THE NOAK BRIDGE NATURE RESERVE SOCIETY
Autumn 2003 http://www.nbnrs.org.uk
DATESFOR YOUR CALENDAR!
Basildon Countryside Services Events
(see our Notice Board for additional events)
Sunday, 5 October 2003
Norsey Wood Open Day
Outwood Common Road, Billericay
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Friday, 31 October 2003
Nightmare at Norsey Wood (Halloween)
6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Booking Essential (01268-550088)
Sunday, 14 December 2003
Noak Bridge Nature Reserve
10:am - 12:00 pm
(mince pies and mulled wine afterwards
Greetings from our new Chairperson - Betty Haynes.
What a disappointing turnout for our Annual General Meeting! Not even sufficient for a quorum - we had to knock on doors and telephone members to come along so that we could elect your committee for the year 2003-2004. Thank you to those who did make the meeting and were elected to your committee. I would like to point out to all our members that your committee are also the Work Party members who are helping to keep the Nature Reserve looking really nice and rubbish-free. Thank you to Janet, Weed, Joan, Peter, Ralph, Tony and also Paul, our ranger for all your hard work - keep up the good work!
If you are walking around the Reserve at this time of year there is still a lot to catch your eye - plenty of butterflies to be seen such as Painted Lady, Speckled Wood, Peacock, Small White, Gatekeeper, Comma, Red Admiral and Small Blue, to name a few. There is a late showing of wildflowers too and blackberries ready for picking. Sloes will be ready from September so get ready to make your sloe gin! If you would like a recipe for making sloe gin, please call me (351365) and I will supply one. If you would like to become more active with the Society please contact a committee member for any information you may need. The more helpers the better! You can find out about the Nature Reserve and Noak Bridge on the Internet now. Look us up at:
I hope you all have a great summer and look forward to seeing you around the Reserve, (maybe on one our work parties). Betty
Annual General Meeting - 23 July 2300.
Only 8 members came along to the Village Hall in the evening. Not enough for a quorum so committee members had to call on other members to please come along to make the meeting possible. The meeting eventually proceeded with 11 members. Tony Youé, Vice-Chair reviewed the past year's achievements and told us how much he had enjoyed being a member and participant in the many activities and events. As a fairly new resident of Noak Bridge he thanked the committee for their support as he familiarised himself with the Reserve, its history and its importance to our community. The Society has continued to assist Basildon Countryside Services in the maintenance of the site with our monthly Work Parties. The Reserve has been promoted with the Yuletide Ramble, a guided walk for members of the Billericay Society and our Open Day events, including a Dragonflies and Damselflies Walk. The gates have been painted and a large sign attached to them and the notice board completed. A new 'doggie bin was installed, three bat-boxes, and the bird nesting boxes refurbished where required. About forty new trees were planted near the Goodview Road fence and excess growth cut back in the upper meadow. Tony remarked on the appearance of goldfish in several of our ponds - they are not appropriate for natural ponds and may have to be removed to prevent damage to pond-life, especially the dragonfly larvae. Tony announced that he would not be able to serve as an officer this year, but we could rely on his continuing support as Vice-Chair.
Matters Arising - Minutes of the Annual General Meeting, 16 July 2002
There were no questions regarding the AGM Minutes for 2002
Adoption of the Minutes - AGM 16 July 2002
Tony Youé proposed that the 2002 AGM Minutes be approved. Betty Haynes seconded and the minutes were duly adopted and signed by Tony.
Treasurer's Report. Ralph Chapman, Treasurer was unable to attend the meeting but his report was prepared and distributed to all present. Janet Bircham read Ralph's overview, pointing out a bank balance of £550.04. Income from Memberships and donations amounted to about £135. The value of assets (equipment) was reduced by 20% as they will have to be replaced at some time in the future. Ralph confirmed that he would be available to continue as Treasurer if required.
Membership Secretary's Report. Weed reported that we have a current membership of 67 households - about 150 members. Membership renewals are coming in very slowly and new memberships are only obtained through the Open Days or Countryside events and the work parties in our Reserve every third Wednesday in the month. Weed is contemplating a membership drive or having a stand at the Noak Bridge Community Association Christmas Faire in November. Subscriptions may be given to Weed (tel.289577) at 44 Lower Street or Janet Bircham at 42 Crouch Street.Open Forum. Refreshments were served and the following items discussed:
AGM attendance. What a disappointing and embarrassing showing this year! Every member had a notice at the beginning of June and another, changing the date a few weeks later. A notice was posted in the Community Association newsletter and on the Village Hall notice board. A notice was also displayed in the window of the village pharmacy. A quorum for holding the meeting is just 10 persons! We cannot go lower or it would not be representative of the membership. We have a membership of 67 households and the Reserve is popular with the community. All present agreed that we need to have a stand at community events to collect our memberships and let people know we are here!
Internet connection. Weed informed the meeting that he was closing down our old web-site and had set up a new one - http://www.nbnrs.org.uk. This was a significant achievement which Weed has been working on for several months. The meeting was duly impressed and Terri Sargent hoped it would lead to a much-needed increase in membership and promotion of our Reserve throughout the Basildon area.
Publicity. Janet Bircham reminded the members that we had made our site more widely known in the Billericay area through our contacts with Billericay Society and our participation in the Billericay Library's Nature Weekend in May. Janet has also forwarded a brief paragraph about the Reserve to the Parish Council for inclusion in their next newsletter.
Goldfish. The subject of the goldfish was discussed at length and we will inform members in our next Newsletter about the unsuitability of goldfish in natural ponds.
Tony Youé thanked the members who attended and congratulated the new officers and committee members. The meeting closed at 8:30 pm.New Committee.
RANGERS REPORT - Paul Bown, Basildon Council Countryside Services
For Noak Bridge Society Newsletter August 2003
Walking around the Reserve in the baking sun it is difficult to imagine the amount of rain we had last autumn and the snow during the winter. The water in the ponds is slowly going down, and one pond has completely dried out. These seasonal ponds do play a part in the ecology of the Nature Reserve. Many predators, which would survive the summer in permanent ponds, either leave or die out during the dry period. This includes fish (goldfish in particular). Unfortunately the more ignorant members of the community have introduced goldfish to all the ponds on the Reserve. It is illegal to introduce any plant or animal to the Nature Reserve without authorisation. It is also extremely damaging to the wildlife that is already there. The goldfish churn up the sediment and this affects the water quality. They also eat anything they can catch including the eggs of the dragonflies and damselflies that the Reserve is noted for.
We are involving the Environment Agency
We also have great crested newts on site, which are nationally protected, and any activity that disturbs them or where they live is a criminal offence. Please note there is no fishing allowed on site, and also no cycling or unauthorised motor vehicles. Several people choose to ignore theses simple rules and we are now reporting these incidents to the police. Persistent offenders may be subject to prosecution. If you know of anyone who has or is abusing the site then please contact the police in the first case and report it to the Ranger on 01277 624553.
On a lighter note the Summer Fair in June went well once again. Over 120 people attended and the pond dipping was well appreciated by the 30+ children who took part.
Thank you to all the stallholders and members of the Noak Bridge Nature Reserve Society for all their help. John Court once again gave an interesting walk around the ponds to enlighten us about the resident dragonflies and damselflies of which there are over ten species living on the Reserve.
The work party have been busy again this year, or rather I have kept them busy with the regular work parties with the following tasks - installation of an additional dog bin, replacement of vandalised or stolen nest boxes, replacement of worn steps on the sound barrier, cutting back various stretches of overgrown vegetation and the planting of alder trees. We have also refurbished the main gates so now every one knows where the Nature Reserve is.
If you would like to take part in the monthly year round work parties then please meet at the Eastfield Road entrance on the third Wednesday of each month at 1pm. We offer a couple of hours exercise and the chance to help to look after the Nature Reserve and to make new friends. All ages are welcome, no experience is necessary, and all tools, gloves and training are provided. We recommend old clothing and stout footwear. A responsible adult must accompany people under 16.
If you have any queries about our activities or the Reserve then please contact the ranger on 01277 624553.