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Minutes of committee meeting, 22nd July, 2013

Committee meeting held July 22nd, 2013 in the Newtown Town Council offices.
  1. Apologies for absence were received from Paula Scott, John Wigley and Joan Davies.  The rest of the committee attended, apart from Jim Jeyes.
  1. Feedback from Newtown Carnival – lessons learned, changes to be made.   

The general consensus was that the RSC stall was successful, 11 Custodians helped to organize the event.  The crayfish in the tank interested visitors, it’s a pity this specimen only had one claw.  The display of the Giant Hogweed could have been more striking and more information as to its dangers would have been useful.  It was noted that most visitors had to be encouraged to visit and were inclined to pass us by without positive action by the Custodians on duty.  

  1. Planning for Newtown Food Festival, Sunday 8th September.

At the Carnival interest was shown in the link between otters and American Signal Crayfish.  Russ Edwards has prepared a photo frame showing otters eating the crayfish.  This will be shown together with the videos shown at the Carnival.  We will see if we can display the crayfish in the tank more prominently, maybe outside the gazebo.  We will include a display of river fly larvae.
Chris Kinsey agreed to lead walks on the theme of ‘Exploring the Riverside’ describing the flora and fauna to be seen in the area.  It is intended that 2 walks of 20-30 minutes each will start at around 11 am and 2 pm. 
We will also organize a competition identifying pictures of flora and fauna with a prize to be donated by Peter Harris.  Details need to be worked out. 
Joan Avery will arrange the timing for volunteers to man the stall, as she did at the Carnival.  She will also improve the attachment of her banner to the gazebo. 
We need another meeting before the Food Festival to agree the details.  All Custodians will be invited to a meeting at Roseholme, at 10 am Friday 30th August. 

  1. Web site and blog – are they being used, can they be improved?  Should blog postings be available for public viewing?

Some committee members no longer have details of how to enter the blog and post blogs.  The participation to date has been limited but it was agreed that it is worthwhile and members should be encouraged to look at it and post things of interest.  Russ has set up a designated You Tube site and the committee agreed that this should be available publicly.  Any people included in videos to be posted will be asked to agree for this to be viewed publicly.
Russ will provide details of the blog and the You Tube site for distribution to all members. 

  1. Results of grant applications
    1. Newtown Town Council – the application was approved in full and all items have been purchased or ordered apart from the display board and the banner.  These items are no longer needed since Jeremy has loaned us the display board and Joan Avery has produced a banner.  These funds, totaling £111.48, will be returned to the Newtown Town Council, with our thanks.


    1. Powys Environmental Partnership – our application was rejected but could be re-submitted in September with changes.  The items included were reviewed by the committee and it was agreed not to re-submit this application.  We believe that we are adequately equipped at this stage.   
  1. Monitoring – River features, river fly larvae and American Signal crayfish.

The survey of river features need to be completed in some areas since they were not surveyed previously due to excessive water levels.  Dates for surveys will be announced later, probably to take place after the Food Festival. 
Paula Scott and Mike Davies will be trained to monitor river fly larvae at a session on August 9th and will begin regular monitoring at a selected location.
Further monitoring of American Signal Crayfish is needed, particularly downstream of the golf course.  Initial monitoring will be timed to coincide with catching specimens for display at the Food Festival. 

  1. Invasive species – Giant Hogweed.

The dangers of the Giant Hogweed were discussed and it is obvious that these are not generally known by the public.  Efforts will be made to publicize this by the use of posters and pictures at the Food Festival.  Peter will approach Myfanwy Alexander, Cabinet Member for Schools, to see if she can distribute warning information to pupils. 

  1. Any other business.

Paula Scott and Mike Davies are presenting a talk on the River Severn to the Newtown U3A on Wednesday, 4th September,10.30 am, at Plas Dolerw.  Russ Edwards has supplied videos that will be included in the talk.  Non-members are welcome with payment of a nominal fee. 

Mike Davies