The meeting was held in the Hove Park cafe starting at 7:15 and ending at 8:05.
Present: Sue Batey, Gino Fox, Alan Moon, Jackie Beecham, Lloyd Ungoed, Mark Davies, Judy Fox, Stephen Batey, Ruth Baxendale, Caroline Wood, Vanessa Brown
Apologies for absence: Arthur Green, Nina Elliot-Newman, Jayne Bennett, Mark Stephenson
The minutes were approved.
Alan expressed thanks for the help given with the event, and said that we were lucky with the weather. The trail was very successful. People enjoyed it, and enjoyed going round the park. Garry and Emma (rangers) were both there and we can now count on Garry's support. Lloyd added that the rangers were there all day, and he was impressed by this. We took £114, which represents 228 participants.
Two people joined the Friends and paid their subscription.
The first 100 back received both a chocolate bunny and a creme egg. Gino suggested that as the retail cost of a creme egg was 60p (more than the cost of the trail which was only 50p) that the price should be increased next year. Alan said that the price would remain at 50p; this was the same as the cost of a ride on the miniature railway. The eggs and bunnies were either donated or bought with money donated.
For next year, it was suggested that we use the green in front of the cafe, and possibly have a face painter present. An Easter Bonnet competition was also suggested. It was suggested that we might sell chocolate, but Jackie said that people thought that they had enough chocolate already at Easter.
Action: discuss at another meeting to decide about event(s).
Some ideas were presented and details given (see below) but Alan said that we must have another meeting to discuss the carnival and asked for any other ideas. Details will therefore be discussed at this later meeting.
We will be present from 11am to 4pm (or 3pm if the weather is bad). The Martlets have confirmed that we have a space, and Garry has said that we can have a gazebo. As it is Garry's day off, he will not be present. Emma may possibly be there. Mark Davies said that he and his wife could put in 2 hours on the stand. Lloyd and Alan will be there all day. Other helpers would be welcome. We will need a rota for who is present and when.
The stand will be shared with the Rangers (possibly - none yet confirmed to be present) and the Friends of Three Cornered Copse. We will have information from the Friends of Three Cornered Copse on the stand. Possibly City in Bloom might be there.
We will use the stand as a way of talking to people and possibly get new members.
We will supply a fibre pot, compost and one or two sunflower seeds (variety to be chosen by the children). We may help the children to plant them, but this is uncertain. The pots will need careful handling to extract from the stacks in which they are supplied to avoid damage. To avoid needing water on the stand, the pots should be watered at home. This has a further benefit as the pots are fragile when wet. They will be carried away in sealed plastic bags (Jackie will supply the bags). The cost will be 50p.
Sue showed some sheets with photographs of the sunflower varieties available to provide information for the children's choice. Jackie has another variety called "Waooh!" and has sown some seeds. We should have some examples of the stages in the growth of the flowers.
Sue suggested other children's activities for the stand, and passed round examples (word search, pictures of parts of birds to identify, and an owl that could be coloured, in keeping with the Brighton Festival theme of birds). Alan was keen on the idea of the owl.
Alan said that Garry has said that the Rangers will handle our printing.
Action: have another meeting to discuss details.
This was first mentioned in the January minutes, and in the February minutes it was stated that we would definitely be there. Alan has now said that this date is too close to the Martlets Carnival, and that we could not man a stand; therefore we will not now take part. Gino might be there to supply coffee. No action.
Gino reported that Deborah May had said that the money was now in the Council's hands. It appears that the Council Parks Group put forward ideas which have been suggested to them, and only a few ideas had been put forward. These were:
play equipment in the park
gym equipment in the park
The Friends' display boards
As we already know, £50,000 had been allocated last year for Hove Recreation Ground for the rugby pitches, and the Parks Group said that there might not be enough money to cover the other items completely. Some money for the Astroturf might be forthcoming from SportUK. The money has to be spent within three years.
We need to provide costs for the boards. Nina has the costs of the plaques (see minutes for meeting in January) and handed the costs of the plaque to Gino at the previous meeting (see minutes for March). Alan will email Nina asking her to email Gino with the costs. Our three display boards with posts and delivery are estimated to cost £3000, and Brian Mann will arrange the installation.
Gino said that the mechanics of the process are that we register an interest, and this goes before Deborah May and Brian Mann; providing full details is the second stage of the process.
Lloyd asked about replacement trees. Gino wasn't sure if this was a capital cost as maintenance was needed. Alan said that money for trees was available elsewhere..
Action: Alan to email Nina to ask her to email Gino to provide costs of plaques again.
Sue reported that very little seemed to be coming up including no cowslips which would be expected to be flowering. Garry has several trays of plugs for the wild flower mound. We will nominate a Saturday to clear up the mound and plant. Alan contact Garry to find suitable dates and will report back later with a couple of suggested dates. Vanessa reports many people have expressed concerns about the appearance of the mound. Soil has been washed to the bottom. Lloyd mentioned abuse of the mound by cyclists; Emma (the ranger) reports similar problems elsewhere, and suggest putting up a palisade. Sue suggested a lower surrounding barrier so as not to obstruct the view of the flowers. We still need a plaque as the current board is disintegrating and leaving wood flakes around the area. Alan will speak to Garry again about this. Lloyd got the impression from Emma that erecting a small fence was not a problem and so we should suggest that this is done as soon as possible. We need to get a date from Garry as to when this can be done.
Mark will speak to Garry about the plaque when they meet.
We will put up dates on the notice boards when we have the dates.
Lloyd asked if children could be involved in the wildflower mound planting. This happened last year. It would need advertising, and Judy suggested Facebook as a good method.
Alan to speak to Garry about the plaque.
Mark to speak to Garry about the plaque.
Alan to speak to Garry about a small fence.
Alan to provide dates for planting.
In Your Neighbourhood competition
We have entered the In Your Neighbourhood competition (see January minutes). They will come and judge us (whatever that means), but that's all that is known at the moment. No action.
Lloyd said one of the new members who joined at the Easter Egg Trail was keen on the idea. This was not discussed. No action.
Discussion postponed sine die.
City in Bloom. Alan has met Denise. There is still the idea of getting all the Friends groups in the city together under one umbrella of City in Bloom. It will only happen if the council are prepared to throw their weight behind it. It looks positive at the moment as it is in the council's interest to cooperate in view of the impending cuts. They will have a meeting later in the year.
New school. Lloyd was concerned about the parking and the use of the park as a playground, with particular concerns about the safeguarding aspects. Excessive wear and tear on the park was mentioned. No action.
Future events. Alan spoke to Garry about future events. Garry suggests bringing sheep down, and holding a community barbeque during the school holidays. It was generally thought that barbequing lamb was not acceptable if sheep were present, as making a connection between live animals and food could upset people.
A Halloween event with a scarecrow competition was suggested, with the scarecrows being placed outside the cafe for judging. This would be an early evening event for young children. Judy suggested a pumpkin competition. Alan will attempt to secure funding for a Halloween event.
Walks around the park with a ranger was suggested, where bat boxes could be pointed out. This could be tied in with halloween.
Alan to attempt to secure funding for a Halloween event.
No action on a barbeque.
Love Parks Week 24th July - 2nd August. Sue suggested that we might fit the barbeque in during the Love Parks week, or have a ranger lead event then. We can make free use of Love Parks posters, and it is worth doing something that week. No decision taken.
Sponsors and grants. The Friends of Three Cornered Copse got £70 from the Hedgecock Bequest for a barbeque for members - this can be a good source of funding. No action planned.
Alan received £150 from Trevor Vokins for the Friends of Hove Park. Some of this will go for plants, and a photograph will be provided when the planting has been done.
Council small grants program. Gino mentioned this, and said that 1st May was the start of the first bidding round so we're too late for this. We need to have details if we are to bid for events. The second round is in October. No action planned.
Facebook. Judy suggested using Facebook to advertise work on the wildflower mound (and other events). It was reported that the Facebook page has not been updated for a long time, and Judy offered to do this.
Action: Judy will contact Nina about updating Facebook page.
Dog mess. Gino expressed concern about this as an ongoing problem. It was suggested that signs be put up to raise awareness. Several people noted that free posters are available to highlight this problem (they are used in the copse).
Action: Sue to email Gino about posters and stickers.
New display boards. Sue pointed out the boards which had been brought along for any who had not seen them. Gino is happy to store them in the cafe between events.
Biodiversity improvements. Sue tabled a suggested list of biodiversity improvements (trees, shrubs and bird/bat boxes) that are in an appendix to the 2009-2014 management plan and it was agreed to take this forward, and also to put it on our web site. Gino said that a new management plan was being written now by someone called Paul. Although the current plan stated that the Friends group would be able to provide input, a meeting requested 8 weeks ago with Rob Dumbrell was still no nearer to happening
Action: information to be put on web site.
Wednesday 13th May at 7.00 pm at the cafe.