In brief, at the 2018 AGM, the following Committee Members were elected:
Chairman: Lindsay Griffin email@example.com (01494 758 440)
Vice Chairman: David Barnard
Treasurer: Ben Lewis (firstname.lastname@example.org)
No Minutes Secretary has been appointed. Committee members will fulfill this role on a rotational basis.
Committee Members: Nick Brown, John Caple, Isobel Clark, David Dennis, Mark Hobbs, Janet Hopkinson, Tim Watts were all re-elected.
New Committee Member: Sarah Higgins was elected to fill the vacancy when Veronica Mash sadly stepped down. Sarah 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 8 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 :-
Working with the owner to enhance the Commons for all, wildlife as well as humans.
Acknowledging that no individual owner should be expected to shoulder the financial responsibility for the Commons which can be enjoyed by everyone.
Acknowledging that we all need to contribute financially, practically or by helping in whatever other ways we can.
Encouraging local people to get to know each other to foster community spirit.
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!
David Dennis and Peter Bygate have conducted a year –long moth trapping survey on the Commons.
David writes ‘I have compared our macromoth lists from recent trappings with the 1995 survey documented in the Local Heritage Study (See Home Page). 1995 lists 96 species. We have found 164 species, of which precisely 100 are new - ie not listed in 1995. So in total we now know that there are at least 196 species using the Commons. (And then there are the few others that we couldn't identify!!). I'm sure we will find many more as we continue to survey.’
David and Peter plan to continue trapping on the Commons on a regular basis in 2019.