Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Friends of Russia Dock Woodland held on 11th November, 2017, in the Docklands Settlement.
Present: Steve Cornish (SC), John Wills (JW) Rebekah Clark (RC), Clare Street (CS), John Best (JB), Chris Patterson (CP), Ray Rodgers (RR), Father Andrew Doyle (AD), Johnnie (SDFarm second name?), Anne (Johnnies wife second name?) The meeting commenced at 19:05 Apologies were received from: Dan Whitehead, James Okason, David Hubber, Nichola Cheetham. Amendment to constitution: No one person can stand for election as a FORDW officer, unless actively involved for at least two years. Five core members (SC,RC,JW,AD,CS) signed to accept amendment. The minutes of the 2016 AGM were read & approved.
Election of Officers
Rebeka Clark stood the existing Committee down with thanks. SC offered post of vice chair to group. SC was re-eleccted for Chair. Clare Street was re-elected as Secretary. John Wills was re-elected in the position of Vice-Chair & Treasurer. Seconded by Andrew Doyle
Passing of well-known local resident, and dog walker in the park, Bob – (AD): He will be greatly missed.
Mayflower Park (MFP):
Proposal to take MFP under the RDW umbrella which would enable its enhancement for wildlife. SC received an email from ward councillors fully supporting the idea. Mentioned the need to follow due process. SC shows group email from councillors. Enquiry into who maintains MFP? JB/CP: Mobile Ide Verde team.
RDW and SHEP LNR status:
SC: LNR status achieved in April 2017. Put forward originally by JB several years ago. The status will aid protection of the park against development. RDW finally joins Lavender Pond as a Nature Reserve. Photos of RDW state from 2003 onwards show dramatic improvement over that time.
Full agreement from group.
JB: Section 21, LNR status is a statutory designation which is permanent and cannot be revoked. Mentions the fantastic variety of wildlife within RDW & SHEP. Highlights development pressure and the requirement of buffer-zones to be implemented around park between new builds. States this reaffirms council commitment to conservation in Southwark: 51 hectares of LNR in the borough. Including Sydenham Hill, Dulwich Upper Wood and One Tree Hill.
AD: Any concerns about woodland? JB: Land grabs and fly-tipping over fences and inside park by residents living along boundary lines. Dogs out of control/irresponsible owners. JB: Mentioned it would be beneficial for residents to ID and submit records of unusual flora/fauna sightings to GIGL (Green Information Greater London database) SC: Andy Chatterton is no longer part of council. He fought hard, and went above and beyond for RDW. Wanted to say a big Thank You and to wish him a relaxing retirement. Agreement from group. Agreement from group regarding taking on Mayflower Park.
Report from Rebeka Clark
RC goes over general work by TCV volunteers in RDW with handouts. Litter sweep along waterways and desilting whilst water levels are low. Around 700 corporate volunteers have been involved. CS mentions £580 raised towards £2000 target for new observation hive at SHEP Bee Centre, with potential of further funding from London Square of £1000 – 1500.
Aquifer Pump / Borehole:
SC: Original pump installed 1994 ceased to function. Borehole was air blasted to remove silt and new pump installed. Borehole then collapsed on the new pump. A new borehole was created and is now finalised. SC shows photos of work and workmen. Water purity testing to start on 27th. Next step to install pump, electrics and run the pipe up to the sump under the turbine which leads to the ponds. Flow can be controlled at this point either into RDW or SHEP ponds. One month it should be up and running with water flow back to the ponds. Major ponds have not suffered extensively, the smaller ponds have been affected more but some are intended to be seasonally dry. RC: No water equals chance for volunteers to maintain waterways and clear the slit build-up. SC: Electrorodding in Globe pond carried out by Mid-Kent Fisheries to reduce fishing. Nylon line/braid, fishing hooks were snagging wildlife. Sixty Mirror Carp were removed also one Koi and Tench, all in excellent condition. Fish are in quarantine and waiting OK certification for return. Nichola Cheetum is chasing up to check fish return date. Fish will be released into Canada Water Dock for angling club.
Quietway 14/ Rotherhithe Bridge
4-5 months ago suggested route ran from Canada Water to Surrey Docks Farm through woodland via Russia Walk, Lady Dock and Red Crane Flats. Ecological impact concerns; pressure from use, lighting, impact on residents along route, etc Stated that residents need consulting RDW cannot/would not take lead in decision, a wider consultation was needed. Three potential bridge locations were suggested but the one at Hilton Double Tree appears favoured. Increased potential of a route change in RDW via: Pearsons park and Beatsons walk. Need for Albion bridge to be repaired and widened to 2.4 m to accommodate cycleway, with the addition of culverts. School metal work sculptures would need to be reincorporated into the new bridges. AD: Concerns over bike speeds in park. Hazard to park users as bikes and pedestrians not segregated. 10/15 thousand expected journeys a day. RC: Encourage cyclists to slow in the woodland using signage speed humps, paint on floor, speed enforcers and pathways forbidden to cyclists. AD: Ensure a designated route through park Group discusses potential routes and problems in small groups.
State of RDW Bridges
Albion bridge worst. Nesting Wrens earlier in year preventing repairs. JB Next march possible for repair work to commence. Mentions regular inspection regime in place. Alfred Salter Bridge and two along Watermans walk were to be worked on first. Dependant on its state Albion may need to be closed.
Bob Honeyman was a lighterman docker Who regularly walked his dog Missy in RDW. He asked for Rainshelter 2 years ago. Funded by CGS and funding from Pauline Aidenwala (fund name?) It took a long time to gain planning permission. TCV Biodiversity action team currently working on it. Reclaimed bench from Sellars decathlon development has been painted, the concrete foundation laid by Richard and his volunteers and green oak beams have been delivered and cut. Sadly Bob passed away three months ago, his wife and daughter are overwhelmed it is dedicated to him. Hoping to have the opening ceremony in couple of weeks. Chosen spot: next to Pond Bea and the natural play area as shelter for parents. The rain shelter has had a very positive response from members of the public.
SC: Increased in the woodland. Arson: 14 lifebuoys in roughly a year. Cost of £500? each. Need help with keeping eye out for such attacks (passive public surveillance). Mobile cameras. We don’t want broken window effect.
Two meetings with Police Ward Committee: 65 people attended Docklands Settlement and over 100 at Holy Trinity. Need to “nip it in the bud” AD: highlighted need to take it higher up, not just with Police
The Sustainable Urban Drainage Scheme (SUDS) on Quebec Way site
Negotiated substantial amount to go towards SUDS scheme with developer. Pathway was to be started Sept/October British land path may link into development path, with the potential for 1000’s using route (not desired by developer perhaps holding up decision?) waiting for them to get back to us with work date. SC suggests CP/JB to chase CCTV installation on pathway into the new development with lockable gate suggested.
Simon, Mic and Bradley are good workers. We are pushing for three to four workers, but have not been successful so far. Thirty six acres is too big for just two workers. They have to deal with fly tipping also due to councils new charge to collect bulk waste. Who cares for Mayflower? JB: A mobile team Lots of mess in RDW after weekend, RDW Ide Verde team do a great job!
Master Development Replacement Tree Planting
Covers forty-six acres –seven hundred and seventy trees on that land They have to replace any removed. Green connections 106 (GC 106) group approached to find/enquire about potential suitable sites for these trees to be planted. Tesco carpark trees and green pockets to replace elsewhere with semi mature trees, what type? GC 106 meeting needed to discuss. RDW cannot put our name to this, people need to be consulted and involved. It needs to be open to discussion for collective response. Potential for planting on housing estates with no green space. More info needed on percentage of trees to be replaced. This needs to be done within a year. Need to arrange a GC 106 meeting to discuss.
Events in RDW
RC: Lack of staff time meant no events this year. Events planned for 2018 include: Bat walks, games, crafts. With gazebo and displays showing who we are etc. Potential for events over the summer holidays.
JW mentioned process of verifying the FORDW account with co-op. SC accepted accounts, Johnnie seconded. SC thanked JW for his time and hard work sorting out the account.
Any other business RR: Lights out on cockleshell path. Wife spotted fire near globe pond but did not know where to tell fire brigade to come to within park/nearest entrance? RC: problem came up four years ago also, still have signage/posters, will print off again. AD: suggestion of sending a map to police & fire so they have a record on file. Enquiry as to five signs funded by council? JB/CP to enquire.
AD: Expressed Thanks to SC regarding his time commitment, persistence and effort in the work he does for RDW and local area. Group expressed full agreement.
There being no other business, the meeting closed at 20:29