AGM 2017 Brief report

A fuller report will be available on the website soon and in the next edition of the Hilltop News.

In brief, at the AGM on 21st November David Dennis stood down as Chair for personal reasons. In thanking him for his contribution to the Society, Lindsay Griffin said that David had hit the ground running as Chair and he had ensured that the committee completed a large number of tasks under his chairmanship. In particular David and his helpers have dealt successfully with Pallett’s Pond, which is now healthier than it has been for many years, despite the ongoing problems with goldfish, Sweetgrass and New Zealand Pygmy weed! David also spearheaded a sub-committee, which undertook a complete review of our insurance documents, which are annoyingly complex, but which should now further clarify what volunteers can and can’t do on the Commons under our policy.

Lindsay emphasised that the Society was very sorry to lose David as Chair but understood that his circumstances made it difficult for him to carry on in the role.  However, we are fortunate that he will continue to play an active part on the Committee.

Election of Committee members:-

Chairman: Lindsay Griffin (758 440) lindsaygriffin@yahoo.co.uk

Vice Chairman: David Barnard

Secretary: Janet Hopkinson

Treasurer: Ben Lewis treasurer.hccps@gmail.com

The following former committee members were re-elected:-  John Caple;  Isobel Clark;  David Dennis;  Mark Hobbs;  Veronica Mash;  Tim Watts.

Nick Brown was elected to fill the vacancy left by Michelle Storm’s resignation.  Nick was warmly welcomed to the committee.

Annual subscriptions became due at the AGM. Fortunately, the majority of our members now pay electronically. An easy method to pay is through our website hawridgeandcholesburycommons.org but, if you prefer to pay by cash or cheque, please contact Ben, 7 Sandpit Hill Cottages, Cholesbury Lane, Cholesbury. HP23 6NF (758 843)

Because our bank balance remains healthy we resolved not to raise the membership fees though they have now remained at £10 for an individual or £20 per family for 7 years.

 

HCCPS at 50

When our predecessors set up HCCPS 50 years ago they established sound guidelines to enable our community to protect the valuable asset which is on our doorstep. These guiding principles are as important now as they were then :-

  1. Working with the owner to enhance the Commons for all, wildlife as well as humans.
  2. Acknowledging that no individual owner should be expected to shoulder the financial responsibility for the Commons which can be enjoyed by everyone.
  3. Acknowledging that we all need to contribute financially, practically or by helping in whatever other ways we can.
  4. Encouraging local people to get to know each other to foster community spirit.
  5. Stressing the advantages of working together for the outcomes that we want – not simply relying on local or central government or any others to preserve and enhance our environment.

Hopefully, members of our community will continue to work together to achieve these goals and provide a lasting legacy now and for our successors in the future.

 

Butterflies on the Heather                         

2017 saw the best flowering of the heather patches on the Commons for quite a while, and it coincided with the welcome resurgence of two of our loveliest and smallest butterflies. On a sunny morning in July or August, it was possible to see upwards of 20 Common Blues and at least 5 Small Coppers in the small area of heather at the top of Horseblock Lane. They were using the nectar as fuel to allow them to fly, mate and lay eggs once the temperature was high enough. But early in the day, after a cool night, they are only just capable of crawling up to the top of the heather and opening their wings to absorb energy from the sun. That’s when they are much easier to photograph.  It was also a very good year for Commas and Red admirals, and our Chilterns speciality, the Marbled White did well too. All in all it was a good year for butterflies on the Commons and for our glorious heather!