: Project sub-committee

Please see Appendix A of these Minutes for current information and arrangements made for the Fruit Tree Planting: Schools Event - February 2016.

10. 10th Anniversary Snowdrop Trail Event 2016

With no funding secured to date to provide any special event to celebrate the 10th anniversary Funding sources all suggestions for events other than the walks are on hold at present.

Agreed date for the weekend walks are weekend commencing Saturday/Sunday 06/07 February and then each following Saturday/Sunday with the final walks on 12/13 March. All walks will commence at 2pm from Shiresmill car park.

John R suggested that the group’s Snowdrop leaflet should be updated to display the walk dates on the front cover. This would save the insertion of an additional page to advise walk dates as is required with the current leaflet. All agreed that if reprinting costs were not prohibitive this would be a good idea.

Action: John R to contact printer and obtain draft copy of amended leaflet and costs involved.


11. Woodland Workouts

Stan W advised that preparation of the Snowdrop trail for the 2016 season was a priority and he envisaged it would require the next three ‘workout sessions’ to complete the task.


12. AOCB

(1) Following correspondence received from ENTRUST, Frank W confirmed by email that as WFW has no outstanding funding arrangements with the organisation he has formally submitted a ‘Voluntary Revocation Request Form’ which will be considered for approval in December this year. If accepted this will end the group’s association with the organisation.

(2) Following an invitation from the Editor, Ronnie C advised that he had provided an article on the WFW group for inclusion in Oakley and Comrie Community Council Newsletter. The article has appeared in the latest edition of the newsletter.

Well done Ronnie.

(3) Ronnie C has contacted Fife Council to enquire if the ‘Community Payback Team’ could be provided over a five day period to assist with various time consuming work activities required to maintain the walled garden area at Valleyfield and to assist in other woodland areas maintained by the group.

(4) John Le M has expressed by email his concerns regarding the group’s current membership form and other current safety practices on workout sessions.

The membership form in use at present does not provide sufficient information on any health issues of the applicant or describe the general work activities of the group. It is therefore not possible for the applicant to make an informed decision if the activities are suitable to them and equally does not provide the group with any information on any health issues the applicant may wish to disclose. This may be of vital importance in the event of an accident. John suggested that the ‘Scottish Native Woods’ organisation before it ceased existence had an excellent membership form which the group could adopt to replace the existing form.

With regards to safety during workout sessions, a Team Leader should be appointed on each workout and remain in the presence of all members during each workout to ensure the safety working of the group and to lead and manage the work activity to completion. In addition, the ‘Emergency Procedures’ proforma should be attached to the workout record sheet on each occasion and be in possession of the Team Leader. Agreed by all that the suggestions were very positive and valid safety improvements. To be implemented at the earliest date.

Action: John R to progress.


13. Next meeting - Thursday 03 December 2015 commencing 7pm.

Meeting ended 8.55pm.


Appendix A

Orchard Garden Project - Schools Event: February 2016

A very productive meeting to discuss the event was arranged with Kate Fuller of IFLI, John Le M and John R attending on behalf of WFW. The planning and the logistics required in arranging for local Primary Schools to participate was discussed and agreed as follows:

Transport costs to convey the pupils to/from the event will be reimbursed from the WFW project fund

There will be three activities on each day of the event with the school group on arrival managed into three separate smaller groups with each group participating simultaneously in each of the activities.

EVENT 1 - Fruit tree planting: a total of 21 trees to be planted by each school with 2 or 3 pupils attending each tree plant

EVENT 2 - Snowdrop Trail Walk: a maximum of 25 pupils per group to be given a guided walk on the Snowdrop Trail with WFW members.

EVENT 3 - An Inner Forth Landscape Initiative (IFLI) Woodland Learning Event provided by IFLI members involving Tree Identification, meeting a Tree and Tree Poetry.

Following on from the above meeting, John R has confirmed details with the following Primary schools on the dates of attendance and the number of pupils ( ) participating:

Week 1: Mon. 15 February Torryburn (44) Start time 10am - Finish 12.30pm

Tues.16 February Saline (50) on all days

Wed. 17 February Inzievar (47)

Week 2: Mon. 22 February St. Serfs (40)

Tues. 23 February Tulliallan (54)

Wed. 24 February Culross (26) and Holy Name (18)


Total number of pupils attending over 6 days will be 279


=======================================================

 

 


 

West Fife Woodlands Group

Minutes of Meeting

Held at Blairhall Community Centre: Thursday 01 October 2015


Attendance:

Stan Welch, Ronnie Collins, John Rogers, Frank Waterworth, John Le Marie, Alistair Hendry, Peter McMullan, Liz McMullan, Maggie Dalgleish.

Interested and potential new member: Hilda Carmichael.


1. Chair’s Welcome

Chair Stan Welch welcomed all to the meeting and a special warm welcome was extended to Hilda Carmichael who is interested in the activities of the group. Stan hoped that Hilda would enjoy the meeting and be encouraged to join the group as a member.

2. Apologies

Jim Dunsire.


3. Minutes of Last Meeting

Accepted as a true record of events.

Proposed by Alistair H, Seconded by Ronnie C.


4. Matters Arising

John R advised he had attended the inaugural meeting of OWL (Outdoor Woodland Learning Scotland) to form a West Fife group. The meeting had been well attended by representatives from local schools and the next meeting is to be held on the 19th November 2015.


5. Treasurer’s Report

Frank W confirmed the group’s current account total balance as £8,441.51, this included a sum of £3, 361.75 received from the HLF (via IFLI) and Awards for All funders specifically for the Orchard and Kitchen Garden Restoration Project at Valleyfield Woodland Park, The true balance available on the account was therefore £5,079.76.


6. Correspondence

John R reported he had received advice from TCV that from 1st November 2015 onwards they

will no longer be dealing with the administration of the group’s insurance. A new company

called Tennyson (a wholly owned subsidiary of Zurich Insurance) will be responsible for

providing insurance services.


7. Group Funding - non-project

The Chair confirmed he had received three responses to date from the letter sent to the eight West Fife Villages Community Councils requesting annual financial support for the group’s running costs. Only Oakley and Comrie CC had very kindly donated a sum of £100.00 which was very much appreciated. The other two CC’s had advised that they were unable to provide a sum due to insufficient funds available but they were very supportive of the woodland activities undertaken by the group.

Frank W has agreed to complete a grant application to ‘foundationscotland’ who may be able to provide some funding for running costs. This was following a suggestion made by John Duffy of PfA who is aware of other similar groups experiencing the same funding problems.

Action: Frank W


8. Balgownie / Blairhall Path Project

The remaining 250 metres of path to link the path from Balgownie Woods to the bridge at the Grange Burn and adjoining path to Blairhall was successfully completed by group members during September. Stan W thanked everyone involved. It had been completed within the three days as planned and there was no problems experienced during the build.

The next task is obtaining and erecting signage and an Interpretation Board on the route. Ronnie C/John Le M agreed to obtain cost estimates. Ronnie C suggested the group should purchase lifting gear for any fallen trees that may cause a hazard on the path in the future.

Action: Ronnie C/John Le M


9. Orchard Garden Project - Valleyfield Woodland Park

A second visit to Growforth Nurseries Ltd, Hillend, by members of the project sub-committee to discuss the fruit trees available and associated costs had been successful with a cost for 100 fruit trees (70 apple variety, 15 pears, and 15 plums), stakes, fertiliser, etc. confirmed at a total of £1,921.95. As discussed and agreed at the previous group meeting due to the underspend funding available, the total trees to be purchased will be increased to 148 standard fruit trees with an additional 28 heritage variety. Other items agreed with the additional funding available are:

  1. Removal of trees at hedge line - estimate cost obtained and agreed for work to be completed in current year.

Purchases to be made in Project Year 3:

(b) Purchase of a petrol powered hedge trimmer to maintain perimeter hedge.

(c) Purchase of a scaffolding platform for tree pruning and fruit picking.

Action: Project sub-committee


John R intimated that his invitation to the eight local Primary Schools in the area for pupils to participate in the tree planting event had received a very positive and enthusiastic support with seven schools accepting the offer. As the invitation included transport to the event to be paid by the group the current budget forecast for coach hire required to be increased to meet the anticipated higher costs involved. John R will report this in the quarterly IFLI report due to be submitted on 07th October and arrange to discuss the issue with Kate Fuller, IFLI Community Engagement Officer.

Action: John R

(Post meeting note - increased funding for schools transport costs agreed with IFLI - John R)


10. 10th Anniversary - Snowdrop Trail Event 2016

Funding sources for the event were suggested to members by Ronnie C. The Co-op Trust Fund has funding available for transportation costs if it is proposed to invite school groups.

A confirmed funder for the event will be required by no later than 01 December 2015 to provide sufficient time to make arrangements for any special events to be held to celebrate the anniversary. A suggestion to provide evening walks with floodlighting of a section of the path during the school half term holiday week is to be given further consideration as soon as practical by John R/Ronnie C. Any other suggestions will be very welcome.

John Le M advised that the publicity of the Snowdrop Festival for the 2016 season on a national basis will be the responsibility of ‘Visit Scotland’. He suggested that we should also register the group on the ‘Discover Scottish Gardens’ if the group’s activities were within the membership eligibility criteria of the organisation

Action: Ronnie C/John R


11. Woodland Workouts

Workouts on Mondays will be continuing on all the group’s woodland areas throughout the Winter/Spring period. Details of the workout will be advised weekly by email.


12. AOCB

Following correspondence received from ENTRUST, Frank W informed members he will advise the organisation to remove the group’s details from their database as there was no outstanding funding remaining or required by the group.

Ronnie C advised that he has been invited to provide an article on the WFW group by Oakley and Comrie Community Council for inclusion in the Community Newsletter.


13. Next meeting - Thursday 05 November 2015 commencing 7pm.

Meeting ended 8.55pm - Minutes prepared and completed by John Rogers, WFW Secretary.

 

 


West Fife Woodlands Group

Minutes of Meeting

Held at Blairhall Community Centre: Thursday 03 September 2015


Attendance:

Stan Welch, Ronnie Collins, John Rogers, Alistair Hendry, Willie Lonie, Maggie Dalgleish.


1. Chair’s Welcome

Chair Stan Welch welcomed all to the meeting and a warm welcome was extended to new member Willie Lonie attending his first monthly meeting.

2. Apologies

Frank Waterworth, John Le Marie, Muriel Colver, Jim Dunsire.


3. Minutes of Last Meeting

Accepted as a true record of events.

Proposed by Alistair H, Seconded by Ronnie C


4. Matters Arising

None.


5. Treasurer’s Report

John R confirmed the group’s current account balance as £8,440.93


6. Correspondence

Stan W advised he had received an invitation from Karen Ballantyne, Forest Education Officer, for a member/s of the group to attend a meeting at Queen Anne High School, Dunfermline on Thursday 10 September 2015 regarding a proposal if there is sufficient local interest of forming a West Fife OWL group.

Action: Ronnie C/John R agreed to attend.


7. Group Funding - non-project

The Chair confirmed he had three responses to date from the communication sent to the eight West Fife Villages Community Councils requesting annual financial support for the group’s running costs. A report will be presented to members on the total response to the initiative when the remaining Community Councils have replied.

8. Balgownie to Blairhall Path Project updates

Stan W intimated that with all the professional help and trained plant operators now arranged he proposes that the group commence the building of the final 250m path on Monday 21 September for a period of three consecutive days. A fourth day will be added if required. Full details of the work activity will be communicated to members during the week prior to commencement of the work. An Emergency Procedures document and a Risk Assessment specific to the worksite and work involved will be emailed to Fife Council and FCS in addition to group members.

Action: John R



9. Orchard Garden Project - Valleyfield Estate

A second visit to Growforth Nurseries Ltd, Hillend, by members of the project sub-committee to discuss the fruit trees available and associated costs had been successful with a cost for 100 fruit trees (70 apple variety, 15 pears, 15 plums), stakes, fertiliser, etc. confirmed. There will be a significant underspend of the HLF project grant this year due to the trees costs being lower than expected and not requiring a contractor to cut the meadow grass as originally costed in the budget.

As a result of the above, Stan W has discussed with Kate Fuller (IFLI) additional items that could now be included as part of project and will absorb the remaining budget available for this year. Proposed additional items are:

  1. Petrol powered hedge trimmer to maintain perimeter hedge.

  2. Scaffolding platform for tree pruning and fruit picking.

  3. Increase the purchase of fruit trees to 150 in addition to a number of heritage trees.

  4. Remove the trees at the perimeter of the site initially proposed to be removed in the site preparation work Year 1 but deleted from works as it would have resulted in an overspend.

  5. Grass cutter machine blade and drive belt replacement.

Formal advice of the above proposals with estimated costs to be included in next quarterly project report to IFLI.

Action: Stan W/John R


Alistair H produced a drawing to scale of the proposed tree layout at the site and it was agreed by all present that there was sufficient space available to purchase and plant at least another 50 trees/plants as proposed on the underspend list.

The final choice of tree varieties will be made by the project sub-committee.

Action: Stan W and sub-committee/John R


John R confirmed he had prepared a draft letter to be sent to the eight Primary schools in the area and had invited comments from Kate Fuller of IFLI. With a few minor tweaks the communication will be sent to the Headteachers of all schools concerned by the end of September.

Action: John R


10. 10th Anniversary - Snowdrop Trail Event 2016

Possible funding sources for the event were provided to members by Ronnie C. A confirmed funder will be required by December.

Some good and appreciated suggestions from group member Val Melrose have been received to mark the event as a special celebration of 10 years;-

  1. Wearing of period costume by walk guides and erecting a pineapple stall at the site.

  2. Visitors on walk either planting a snowdrop bulb at the site or taking a bulb home to plant in own garden.

  3. John R suggested possible floodlighting part of the walk for evening walks during the schools half term holiday week.

Further consideration will be given to all suggestions and any others received at the next monthly meeting.


11. Woodland Workouts

Monday morning workouts have commenced earlier than usual this year after the summer break and will continue to complete the first meadow grass cut at the Orchard Garden project followed by the marking out of the site in preparation for the fruit trees planting early next year.


12. AOCB

The Fife Council legal document authorising the group’s regular work activities at the Valleyfield, Blairhall, and Townhill Woodlands, and also the Blairhall/Balgownie path construction in total has been approved by the Council Legal Services department and signed off by Stan W on behalf of the group.

Action: John R to email a copy to the group management committee members.


13. Next meeting - Thursday 01 October 2015 commencing 7pm.


Meeting ended 8.50pm


Minutes prepared and completed by John Rogers, WFW Secretary.

 

 


 

West Fife Woodlands Group

Minutes of Meeting

Held at Blairhall Community Centre: Thursday 02 July 2015


Attendance:

Stan Welch, John Rogers, Frank Waterworth, John Le Marie, Alistair Hendry,

David Welch, Muriel Colver.


1. Chair’s Welcome

Chair Stan Welch welcomed all to the meeting.

2. Apologies

Ronnie Collins, Peter & Liz McMullan, Maggie Dalgleish.


3. Minutes of Last Meeting

Accepted as a true record.

Proposed by Alistair H and Seconded by Stan W.


4. Matters Arising

The Chair wished to have recorded in the Minutes the excellent work completed recently by Ronnie C of building two additional seat benches and undertaking some path improvement work at Balgownie Woods. Thanks Ronnie.


5. Treasurer’s Report

Frank W advised the group’s current account balance was £8,504.64. This did not reflect the true balance available as £3,500 of this sum is ‘Awards for All’ project monies for use on the purchase and planting of fruit trees later in the year at the Orchard Restoration and Kitchen Garden project, Valleyfield Woodland Park.


6. Correspondence

None


7. Group Funding - non-project

Stan W reiterated the issue discussed at the June meeting that the group funds available for annual running costs e.g. Public Liability and Personal Accident insurance (renewal premium 2015/16 is £370.00), hand tools maintenance and replacement, fuel for power tools, PPE for members, and other miscellaneous costs was now at a low level and a regular source of income was required to be found to meet the group’s financial commitments in the future. At the June meeting, it was agreed a letter would be sent to the West Fife Villages Community Councils seeking their financial support on an annual basis. John R had produced a draft letter for discussion by the members. All agreed that the contents of the letter explained the group’s current financial situation and subject to some minor amendments it should be sent to the respective Community Councils.

Action: John R.






8. Balgownie to Blairhall Path Project updates

Funding of £3,000 by Comrie Colliery Environmental Trust (CCET) has been approved and confirmed by Alan Kenny, Manager at Comrie Colliery to enable the final 250m section of path to be completed. Stan C was delighted to announce and thanked John R for negotiating with TCV to secure insurance cover for group members to complete the project without any additional premium required.

John Le M advised Stan W that the Fife Council document authorising the group to proceed with the path construction requires to be signed and approved prior to any work commencing. Stan W confirmed he had a supply of the Geotextile base material ready. He would contact the JCB/dumper truck contractor and also liaise with Sandy and Maggie Dalgleish as to when a suitable date could be agreed for them to assist with the transportation of the Blaise material to the worksite.

Action: Stan W


9. Orchard Garden Project - Valleyfield Estate

John Le M commented that on a recent visit to the site there appeared to be a lack of sown wildflowers showing through the meadow. This may be due to the delayed planting last year due to the inclement weather at the time.

A discussion followed on the preferred variety of fruit trees to purchase and agreement by all members present that a variety of apple trees would be the main fruit with a smaller percentage of pears and plum trees to complement the mix. Alistair H has been making enquiries with local tree nurseries and Growforth Ltd., Hillend, Dunfermline had provided a provisional cost per tree that could be negotiated. A meeting of a sub-committee for the project was required prior to the purchase and Stan W agreed to arrange a meeting with members involved prior to a visit to the nursery.

The engagement of local schools in the planting activity also required to be initiated now and it was agreed assistance in this task could be best be provided by contacting the appropriate schools in their area. John R agreed to draft a letter to the schools with details of the project and the proposed involvement of the schoolchildren concerned. Letter to be discussed and approved at the August meeting.

Action: Stan W/John R


10. Woodland Workouts

John Le M reported that there were considerable weed and thistle growth in parts of the Orchard Garden site. Stan W agreed that a workout session would be the best remedial action. Workout to be advised for Monday 20 July 2015.

Action: John R.


11. AOCB

The presence of Japanese Knotweed in several locations in the area had been reported to Fife Council but at the present date there had been no feedback on action taken or intentions to do so from the Council to eradicate the growth.

David W wished to record the thanks of the TRC members to Alistair H for the use of the group’s new grass cutter machine to clear the grass and path area adjoining the roadway to the Riding Centre.


Meeting ended: 8.50pm. Minutes prepared by John Rogers, WFW Secretary.



Next meeting: Thursday 06 August 2015

 

 

 


West Fife Woodlands Group

Minutes of Meeting

Held at Blairhall Community Centre: Thursday 04 June 2015


Attendance:

Stan Welch, Ronnie Collins, John Rogers, Alistair Hendry, Peter McMullan

Cllr. Bobby Clelland.


1. Chair’s Welcome

Chair Stan Welch welcomed everyone to the meeting.

2. Apologies

Frank Waterworth, Liz McMullan, John Le Marie, Jim Dunsire, Maggie Dalgleish, Muriel Colver.


3. Minutes of Last Meeting

Accepted as a true record.

Proposed by Ronnie C and seconded by Alistair H.


4. Matters Arising

Following the AGM in May, Frank Waterworth who was unable to attend the meeting offered to apply for the post of Treasurer. John R who had been appointed to the position at the AGM agreed to stand down. Frank W was therefore duly appointed as Treasurer - proposed by Ronnie C and seconded by Peter McM.

The Chair thanked Ronnie C for his excellent work building a picnic table and benches at the Grange Burn Bridge from a funding grant provided by the ‘Keep Scotland Beautiful’ organisation.


5. Treasurer’s Report

John R advised the group’s current account balance was £8,866.65. This did not reflect the true balance available as £3,500 of this sum is ‘Awards for All’ project monies solely for use on the purchase and planting of fruit trees later in the year at the Orchard Restoration and Kitchen Garden Interpretation project at Valleyfield Estate.


6. Correspondence

None


7. Group Funding - non-project

Stan W highlighted the fact that the group funds available for annual expenditure items such as Public Liability and Personal Accident insurance (renewal premium cost for 2015/16 is £370.00), hand tools maintenance/replacement, fuel for power tools, PPE for members on workout sessions, and other miscellaneous costs were now at a depleted level and that a regular source of income was required to be found to meet the group’s financial commitments in the future. The group when formed in 2006 had been fortunate enough to receive a nominal amount transferred from a closing organisation in the area which was used as an opening account balance. However, this legacy has reduced considerably with annual running costs over the years and no replacement income has been received.

Bobby C reiterated his comments made at the AGM when this issue was first raised that an approach for funding could be made to the Community Councils in the area where local residents benefit from the group’s activities in the surrounding woodlands.. After further discussion this was agreed as the best option.

Stan W/John R agreed to prepare a suitable letter and contact the Community Councils concerned.

Action: Stan W/John R.


8. Balgownie to Blairhall Path Project updates

Funding of £3,000 by Comrie Colliery Environmental Trust (CCET) has been approved to enable the final 250m section of path to be completed. However, prior to any work commencing, John R advised that the Fife Council document authorising the group to proceed with the path construction requires to be signed by the Chair and the group require to have public liability insurance and compliance with CDM regulations arranged to enable members to undertake the work. Also, the question of dumper truck driver training for members or use of professional operators if this is the cheaper option will need to be addressed when a response is received from the enquiry made regarding additional insurance cover to the group’s insurers.


9. Orchard Garden Project - Valleyfield Estate

The funding application submitted to Awards for All (A4A) had been successful and a grass cutter machine to maintain the sown grass meadow has been purchased.

The remainder of the funding is to purchase 100 fruit trees and other products required e.g.fertiliser, garden tools, tree stakes, etc., with the objective to engage local schools in the project and for the pupils to plant the trees at the end of this year.

A project group sub-committee meeting will require to be held soon to discuss best means of bringing local schools on-board to be involved in the tree planting work. Stan W advised that Sue Walker of IFLI (partner funder of project) has offered the services of a professional expert on the best type of fruit trees to purchase.

Action: Stan W to arrange early meeting of project sub-committee.


10. Disclosure Scotland (DS) update

A discussion on the costs and time involved to attain Disclosure and a requirement to appoint an ‘authorised person’ after he/she had attended a formal training course to sign off pre-application personal documents concluded that it was not worthwhile to pursue the issue. There was a likelihood that only one or two enquiries per year would be received by the group and it was agreed that the person/s concerned would be asked to provide their own Guardian if they wished to be actively involved in the group’s workout activities.


11. Woodland Workouts

As is the normal practice in the summer months there are no further workouts planned until September unless any area requires early attention.


12. AOCB

Ronnie C advised that he proposes to build and erect two additional bench seats for areas in Blairhall/Balgownie woodland.

Alistair H reported that there is a presence of Japanese Knotweed in the area. Stan W has also noted same recently. Details of locations to be advised to John R who will contact Fife Council.

Action: Alistair H/ Stan W/John R.


Meeting ended: 8.45pm. Minutes prepared by John Rogers, WFW Secretary.


West Fife Woodlands Group

Minutes of Meeting

Held at Blairhall Community Centre: Thursday 02 April 2015


Attendance:

Ronnie Collins, John Rogers, Muriel Colver, Alistair Hendry, Maggie Dalgleish,

Frank Waterworth.


1. Chair’s Welcome

Vice Chair Ronnie Collins welcomed everyone to the meeting.

2. Apologies

Stan Welch, John Le Marie, Peter & Liz McMullan.


3. Minutes of Last Meeting

Proposed by Muriel Colver, no seconder available.


4. Matters Arising

Alistair H reported that on Saturday 28 March he with Stan W and other group members had attended the IFLI Volunteers’ Lunch Event, held at the Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre. There had been a good attendance from all invited groups with a presentation by Ecologist Chris Knowles. Chair Stan W has invited Chris to attend and provide a presentation at the group’s AGM in May.

Action: Stan W to confirm with Chris Knowles re: AGM presentation.


5. Treasurer’s Report

Account Balance £5192.87


6. Correspondence

None


7. Balgownie to Blairhall Path Project updates

Awaiting formal advice on funding application submitted to CCET to enable final 250m section of path to be completed. Prior to any work commencing, John R advised that the Fife Council document authorising the group to proceed with the path construction requires to be signed by the Chair and the group will require to have public liability insurance and compliance with CDM regulations arranged.

Ronnie C anticipated it was feasible that work on the path could commence late April/ or early May if all necessary documentation completed and dumper truck operator training and insurance arranged

Action: Stan W to complete Fife Council authorisation document for path construction and John R to discuss dumper truck training/insurance with concerned organisations.


8. Orchard Garden Project

Awaiting confirmed decision on funding application submitted to Awards for All (A4A).

Supplier and costs for 100 fruit trees and other products required e.g.fertiliser, garden tools, tree stakes, etc. Stan C intimated that the project group sub-committee would need to arrange a meeting at an early date to discuss best means of bringing local schools, Blairhall, Valleyfield, Culross, and Torryburn on-board to be involved in the tree planting work. John R advised that Stan C had prior to going on holiday met a representative from St Serfs School who was keen to assist in the efforts to arrange for schoolchildren to become involved with the project. He is intending to pursue this initiative on his return. Alistair H has arranged for the next Monday workout (13 April) a trial of a grass cutter machine to ascertain if it will meet expectations to complete the tasks to be completed at the Orchard Garden site and other areas maintained by the group.

Action: Stan C to obtain final costs and a confirmed supplier to provide fruit trees,

Meeting of project sub-committee to be arranged at early date.


9. Snowdrop Trail

A sum of £50.00 has been provided from the total donations received to the Therapy Riding Centre (TRC) for providing refreshments. The remaining balance will be divided equally between the group and the TRC for future funding.

John R repeated for members not present at the previous group meeting his intentions to seek increased and early funding for the 10th anniversary event next year to ensure that the occasion can be celebrated as a local community event. It is hoped that publicity and raised awareness of the event can commence in September.

Action: John R agreed to seek possible funders in September 2015.


10. Disclosure Scotland (DS) update

Ronnie C has spoken to TRC member (Lesley) responsible for TRC applications and there is some uncertainty as to whether she can obtain authority from DS to assist with applications on behalf of the group. Further enquiries to be made to DS to confirm application procedure/requirements.

Action: Stan W/John R to pursue with DS as necessary.


11. Woodland Workouts

John R raised the question regarding an item agreed at an earlier meeting to identify all the paths maintained by the group and to prepare an annual maintenance schedule. Alistair H advised that he and Stan W had now identified all the paths concerned. John R agreed to provide the purchased Year Planner wallchart for a maintenance schedule to be completed and for it then to be posted in the group’s tool storage unit.

Action: Stan W/Alistair H to complete Year Planner on receipt from John R

No workout planned for Easter Monday.

Maggie D reported a path area on the former East Bing that required early attention.

Action: John R to advise Stan W of work required on his return from holiday.


12. AOCB

Frank W reported that he had received on behalf of the group an end of financial tax year form from ENTRUST to be completed and submitted by 28/05/2015. The form required all monies from FET ‘received’ and ‘transfers out’ to be detailed for the year.


Group Annual General Meeting: Thursday 14 May 2015

Actions:

Muriel C agreed to purchase buffet food. Presentation speaker to be confirmed by Stan W. Invitation list for invited guests to be sent out by John R.


13. Next monthly meeting: Thursday 04 June 2015,

Commencing 7pm, Blairhall Community Centre.

Meeting ended: 8.55pm. Minutes prepared by John Rogers, WFW Secretary

 


 

West Fife Woodlands Group

Note of Annual General Meeting

Blairhall New Community Centre: 1st May 2014


Attendance:

Stan Welch (Chair), John Le Marie, Emily Le Marie, Muriel Colver, Frank Waterworth, Donald Murdoch, David Welch, Alistair Hendry, Peter McMullan, Liz McMullan, Eleanor Knight (STRC), Lynda Milne (STRC), Ronnie Collins, Kate Fuller (IFLI), Graeme Walker, Robert McKenzie (VHP), Jenny Ventham (FCS), John Rogers, May Rogers


1. Chair’s Welcome

Stan W thanked everyone for their attendance, with a special welcome to Kate Fuller of Inner Forth Landscape Initiative.


2. Apologies

Lynn Hoey (FC), Maggie Dalgleish, Sophie Eastwood (FCCT), Mark Jeffrey (NTS), Alison Irvine (FC),Cllr Bobby Clelland, Cllr Kate Stewart, Helen Hendry, Katrine Paterson (VHP),


3. Minutes of Last Meeting

Proposed by John Le M, Seconded by Peter McM


4. Matters Arising

None.


5. Chair’s Annual Report

Stan W read his annual report, the text of which is attached.


6. Treasurer’s Report

Muriel C circulated copies of the group’s audited accounts, the balance at the year ending 31 Dec 2013 being £11,899.20. A copy of the 2013 annual accounts is attached. Acceptance of the accounts was proposed by Ronnie C and Seconded by John Le M


7. Election of Office Bearers


Position

Nominee

Proposed

Seconded

Chair

Stan Welch

Peter McMullan

Alistair Hendry

Vice-Chair

Ronnie Collins

John Le Marie

John Rogers

Treasurer

Muriel Colver

Stan Welch

Ronnie Collins

Secretary

John Rogers

Stan Welch

Alistair Hendry


8. Election of Management Committee Members


Position

Nominee

Proposed

Seconded

Member

Frank Waterworth

John Le Marie

John Rogers

Member

Jenny Ventham

Frank Waterworth

John Le Marie

Member

Peter McMullan

Ronnie Collins

John Le Marie

Member

Maggie Dalgleish

Stan Welch

Ronnie Collins



9. Guest Speaker – Kate Fuller of the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative


West Fife Woodlands is involved with an Inner Forth Landscape Initiative project to regenerate the old orchard in Valleyfield Woodland Park.


Kate gave an overview of some of the other 49 projects being undertaken as part of the initiative and put them in the context of the major themes running through the initiative in her informative and well- illustrated presentation.



10. Chairman’s Closing Remarks

On behalf of all present, Stan W thanked Kate Fuller for providing the group with such an informative presentation.


The evening concluded with a cold buffet and drinks.



Attachments:

1. Chairman’s Report

2. Management Accounts to be supplied separately by Treasurer.



Frank Waterworth


Secretary


West Fife Woodlands


Email: frankwaterworth@aol.com

Tel: 01383 881638




















West Fife Woodlands’ AGM – Chair’s Report


Year 2013-14 has proved to be a busy and also a frustrating year, but I believe ultimately very rewarding.

Due to delays, none of which were of our own making we learned that Fife Environment Trust (FET) had pulled out of the funding for the path and new bridge from the former West Bings into Balgownie Woods. However due to the sterling efforts of John Le Marie we have managed to rescue to rescue the project although in a cut down form. LEADER is providing the bulk of the funding with a further contribution from Fife Council and use of our own funds. The project has gone out to tender and we have received a quote from a contractor which just about comes within budget. We have just had confirmation from LEADER that we may accept the quote and we will now place an order for the bridge to be manufactured that will be used across the Grange Burn. John Le M has worked wonders on securing the viability of the project and we must thank him for his tenacity. On the assumption that the work proceeds fairly quickly although we would normally do much ourselves during the summer months I suggest that we do what we can to make the whole path walkable as soon as possible. I trust that Jenny from FCS can get the deer fence moved as agreed to enable the path to be completed.

The other major achievement of the group this year has been our inclusion in the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative (IFLI) and as a result the former Kitchen Garden at Valleyfield Country Park is to be restored and planted as an orchard and a wild flower meadow. Match funding for Year 1 of the project has been promised by FET. We have had many meetings with Fife Council and the IFLI team of whom Kate Fuller is a member and with us this evening to provide an oversight of the project and I would add has been very supportive and continues to be throughout the initial planning stages.

A low point of the year was when several members attending one of our monthly meetings discovered at the end of the meeting that their car tyres had been slashed whilst parked nearby the meeting place.

With the help of Theresa Hughes from Fife Council we have managed to relocate the tool container relocated to Shiresmill car park and this has proved to be a great blessing. We have painted the roof of it with bitumen paint and the exterior in a more tasteful ‘Buckingham Green’. We resisted Theresa’s suggestion of painting it with pink and yellow flowers but I believe Angela Waterworth may paint our group logo on the door. The internal fittings for tool storage are almost complete thanks to Alistair and also to Geoff for ensuring the container is seated level on base slabs.

Our morning ‘workout’ sessions have been varied. We have recently cleared the path from Valleyfield Country Park up to Woodhead Street and in addition cleared the path from the top of the street over to the road leading down to Culross. Two successful Saturday morning sessions have been held with local scout and guide groups attending. The session with Blairhall Guides cleared the path from near Blairhall Viaduct that links into the path network which we cleared last year. We were able to generate some good publicity as a result of this work. The path has become well used by walkers. Cyclists and horse riders. The Charlestown Scouts helped to enhance the footpath which runs around the perimeter of the Shiresmill Therapy Riding Centre towards the Bluther Burn. Thanks must be given to Ronnie Collins for organising these sessions and I believe similar sessions involving scout and guide groups may be held in the future.

The group have continued to carry out red squirrel Transects in Devilla Woods and although funding for the post of Fife Red Squirrel Officer has now ended, the monitoring group is to continue on a voluntary basis and some WFW members have signed up to join the new group. Four members of our group joined Sophie Westwood and numerous other volunteers from throughout Fife for an update and lunch at the Falkland Centre for Stewardship. Sophie has obtained a six month placement with the RSPB on the White tailed Eagle Project and she has agreed to give a presentation at one of our monthly meetings later this year.

At our February meeting, John Duffy from Paths for All (PfA) gave a description of PfA activities and we could well call on him in the future for advice and small funding grants.

We managed to obtain funding again for the Snowdrops Festival and although numbers on the walks were not large, all who attended greatly appreciated the experience. It was also very evident that many persons are going on the walk by themselves using the maps that we provide free. However, some visitors on the walk indicated they had just arrived by chance and had not planned the visit. We therefore clearly have to rethink our publicity to advertise the walks. Four schools also attended as did a group from the Probus Club, Dunfermline following a presentation I had provided to them previously. Thanks again also to the Shiresmill Therapy Riding Centre for their co-operation by providing refreshments after the walks.

After a year of just talking about it we have finally got around to obtaining a group fleece jacket for members and thanks must go to Ronnie C for driving this initiative forward.

Let me close by thanking all who have helped in whatever capacity and hopefully we can rattle through the remaining business of the meeting to enable us to listen to Kate and then enjoy the social time together.


===========================================


 

West Fife Woodlands Group

Minutes of Meeting

Held at Blairhall Community Centre: Thursday 05 March 2015


Attendance:

Stan Welch, John Rogers, Muriel Colver, John Le Marie, Frank Waterworth,


1. Chair’s Welcome

Chair Stan Welch welcomed everyone to the meeting.

2. Apologies

Ronnie Collins, Alistair Hendry, David Third, Peter & Liz McMullan, Maggie Dalgleish.


3. Minutes of Last Meeting

Proposed by John Le Marie and seconded by Muriel Colver.


4. Matters Arising

None


5. Treasurer’s Report

Account Balance £10,126.14. Muriel C advised that following an enquiry she had made to the bank prior to the meeting, the new signatories mandate for the group’s account had been approved. Therefore, after payments due out of the account a true balance of the account will be nearer £6,300.


6. Correspondence

None


7. Balgownie to Blairhall Path Project updates

Application document for funding to complete remaining section has been completed by Frank W/Stan W and submitted to Comrie Colliery Environmental Trust (CCET). Decision on application expected by end of March.


8. Orchard Garden Project funding update

Awaiting confirmed decision on funding application submitted to Awards for All (A4A).

Remaining hedgerow planting (60 whips) has been completed by the group since previous meeting. Confirmed costs for 100 fruit trees and other products required e.g. fertiliser, garden tools, tree stakes, etc. have still to be obtained. Stan C intimated that the project group sub-committee would need to arrange a meeting at an early date to discuss best means of bringing local schools, Blairhall, Valleyfield, Culross, and Torryburn on-board to be involved in the tree planting work.

Action: Stan C to obtain final costs and a confirmed supplier to provide fruit trees,

and arrange a meeting of project sub-committee.


9. Snowdrop Trail

Total donations received for the event from visitors has not been confirmed at the present date. It was agreed to provide £50.00 from this amount to the Therapy Riding Centre (TRC) for providing refreshments, etc. The remaining balance will be divided equally between the group and the TRC as future funds income. (Post meeting note: total donations received: £250.00).

John R suggested that as 2016 will be the 10th anniversary of conducted walks organised by the group there should be a higher profile of the event to celebrate the occasion. Adequate funding should be sought in September to ensure it is available to provide increased local publicity, press and media coverage, etc.

Action: John R agreed to seek possible funders in September 2015.


10. Disclosure Scotland (DS) update

John R explained that prior to submission of an enhanced level application, a ‘Leading Signatory’ person is required to check and approve ID documents of each applicant. This person must have attended a training course or be a DS approved person from another group willing to undertake the checks.

John R advised that the TRC member dealing with DS applications had not been contacted at current date to ascertain if willing to complete checks for group.

Action: Stan W/John R to pursue enquiries with TRC as necessary.


11. Bank Account Mandate Variation

See Item 5.


12. Workouts

A further workout is required to complete the clearance of the terraced areas of the walled garden in Valleyfield Woods.

The area below the Bluther Burn Bridge requires to be cleared for replanting of snowdrops which used to be prevalent at the location but have become depleted this year.

Action: WFW members.


13. AOCB

High Valleyfield: John Le M suggested we should not continue to maintain the path from Woodhead Street to the underpass unless the constant fly tipping and vandalism at the area is curbed. The problems are an eyesore to all users of the path and the issue requires to be addressed as a matter of priority by the local community council group.


Invitations to the group received from the IFLI to attend/participate in following events during 2015:

Saturday 28 March

IFLI Volunteers’ Lunch, Jupiter Urban Wildlife Centre,

Valleyfield Woods Event - discussed by group and agreed that the month of May would be most suitable time to hold event. Action: Stan W to advise IFLI.

IFLI Festival - September. Action: Stan W to discuss with IFLI how best the group can be involved with event.


AGM May 2015 - as first Thursday (07 May) of month there will be a General Election in progress it was agreed to re-arrange the AGM to Thursday 14 May 2015.



14. Next meeting: Thursday 02 April 2015, commencing 7pm, Blairhall Community Centre.

 


 

West Fife Woodlands Group

Minutes of Meeting

Held at Blairhall Community Centre: Thursday 05 February 2015


Attendance:

Stan Welch, Ronnie Collins, John Rogers, Alistair Hendry, Muriel Colver,

Frank Waterworth, Maggie Dalgleish, John Le M,


1. Chair’s Welcome

Chair Stan Welch welcomed everyone to the meeting.

2. Apologies

Peter & Liz McMullan,


3. Minutes of Last Meeting

Proposed by Frank Waterworth and seconded by Ronnie Collins.


4. Matters Arising

None


5. Treasurer’s Report

Post meeting - Account balance report as at 27/01/2015: £9.826.14.


6. Correspondence

John R confirmed that he had sent a letter of support on behalf of the group to Paul Cruise, Living Solutions, Cowdenbeath regarding his initiative to provide woodland work for local unemployed persons.

Stan W had received a memo from Katrina Melville of Fife Council referring to the AGM of Blairhall Community Centre on 03 March 2015 with an invite for a group representative to attend the meeting. A request was also made for a report on the activities/highlights of the group during 2014. Unfortunately, none of the group committee members will be able to attend the meeting due to holidays and other commitments.

Action: John R to submit annual report by deadline date of 13/02/15.

7. Balgownie to Blairhall Path Project updates

Feedback received from various sources on the section of path completed in December has been very complimentary and it already is being used by many walkers. The total volunteer hours worked by the group over the 3-day period was 119 hours. Possible funding sources to complete remaining section were discussed and Ronnie C suggested Comrie Colliery Environmental Trust (CCET) as a preferred option. Frank W and Stan C agreed to meet and discuss information required on application and then email draft copy to group management committee members for comments.

Action: Stan W/Frank W to prepare and complete CCET funding application-deadline date for submission 23 March 2015.


8. Orchard Garden Project funding update

Awaiting decision on funding application submitted to Awards for All (A4A).

200 hedgerow whips, with stakes and protective covers had been purchased since the last group meeting and planting of whips had been mostly been completed by a TCV volunteers team with the remaining planting to be completed as soon as possible by the group. Confirmed costs for 100 fruit trees and other products required e.g. fertiliser, garden tools, tree stakes, etc. have still to be obtained. Stan C intimated that the project group sub-committee would need to arrange a meeting soon to discuss how to bring the local schools, Blairhall, Valleyfield, Culross, and Torryburn on-board to be involved in the tree planting, etc., as the garden matures.

Action: Stan C to obtain final costs and a confirmed supplier to provide fruit trees.


9. Snowdrop Trail

Stan W expressed disappointment at the snowdrop walks article published in the Dunfermline Press. The information he had provided in the submitted article had been reduced significantly by the Editor. Consideration was given to provide a press release to the Courier newspaper. Ronnie C advised he had applied to the Scottish Coal Industry Special Welfare Fund (SCISWF) for a small funding grant of £250.00 but no confirmation has been received at current date if application successful (Post meeting note: funding from SCISWF approved- well done Ronnie).


10. Disclosure Scotland (DS) update

John R explained that prior to submission of an enhanced level application, a ‘Leading Signatory’ person is required to check and approve ID documents of each applicant. This person must have attended a training course or be a DS approved person from another group willing to undertake the checks.

All agreed that the member of TRC dealing with DS applications for their members be approached to ascertain if willing to complete checks for WFW.

Action: John R/Stan W to pursue enquiries with TRC as necessary.


11. Bank Account Mandate Variation

Muriel C reported that the group had been given £150.00 by the Bank of Scotland as a goodwill gesture for the problems experienced with regard to the updating of the signatory mandate. The bank had also admitted that the administration documents on the group’s account were well short of standards expected and as a result the account would have be treated as the opening of a new account with new application forms to be completed by the agreed signatories and some group members as non-signatory witnesses to the account. Other documents required were a copy of the minutes of the 2014 AGM and a copy of the group’s Constitution.

Action: John R agreed to collate and provide documents to bank.


12. Workouts

The next two workouts planned will involve the diversion of the ditch above the Shiresmill car park that outpours water onto the surface after rainfall and turns it into a mud quagmire! Also, remaining hedgerow whips to be planted at the Orchard garden.

Action: WFW members.


13. AOCB

Ronnie C reported that incidents of fly-tipping of non-domestic waste were still occurring at the former East bing. The owners of the waste had been identified and reported to the Waste department of Fife Council but no feedback has been received of any action taken.

14. Next meeting: Thursday 05 March 2015, commencing 7pm, Blairhall Community Centre.

 


West Fife Woodlands Group

Minutes of Meeting

held at Blairhall Community Centre: Thursday 08 January 2015


Attendance:

Stan Welch, Ronnie Collins, John Rogers, Alistair Hendry, Muriel Colver,

Peter & Liz McMullan, Frank Waterworth, Maggie Dalgleish.

New Member David Third, and Visitors Val Melrose and Nancy Chalmers


1. Chair’s Welcome

Chair Stan Welch welcomed everyone to the meeting and for the benefit of new members and visitors all attendees introduced themselves.

2. Apologies

John Le Marie


3. Minutes of Last Meeting

Proposed by Alistair Hendry and seconded by John Le Marie


4. Matters Arising

None


5. Treasurer’s Report

Post meeting - Account balance report as at last statement 22/12/2014: £14,202.


6. Correspondence

Ronnie C referred to an email received from Paul Cruise from Living Solutions, Cowdenbeath, concerning an enterprise initiative to train young unemployed persons in forestry skills to SVQ standards and undertake work in local community woodlands. Paul’s email was requesting if the group would consider supporting the enterprise by using the skills attained by the persons in woodland work e.g. tree removal from burns, dense gorse and weed removal, pruning high overhead branches, etc., in the West Fife woodlands area.

All agreed that it was a worthy initiative and providing the necessary skills certification, Insurance and HSE requirements were met to meet Fife Council and the group’s standards the persons would be able to be employed on numerous woodland tasks that would be beyond the group members’ skills.

Action: John R agreed to write a letter of support to Living Solutions.


7. Balgownie to Blairhall Path Project updates

Stage 1

It was with much pleasure that Stan C was able to advise that the payment for the project due to the group from LEADER had finally been paid after a delay of five months due to procedural and auditing delays. John Le M had been reimbursed his personal loan from the payment and everyone was happy! Stage1 reporting was therefore deemed to be closed.


Stage 2

The work to complete 200 metres of the path has been successfully completed over a three day period just prior to the Christmas holiday. All the work except for the employment of two contractors to drive the JCV and Snowcat vehicles was undertaken by group members. Chair Stan C wished to record his sincere thanks to all the group members who were involved in the work much of it very labour intensive. A particular thanks to Maggie D for arranging and providing the transport to convey the blaize material from Comrie to the path site. The funding received from ‘Paths for All’ of £1500.00 had been marginally exceeded as expected and the total costs for the project were £1734.00.

The next stage is to continue the path to join the bridge at the Grange burn and thus have a complete woodland path from Blairhall to Balgownie Blairhall. Several obstacles will have to be overcome not least the necessary funding obtained before any further work can commence but it is hoped the path could be completed by the middle of this year. Ronnie C suggested funding may be available from the Comrie Colliery Environmental Trust. Also ‘Paths for All’ had indicated to him that further funding for the group may be available in the next financial year.

Action: Ronnie C to apply for funding to Comrie Colliery Environmental Trust.


8. Orchard Garden Project funding update

An application to Awards for All (A4A) (Scotland) for funding had been submitted by John R on the 16 December 2014. The application process is ten weeks. Confirmed costs for 100 fruit trees and other products required e.g. fertiliser, garden tools, tree stakes, etc. have still to be obtained. In addition, hedgerow plants are required as a matter of some urgency within the planting season to infill the south side of the Orchard. Stan C intimated that the project group sub-committee would need to arrange a meeting soon to discuss how to bring the local schools, Blairhall, Valleyfield, Culross, and Torryburn on-board to be involved in the tree planting and other activities as the garden matures.

Action: Stan C to obtain final costs and a confirmed supplier to provide hedgerow plants and fruit trees


9. Snowdrop Trail

Most of the pre-season paperwork has been completed by John Le M/John R and emailed to interested parties. A press release has still to be prepared for the Dunfermline Press and Courier. Stan W agreed to undertake this task. Due to funding applications not being accepted by the CISWO until the end of this month, no confirmed funding for this season has been obtained at the current date. Ronnie C advised he had applied to Tesco for their local community fund of £250.00 but no confirmation has been received at this date if the application is successful. Guide training for the walks will be held on Sunday 25 January commencing 2pm from the car park opposite the TRC at Shiresmill. Walks on Saturdays/Sundays will commence for visitors on Saturday 31 January and continue each weekend until Sunday 08 March.

A guide rota will be prepared - Peter and Liz McM have agreed to do the first weekend.

Requests from two groups for midweek walks have been received:

Oakley Discussion Group booked Tuesday 17 February at 10.15am.

St Francis Church Group, Falkirk, has also requested a walk and a suitable date to be arranged.

Actions: Ronnie C to pursue any possible small funding opportunities.

Stan C to prepare and submit press release and to arrange suitable walk

date for Falkirk Church group.


10. Disclosure Scotland (DS) update

John R reported that he had made no progress on the item as he was waiting the return from holiday of the person involved with Disclosure Scotland at the TRC to ascertain what level of application would be required by members.

Action: John R to pursue enquiries with TRC member as necessary.




11. Bank Account Mandate Variation

Since an attempt to update the signatories was made in December for the group’s account there has been continuing problems with regard to accessing the account funds in particular with payments made by cheque. The Bank does not appear to know who the present authorised signatories are for the account due to a member of staff at Head Office deleting the information prematurely when an update of the mandate was first requested. Treasurer Muriel C has submitted a formal complaint to the Bank for their mishandling of the situation. At the meeting she provided new application forms to be completed by the agreed signatories and also for other group members to complete same as non-signatory witnesses.

Action: Muriel C to submit completed forms to Bank.


12. Workouts

The first workout of 2015 will be on Monday 12 January with maintenance on the woodland path at Woodhead Drive leading towards Culross. The brush cutter and sickle cutter machines will be required in addition to pruning and lopper hand tools.

Action: WFW members


12. AOCB

Fife Council Leasing Agreement Offer for Blairhall/Balgownie path requires to be actioned and an appropriate response submitted soonest.

Action: Chair and group committee members

2015 Year Planner for paths maintenance to be completed.

Action: Stan C and Alistair H


John R advised that he had on arrival at the meeting completed a questionnaire and accepted a Risk Assessment for the use of the premises by the group from the caretaker of the Community Centre. Fire Escape procedures had been briefed and a sounding of the fire alarm for members will be held at the meeting in February.


Meeting closed: 9.00pm

 


 



 

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