Reserves Advisory Group Meeting- Blacka Moor

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					            Reserves Advisory Group Meeting- Blacka Moor
                        Monday 19th October 7pm – 9pm

Brendon Wittram (SWT)                 JohnPaul Ward (SWT/minute taker)

Claire Chapman (SWT/Chair)            Chris Spencer (local resident)

Geoff Nixon (local resident)                 Sue Duke (mountain

Jackie Shelton   (local horserider) Norman Goodwin (FOBM)

Carol Borrill (local horserider)            Neil Fitzmaurice (FOBM)

Bernard Pitts (Local resident)

Lois Everson (local horse rider)            Sally Watson (local horse

Dorothy Firth                    Simon Bowns (18 Bikes Ltd/Ride the

Adam Wiles (Ride the Peak)            Amy Herford

Henry Norman (LAF-MTB/Sustrans)     Clem Thompson (local resident)

Chris Measures (local resident)             Jean Glasscock (SCC)

Dawn Biram (FOBM/SPACE), Andy Tickle (CPRE), Craig Parkin (FOBM)

2. Minutes of June 09 meeting
Minutes were agreed as a true record of the last meeting
3. Matters Arising
     Brendon Wittram introduced as Annabelle’s maternity cover for an
      initial period of six months will the possibility of an
     Dave Buttle (Wharncliffe Heathlands Trust) has agreed to take
      the RAG on a visit to Wharncliffe Heath so that they can see a
      similar site and find out how it is managed.
     Action: BW to set a date for the new year.
     Action: BW to follow up with Bill Gordon the location of the

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Sheffield Wildlife Trust            Protecting Wildlife for the Future
      cattle at Stanage Edge.
     AK has talked to community police about illegal mtb trails. They
      have agreed to patrol.
     Action: BW to follow up with Police.
     Paragliders are still using Blacka Moor.
     Action: BW to send a letter advising that they are not allowed
      to use the site for paragliding.
     NF asked whether a full Breeding Bird report will follow the
      published preliminary Breeding Bird report. Jim Clarke has said
      that he will produce the final report by winter so it is due
      very soon.
     Action: BW to follow up with Jim Clarke and make final report
      available to RAG and other interested parties.
     Bracken spraying- signage was but up but it was questioned
      whether the signage should be up all year. Conflict with the
      concern of over-postering Blacka. Suggestion of putting up a map
      at entrances showing sprayed areas/areas to be sprayed.
     Action: JPW will produce maps
4.Structure of RAG- chairing/minute taking
     CC gave a short review of the RAG group’s constitution. It was
      felt that the constitution is in of a review and should set out
      the role and purpose of the RAG and the aspects of Blacka Moor’s
      management that they are able to make decisions on and those
      aspects that are legal duties and non-negotiable.
     Action:   RAG members with strong views about the structure and
      role of the RAG to comment to CC. (Contact details at the end of
      the minutes)
     CC raised the possibility of having a rotating chair and minute
      taker. A general consensus on taking this forward and no one put
      themselves forward to chair the next meeting.    BP raised issue
      of possible bias of minute taking.     LE raised concern that a
      rolling chair and minute taker could lead to meetings being used
      to further individuals opinions and agendas rather than
      facilitating the meetings.
     Action: RAG to think about the role of the chair and minute
      taker and to forward opinions and comments on how they would
      like it to work to CC.
     NF raised the issue that there are many more people on the RAG
      than come the meetings and that there are issues around access
      to information. NF offered for FOBM to come up with some ideas
      about how this could be improved.
5. Work programme
     Bracken spraying completed. NF raised concern that the spraying

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Sheffield Wildlife Trust          Protecting Wildlife for the Future
      was late and questioned its effectiveness. JPW said that there
      is an optimum time and set of environmental conditions that will
      achieve a maximum 95% kill off rate.       The bracken was not
      sprayed at the optimum time due to adverse weather conditions
      but this doesn’t mean that it is not worth doing, although the
      kill off rate will be less than the 95% maximum. GN asked if a
      bracken control programme could be produced with a map showing
      which areas are to be sprayed, cut or pulled and in which year
      so that volunteers would be able to easily get involved with the
     Action: JPW to produce a bracken management plan and forward to
      Geoff and make available on SWT website.
     David Robinson has yet to move the cattle from the heath to the
      pastures. He has said he needs to wait until the cattle have
      moved up near the pastures as herding across Blacka was
      impractical. Was generally felt that this is not acceptable and
      the process needs to be improved.
     Action: SWT to work with David to improve this and come up with
      a method of notifying the public when the cattle have been
     Action: BW to ensure that DR moved the metal hurdles from the
     Other completed works include: Further 45 metres of flag-stoning
      at Cowsick Bog, rhododendron clearance at Strawberry Lee
     Upcoming work includes: removal of sycamore along Hathersage
      Road   to   create   open  areas/glades   to   encourage  native
      regeneration of trees; scrub and tree removal on Bole Hill plus
      more across the heathland (7-10 days in total); cross drains,
      infilling of ruts and opening of canopy on Devil’s Elbow route
      (funding secured from Viridor and PROW) - Concerns raised about
      use of machinery but BW pointed out this is the most cost
      effective way of the doing the work and care will be taken.
      Stobs had been put in on Strawberry Lee track for monitoring
      purposes but have been removed.    The location and measurements
      of the stobs have been taken so monitoring can continue but a
      new method of marking the points is needed. Small cross drains
      are to be added on the desire line running from Devil’s Elbow
      around the eastern site of Blacka to improve drainage.
6. Plaques
     NF gave a review of the work completed by the commemorative
      plaque working group. Gordon Bartley had the costings from
      looking at similar work but was not present at the meeting. RAG
      voted 13 to 3 for an etched metal plaque to be set in stone and
      located at the Lenny Hill crossroads.     CS reminded the group
      that the plaque can be supported with leaflets and further
      information on JG Graves on the SWT website and elsewhere.
    Action: BW to find out who is producing the plaques and feedback
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Sheffield Wildlife Trust          Protecting Wildlife for the Future
      to group.
     Action: RAG to agree wording for plaque at the next meeting.
7. Power lines
     Andy Tickle was unable to attend but had sent a report of the
      assessment of Blacka Moor regarding the possibility of removing
      overhead power lines and replacing with underground lines.
     On-site meeting took place on 11th August 2009 with AT, SWT staff
      and RAG members.     Assessment has judged the power lines at
      Blacka Moor as highly intrusive in a sensitive landscape.
     The location and route of underground lines is problematic due
      to the sensitive nature of the habitats, the topology and
      geology of Blacka Moor. A possible route is via Whitelow Road
      and Hathersage Road. Consultation with YEDL is needed to
      ascertain whether this is possible.
     There is currently a cost cap in place which would prohibit the
      project going ahead. However this is due to removed in 2010.
     Agreed that RAG will continue to campaign for this and           a
      consensus was reached that the progress has been pleasing.
8. Paths, bridleways and new bridleway.
     BW updated on the plans to upgrade the concessionary bridleway
      to a statutory bridleway. Permission has been given by PROW. SWT
      has secured 75% of the required funding and is working on
      securing the remainder. The route of the bridleway will run away
      from Stoney ridge car park starting at the small bridge in     a
      straight line to the first gate. It will then follow the route
      of the existing path. This is to avoid a large amount of tree
      felling and damage to tree routes. Images were shown of before,
      during and after bridleway work at a site in the Lake District.
      Gritstone will be used for the surfacing.
     PROW have stated that if the bridleway is to be created in will
      have to be 2 metres wide. Concerns were raised about this. BW
      stated that while initially the route will be 2m, vegetation
      will quickly colonise the track sides and surface and
      maintenance will allow the route to ‘naturalise’.
     General consensus reached that the work should go ahead with
      some objections.
     NF raised concern of a camper van plus another vehicle being
      parked in the Stoney Ridge car park for a long while causing
      problems for regular users of Blacka who are unable to park. It
      is unknown who owns the car park and are therefore responsible.
      Efforts continue to find out.    BW has spoken to the owner and
      has been told the vehicle will be moved soon.
     Action: JG to find out via SCC who owns the land.
     Action: BW to follow up with van owner if the vehicle hasn’t

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Sheffield Wildlife Trust          Protecting Wildlife for the Future
      been moved by the weekend.
     Action: SWT to do a Land Registry search if JG unsuccessful.
     NF raised concerns that the cattle are causing the paths to
      widen. This will need to be monitored and reported back to RAG.
      JPW pointed out that in his opinion the closed desire line is
      showing signs of recovery. Wider issues were raised about cattle
      monitoring being reported.
     Action: SWT to come up with a process of reporting on cattle
     Action: BW to meet JS to look at gates and agree improvements.
9. Green Belt and Fairthorn.
     NF asked RAG      to be active in commenting and opposing
      unsympathetic and unsuitable developments in Green Belt around
      Dore/Totley and wider area.   NF talked about the issues with
      Fairthorn and the problems with communicating with planning
     Commented that at    times    SCC   seem    to    be   going    against    their
      planning policy.
     Comments on the success        of   SPACE    in    getting     street     lights
      removed from Baslow Road.
     CC mentioned the possibility of members engaging with local
      Community Assembly to influence local planning decisions. Also a
      suggestion of inviting a planning officer to a RAG meeting.
     Action: JPW to add SPACE contact to minutes and details of the
      local community assembly.
10. AOB
     BP raised concern about communication now that AK is on
      maternity leave. Also concerned about wall at Stoney Ridge car
      park. BW stated that the wall be repaired after the bridleway
      work and will be mortared (in a manner that retains the look of
      a dry stone wall).
11. Next meetings
     Feb/Mar –Wednesday 10th February.       Totley Rise Methodist Church.
     May – Site visit to Wharncliffe Heath.    Tuesday 11th May 2010.
      Meet at the R Don bridge on Station Road Deepcar SK 291 980.
      7pm meet for a two hour walk around the site with Dave Buttle,
      Secretary of Wharncliffe Heathland Trust.
     July (on-site and a     weekend so the meeting can be in the
      daytime to avoid midges) – Site walk. Saturday 17th July 2010.
      Stoney Ridge Carpark. 10am-1pm.
     October – Tuesday    12th    October   2010.       Totley      Rise   Methodist
      Church. 7pm-9pm.
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Sheffield Wildlife Trust              Protecting Wildlife for the Future
     BW to organise dates and circulate.

Additional information
Contact details
Brendon Wittram –                    0114 2634335
Claire Chapman – 0114 2634335
South West Community Assembly –
Community      Assembly       Manager-                    Tammy            Barrass                –
Assembly    Officer-       Matthew       Rush
                   Community Assembly meetings
                   The next South West Community Assembly meeting will be on.

                    Wednesday 9th December 7.30pm at Silverdale School

                   Future meetings
                   The assembly will host five public business meetings a year, below is a list
                   of planned meetings beyond September.

                          Wednesday 24 February 7:30pm at Hallam Community Centre
                          Wednesday 28 April 7:30pm, venue to be agreed

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