Below are details and information regarding our AGM. Our AGM will take place on Tuesday 17th May and will be held at Skelmersdale Ecumenical Centre commencing at 7pm.
Please make every effort to attend as we need as many of you to attend as possible in order to move forward the work we undertake in the Tawd Valley and to encourage some of you to possibly take up committee roles or to act as advisers to the committee.
Look forward to seeing you at the meeting.
FRIENDS OF TAWD VALLEY ANNUAL REPORT JUNE 2021 TO MAY 2022.
As I come to the end of my third year as Chair I feel proud of what FOTV has achieved which is down to the collective commitment of the Committee and those who turn out whenever we announce a volunteer session.
As pandemic restrictions were relaxed and people were vaccinated we were able to come together for both Committee meetings and once again organise events whilst still sending out occasional E-newsletters.
In May we were informed by the Countryside Rangers that they were taking on 5 trainees through the Governments Kickstart programme and were asked if we were prepared to work/supervise a session each week with the group. Peter Meadows and myself agreed to a weekly session, on a Wednesday, 10am to 1pm, meeting at the Allotments. After an initial introductory walk and talk session, we settled into a range of tasks from tree planting, balsam clearance, seed collection, litter picking and occasional one off tasks. To be asked to do this was a compliment to our organisation and although at times it wasn’t easy and things did not always operate efficiently we hope the Trainees gained from their experience.
With May on the go, Himalayan Balsam was again making its presence felt and both the Kickstart Team and Team Tawd were hard at work pulling or cutting it back.
We also organised some Saturday Volunteer sessions to further work on the Balsam.
To have more impact on this invasive species we believe we may need to be more methodical and go over areas more than once. The River Douglas Catchment Partnership have appointed an INNS Officer, Danielle Rowlands, and once settled in and had time to survey we may be able to work to a cohesive plan. As the season develops, if you see and recognise the plant, please support us by stopping and pulling some out.
September and October saw Team Tawd and Volunteers take on grass cutting and raking of both the Orchard and the Meadow north of Summer Street Bridge, important work if we want to see wild flowers re-emerge this summer. As I write this in the first week of April the daffodils are giving a marvellous display in the Orchard. Additional feature in the Orchard, include a 3.6 metre raised bed and two galvanised steel picnic table and benches installed by the volunteer work force in February and March. The groundwork materials, raised bed materials and the tables/benches were funded by grants from the Post Code Lottery (£1,990.0) and ASDA (1,000.00) and we are extremely grateful for their support. The finished Meeting Place is an attractive addition to the Orchard and is a central part of the overall Park. On the first Saturday of April, 10 volunteers worked extremely hard to lay underlay and gravel to create an accessible path from Summer Street to the Meeting Place and on to the river path.
Team Tawd had de-turfed the route on the Friday.
In November we worked with 2 Primary Schools ( Skelmersdale Trinity and Crow Orchard Nursery) and Lathom High School with some tree planting and creation of an Orchard Bug Hotel. All carried out in rather inclement weather but the pupils worked very hard. We have also carried out some guided/acclimatisation walks with other Primary Schools – St Johns and Hillside.
In December we collaborated with James Upjohn and Skem First to stage a Christmas Fair. This was held on the car park at West Lancashire College and we were grateful for the support from the College Staff and financial support from WLBC. Food vendors, Santa Grotto, artisan stalls, Primary School Choirs and the Learning Stars all contributed to a lively event with a large turnout from the local community. We are currently working with the Countryside Rangers to stage a Picnic in the Park at the Amphitheatre on June 3rd to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
In recent months Skelmersdale has seen an increase in the number of housing development sites with the land being stripped before building commences. Clearly this sees a loss of tree cover and biodiversity. The Whalley’s site, Ashurst Road close to St James School and the site of the old cottage on Summer Street are all close to the north of the Tawd Valley Park. In an effort to compensate for this loss we approached WLBC through Dan Massey and sought permission to undertake some tree planting. To date we have planted nearly 1000 saplings and 450 metres of hedgerow. The majority is on the two green spaces on Summer Street with a further block adjacent to Glenburn Road between Mill Lane and Yewdale. Hedging surrounds the Orchard.
Tree saplings were acquired through the Woodlands Trust.
Sadly some of the work on Summer Street has been trashed by School children. We have spoken to the Schools and the Police and have set about rectifying the damage.
Although slow, the commissioning of the Classroom on Summer Street is progressing.
The accessible toilet unit has been delivered and both that and the classroom have been wired ready to receive electricity. We have purchased much of the internal furniture and equipment.
We now await the installation of the toilet disposal system and Rain garden and when installed the fence around both units will go in. We have claimed circa £21,000.00 of our £30.000.00 LEF Grant and need to complete this by end of July.
Hopefully we are not too far away from an Opening Event and once available for use the Classroom will hopefully be a draw for more of the Community to become actively involved with FOTV.
Supporters and Membership
We currently have a Committee of 8, some 15 – 20 volunteers turn out for our once a month events and we have circa 150 supporters who have logged their contact details with us. We e- mail this collective with important news and information and these same posts are on our Facebook Page, Website and other social media platforms.
We constantly ask ourselves if this level of Community involvement is sufficient to sustain the Organisation long term? We would love to have more ACTIVE VOLUNTEERS and this doesn’t mean you have to weald a spade, push a heavy wheel barrow or even get your hands dirty! Could you help us raise funds? Could you run Coffee Mornings from the Classroom or make a cuppa for other volunteers? Could you record events with still or video photography? Could just turning up and interacting with others, getting some fresh air help to improve your general well being /mental health?
We have received a Community Award for our work in the Valley and the favourable condition of the Park is acknowledged time and again by people walking past our work parties. We need support to maintain this level of appreciation and the condition of the Park so would ask if you could help? As stated above there are many ways to do this and help does not have to be on a fixed, regular basis. Just knowing what skills, expertise and lots more that you have to offer is useful and that we can contact you when we feel you are the person who could help.
If you are persuaded to support and help us there is a form on our website that you can fill out and you will be added to our contact list.
As I reach the end of my third year as Chair I would like to pass the baton to someone else. I believe it is good practice to bring new ideas, skills, contacts and experience to the Committee and feel this is the right time to let someone else lead this organisation forward. I am not looking to walk away from FOTV and would continue to volunteer but work more in the background.
FRIENDS OF TAWD VALLEY NOTICE OF ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
7pm on Tuesday 17th May 2022 at Skelmersdale Ecumenical Centre
- Welcome, introductions and apologies
- Chairman’s Report
- Treasurers Report
- Election of Committee (Nomination form below)
- Date of next AGM??
The AGM will be followed by two short talks
- Mark Boardman (Skelmersdale Heritage Society)- A history of the Tawd Valley
- Mike Flaherty (Friends of Tawd Valley)- Presentation of work undertaken by the Trout Trust and River Douglas Catchment Partnership
Current Committee Members:
Terry Lake- Chair Mike Flaherty- Social Media
Claire Cooper- Vice Chair Zoe Hilton- Publicity
Chris Dixon- Treasurer Don Brookes- Cttee Member
Elaine Brookes- Secretary Dylan Taylor- Cttee Member
We understand this is a lot of information to take in, but it will save on our speakers dreading through it all on the night and for them to be able to discuss the key points of each topic.