Chairman Report June 2019 to June 2020
Firstly, I would like to thank all the volunteers, without your help and support nothing of what we achieve would be possible. SPECIAL thanks to Allan for his work as chairman sadly Allan had to give up his role to focus on other things and with no other candidate wishing to take up the role at this time I agreed to step in ,however this next year should I be re-elected will be my last.
Also, many thanks to Rosemary and Margret for their commitment and hard work and to the ladies and gents who look after the café they do a brilliant job. The next part I will keep as short as possible and go through the year on a month by month basis.
In June Allan stepped down as Chair , Yorkshire wildlife trust started repairs to the river bank and we started doing some path upgrades , and we found out we had won a grant of £22130 from the restrict big local the trailer that had been purchased the previous month arrived on site. We had our first stall at the Brighouse gala
July saw us make 60 bird boxes in kit form and donate them to Old Earth School Elland and our volunteers took the to the school and with the children’s parents put them together at the school.
Plans were ongoing for the viewing platform and thanks to Tesco’s and Brighouse Ladies Circle for their kind donations of a joint £7300 the platform was completed in November/ December
August saw us with a problem with the RBL grant we had previously put in for moneys to complete an upgrade to a path from the William Henry school in Rastrick to the reserve ,with us not wining the vote we were left with the remainder of £65000 which was not enough to complete the proposed contract at £22300,as quotes were £33000 going back to the RBl committee we asked if we could spend the money on the reserve and this was granted .
We have always wanted the reserve to be for all to this end we asked a group called access for all to look at the reserve and recommend where we could improve things for disabled individuals or groups, this they did and we received the report with their recommendations , 2 of these were a disabled toilet and upgrade the paths .
September saw changes in the committee with Rosemary (treasurer) and Margret (grants) leaving created a large hole for us to fill, and I would like to thank them both for their commitment and hard work.
My thanks to Jeff Milne who agreed to fill the treasures role at short notice and was duly elected on to the committee.
Some great news was we had Barn Owls nesting on site, after being checked with the BTO representative Steve Downing was found to be a female on 4 eggs 3 of which went on to fledge
October saw the handover of accounts from Rosemary to Jeff.
After discussions we decided to use the RBL grant money for upgrading the paths on the reserve which considered with the access for all review, this was put to RBL and was granted we could use the money for that project.
Prices were collected and preferred contractor selected, time scale agreed which was November to mid-December.
Val and Lynda were very studious and put together a stunning book on Cromwell called Thank you for the days this is still available at £10 from the cabin when we reopen, along with a second book on our Barn Owls also £10 from the cabin (not many left).
November It rained and rained and rained just as we had started to do the path upgrades however this did not deter our contractor and paths from the bailey bridge to the bird feeding area was first , the bund path between the lagoon and wet woodland was next we were hoping to make this a wheelchair accessible path but trees and unstable ground made it impossible however it did make a fine path and a lot safer.
December it was still raining work continued on the paths the top
Medlow path was scraped and cleaned and the only path outside the reserve was started up to the railway line ,this was knee deep in mud in places and with Old Earth School children using this path it was decided to upgrade it this was completed by mid-December and it was still raining , some of the paths will need looking at again in the summer when properly dry.
On one of the weekends we donated all our takings from the Café to Overgate Hospice in memory of Sally Henshaw this is something we like to do is give back something to others at least once a year.
January still raining, we put in for a grant for a new disabled toilet and were pleased to find we had been successful, this has now been purchased and is on site awaiting fitting….
Work continued on North Loop doing the stock fencing this is for an ESIF GRANT that was won by Calderdale MBC, and will allow us to graze cattle from August onward, which is a much gentler way of looking after the meadows.
February to June covid 19 took its tole and we have had to make the decision to hold everything until such times as we can get back safely .
Keep safe and we hope to see you all back soon .
Yours Graham Haigh chair