Meeting Minutes (February)

Tuesday 15th February 2022 7pm at Percy Wood

Liz Clark welcomed everyone and thanked Mick S for providing the venue and refreshments. Liz reiterated the invitation to volunteers to be involved in running SNAC.


3. Actions from previous meeting
Recycling Facilities – Jan had contacted Vyner Park (VPC) but had initially received a mixed response. NCC is looking to roll out door to door glass collection but no dates for our area. SNAC want extra recycling bins and an expanded range of recyclables. Jan to pursue with VPC, NCC Climate Change Team and Oxfam.

Car Charging VPC more positive about car charging point at VP providing it is at no cost to VPC.

Public Transport – Carolyn said parish bus service stopped around 2013. Only have bookable NEED bus on Wednesdays with limited time in Alnwick before return journey. People walk to Felton to get the X15. If provision was better maybe people would ‘choose’ to use buses rather than only when they ‘need’ to. Questions to be developed for The Column by Carolyn. Group also asked to suggest questions.

Tree Planting – Mick S has had positive and supportive response from Harrison Leisure. Participation in DEFRA tree planting scheme has been suggested as funding opportunity. Advice needed on the number of trees that can be planted. Mick keen to plant wild flowers on the golf course tee banks and in ditches. Advice can be obtained from the Woodland Trust and up to 70% of the cost of planting can be provided, depending on the size of area to be planted. Liz to circulate notes about possible grants, noting that applications will open again in the spring for planting in autumn 2022. Mick to follow up ideas for Percy Wood.

Other sites for trees/hedges – David has contacted FS (local farmer). Felton CAN have also tried to make contact. Liz will contact Felton CAN to see if they have had any response.

Suzanne said that Woodland Trust trees were planted at Vyner Park but there needs to be an after care management group, to clear land, weed around trees, and water etc until established. She thought there might be capacity in the SE end of VP. Suzanne to follow up.

Suzanne and Bryan will also contact the Rogersons about potential planting locations.

NCC verges are a possibility – locations need to be identified and tree types then permission obtained from NCC but contact name has been obtained. Other potential planting locations to be identified – ALL.

4. Feedback from the NCC Climate Change webinar 19.1.22 – This ZOOM webinar was attended by Liz and Carolyn. There was a presentation on COP 26 and implications for NCC. Methane emissions and adaptations to climate change are two areas that are to be added to the next NCC Climate Change plan.

NCC/Newcastle University looking at alternatives to oil. The new Environment Bill proposes
standardisation of the recycling offer by Councils. NCC looking to expand glass collection and are carrying out a pilot food waste recycling scheme in the autumn.

52 Vehicle charging sites (104 points) are being installed in 2022, with double than number planned for 2023. Felton has just had two installed outside the Surgery. NCC requiring developers to include Vehicle charging points in new build property.

NCC looking at how schools can help by embedding Climate Change in all subjects.

The Climate Change team is developing a tool kit for use by parish council and community groups. Liz to follow up timescale. They are also finalising a tool to calculate carbon footprints and looking for people who would benefit from home upgrade grants. A small amount of funding will be available in 2023 for Community Groups. They are also working with DEFRA on a pilot scheme with farmers.

Further Q & A session online on 16th March 2022 to focus on the natural environment including trees and biodiversity. Carolyn to attend.

Suzanne said that the PC would like to see solar panels included are planning requirements, and David asked if some people would act as ambassadors for solar panels, giving real world expertise as this would encourage their use.

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5. Logo & Website
Liz said the website is in progress with some limited content and a domain name has been
The group was able to have a look at the site online at the meeting. The logo used on the website is just a ‘placeholder’. Liz circulated several proposed logos and option 1 was preferred with clearer SNAC lettering. It was suggested that the logo needs to be clear even when printed in greyscale. Liz to progress both the website and the logo. Further feedback on the website and idea for content welcomed – ALL.

6. Initial set of projects
Several projects had already been identified to get SNAC started;
 Recycling opportunities
 Tree and hedge planting
 Public transport – assessing demand
 EV charging.

Other project ideas discussed were;
 improving verges. Liz said she had come across the ‘Good Verge Guide’ produced by
Plantlife and available online.
 Bat and bird boxes – asking individuals to sponsor them was suggested. Also sponsoring a new tree.
 A survey of the condition of footpaths in the Parish. Greg said that there is a map of
footpaths on the NCC website. Liz will circulate a proforma used for the survey carried out
by Felton CAN.
(Footpaths to be discussed at next meeting).
 Composting/Mulching Workshop – Suzanne said she would be willing to run a workshop.
She will produce an article on Wilding Your Garden for the next edition of the Column.
 An item could go in each edition of The Column about what SNAC has done.

7. Ideas for future editions of The Column
Re-wilding gardens, cutting grass less etc. April Column – Suzanne to write, with Mick T adding hedgehog awareness information, e.g. taking care when strimming, need for ramps in holes/ponds etc.
Transport Survey – Carolyn for April Column.
The experience of residents with solar panels, heat pumps etc.
Bird and bat boxes.

8. Queens Platinum Jubilee Fund
NCC have £70,000 grant finding available up to £500 per application. Can apply for something longer lasting e.g. bat/bird boxes, bench to commemorate the Jubilee. It was suggested that one good sized tree could be planted in the Jubilee Garden at Vyner Park. Suzanne to contact VP for permission to plant. Aim to get grant application into the March round (deadline 25th March) which will have to be via the PC or other constituted group.
Further ideas sought such as possible bench somewhere in the Parish.

9. Parish Litter Pick
This will take place on Sunday 20th March starting at 10.00 in The Square, Swarland. Pickers, gloves and bags will be provided. Usually lasts for 2 hours. Mick said Percy Wood was keen to get involved and to contact him if there was any strimming needed etc.

10. Date of next meeting: Tuesday 15th March 2022 at 7pm at Percy Wood.