Here is the annual report that was presented to the AGM on 28th September.
2012 ANNUAL REPORT TO MEMBERS
KCCLP has now been in existence for over 3 years and this is the Board report to members for our 2012 general meeting and to give members an update on our progress.
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN
The most important thing has been the Projects purchase of 10/86th of the land from the owners. This meant handing over £10,000 to the current owners and a legal document drawn up to clarify this. The value of the land remained the same as when purchased ie. a total of £86,000.
We have over 260 shareholders and about £11,000 in the bank.
We still need a lot more people to buy shares or donate to the cause to secure the land for perpetuity.
Apple day was great as usual and included the launch of the Sculpture walk from the allotments, through the orchard, up the path where most of the letter carving in stone is, to the top where Rolf Hook’s oak ‘throne’ sits.
At last we committed to the fencing around our boundaries, that, coupled with no sheep grazing, meant liberation for and hence a beautiful display of, spring and summer flowers. A grazing regime needs to be put in place to keep things healthy. Work was done improving the pathway and putting steps up at the top of the hill approaching the castle site.
We have been slowly working our way up to applying for a ‘Heritage Lottery’ grant for working and exploring of the archaeology and history of the castle . We have someone to help us with the application and research has included a trip to Ewyas Harold in Herefordshire, where they have a similar site and a made successful application. We finally had a visit from Cadw (Welsh Heritage) who were impressed with our work and gave us money towards fencing and some scrub clearance!
The demand for more allotments meant we rabbit-proofed the rest of the ‘growing’ field (with a small grant from Powys Environmental Partnership and lots of hard labour from our volunteers) and we now have some 35 allotments, all full and blooming when the weather permits! We had a workday on the orchard and replaced the matting around the bases of the trees and gave them a feed. We have lost a few, but that is to be expected especially after the wicked winters we have had. The “Allotment Saturdays” youth group members created a vibrant area with flowers, fruit and veg and lots of colourful and decorative artwork around the place. The enthusiasm of our young people was rewarded at the Allotment Open Day on August 19th when prizes were given for various plots and sunflowers and a special prize for Young Gardener of the Year – thanks to Lin and Mo from Presteigne Allotments for their help in judging. The rain cleared and the sun shone again for the Allotment Open Day and Rose and Ray from Newtown used their horticultural experience to award prizes for Best Allotments and Best Raised Bed – congratulations to all prize winners. And thanks to Siggy for organising the whole event and to all those who helped with teas, cakes, the veg stall, raffle and music – creating a perfect afternoon!
Over winter we had a small series of talks at the ‘Castle Inn’, one featured a personal approach to woodland management, another on a land share and community growing venture in North Wales called ‘Flintshare’.
We are planning new leaflets and publicity campaigns for both national and international promotion in the next year. Our apple day is coming up on the 21st October and the theme is ” APPLELYMPICS” which should be fun, and as you know all are welcome!
Will O’Leary, Chair.
The Directors for this period have been: Will O’Leary (Chairman), Kevin Jones (also Secretary), Lottie O’Leary, Adrian Thorius (Hopper), Graham Lambert (Treasurers), Janet Lewis, Jamie Ritchie and David Bebbington. They have been supported by Grant Jessé (publications), Jacky Smith (fundraising), Liz Jackson (archaeology), Naomi Ridge (Conservation).
The Directors and supporters have been meeting monthly and have all been very busy keeping activity going. The active groups are Archaeology & Local History (Janet Lewis & Lottie O’Leary), Growing (Siggy Haynes), Events (Lottie O’Leary), Fundraising (Jacky Smith), Access & Maintenance (Kevin Jones), and Publicity (Grant Jessé). Most of these groups are actually just one volunteer, except the Growing Group which is very active, and we need more help if we are to keep up the early momentum.
We have 267 members, holding 10,810 shares (average 40 shares), who have also donated over £10,000 between them. The majority of members are local, but we have members in London, Cambridge, Oxford, Telford, West Midlands, Worcester, West Yorkshire, Wiltshire, and even California and Colorado. Our various events have always produced a significant increase in interest and new members.
The rate of new members joining is still similar to last year, about 1-2 a month, and we need to improve on this if we are to raise significant money towards purchasing the site and even to maintain our operations.
Kevin Jones, Secretary