Notes of meeting on Tuesday 15th November 2022

Swarland Club, Coast View, Swarland

1. Present: Carolyn, Liz, David, Bryan, Greg, Jan, Kathryn, Louise, Rob, Val, Barry and Elaine.

2. Apologies / Welcome to new members: Apologies from Suzanne, Mick, Richard, Susan and Marlene. Welcome to two new members.

3. Actions from the previous meeting:

a.Footpath inspection – Liz suggested that we could carry out another round of path inspections in the New Year. David to speak to Marlene who is carrying out path administration and liaising with NCC (Action DF). Query about arrow signs – we should be able to get these from NCC. Jan suggested the possibility of installing viewpoint seating in appropriate places as is being done by Eglingham PC – we could identify possible seat locations on next survey.

b.Facebook – Jan to speak to Adelle about posting on Facebook as SNAC (Action JA).

c.Cutting of verges – Jan to contact Bob Hodgson at NCC and Highways Agency to change cutting arrangements to promote wildflowers in Parish (Action JA).

4. Bus Service Update:
Carolyn summarised progress to date. Item in Column/Facebook and notices throughout Parish asking for feedback from residents on the detail of the bus service. From the information received Carolyn was able to put together a reasonable proposal which has been sent to Neil at NCC. She will phone him next week to follow up (Action CL).

  • Tuesdays 10am pick up in Parish – to Morpeth, leave Morpeth 2-2.30pm.
  • Thursdays 9.30 am pick up in Parish – to Alnwick, leave Alnwick 1pm.
  • NEED service to continue to Alnwick on Wednesdays.

Bus stops to be Jubilee Hall and outside the Cook & Barker – NotM.

The Square, Leamington Lane/Avenue crossroads and Percy Wood Caravan Park – Swarland.

Alnwick Bus Station, Alnwick Infirmary and Willowburn/Sainsburys – Alnwick

Bus Station – Morpeth.

It was explained that the existing commercial service can’t be expanded – instead the new service will be directly commissioned by NCC using new Government funding. It will run for 12 months as pilot and NCC will give us data on bus use. If successful, the scheme could be expanded to additional days. It is hoped the new scheme will start early in the New Year.  Not had confirmation of ticket cost yet but should be capped at £5 return. Item to go in The Column December issue.

5. Alnwick FoE Networking meeting feedback:

Suzanne attended on 26th October at the Playhouse in Alnwick. Useful to find out what groups are working in the area including FOE, Civic Society, Felton CAN and Warkworth. Notes will be coming out about the meeting and group contact details which we can share.

6. How to have a greener Christmas:

Kathryn had produced a long list of what we could do to have a greener Christmas from gift selection and making, to buying local food, composting veg waste, and making your own wrapping paper. It was agreed that some of these ideas could be used for an article for The Column in December, with a link to the SNAC website where more ideas could be found.

The group talked about textiles recycling and Louise said that the textile recycling bins at the school are now being emptied twice as much as before and the school gets a donation from the company concerned.

Chipping Christmas Trees – SNAC could offer to chip Christmas trees in the Parish either hiring chipper or borrowing one (Action CL). Give chippings back to resident to use as mulch and cut use of herbicides.

7. Plans for 2023 (including funding for 2023/24):

Budget – We have £219 left from grant from NCC, and £250 from the PC. The PC has been asked for a further £250 for 2023/24.

Plans for 2023/24 include:

a.Carbon Footprint Survey – NCC/Newcastle University project to calculate carbon footprint at household level currently being piloted in Felton. Felton CAN will come to talk to SNAC about their experience.

b. Footpaths group relaunch – see 3a above.

c. Launch of Bus Service – publicity etc.

d. Glantlees Farm – More work with Judy around farm and in particular expanding the hedgerows on the farm. Revisit in spring 2023 and planting acorns and horse chestnuts for future planting. Medicinal Plants walk in spring.

e. Recycling – getting message out there. Persuading supermarkets to extend recycling with bigger bins and bigger ranges. Working with other groups?

f. Verges – Looking to see if there is any more we can do. Refer to the Good Verge Guide.

g. Trees – Keep looking for areas where we can plant more trees preferably with public access. Replacing trees in hedgerows such as replacing trees lost to Ash dieback.

h. Engaging with the community and other local groups – Joint projects and increasing the number of people we’re engaging with.

i. Swarland Show – September 2023.

j. Wild gardens – encouraging people to let part of their garden go wild. We could hold a competition for the wildest garden.

It was agreed that we would need to prioritise these potential projects in the New Year and develop a plan for the next 12 months.

8. Future Events:

  • Vyner Park Tree Planting – November 19th at 1pm, Suzanne, Bryan and Greg organising this. Will mark locations for trees to be planted with white paint/sticks. Saplings have arrived.
  • Swarland Woods walk – May 31st 2023 – Carolyn arranging this with Alex McClennan of the Forestry Commission. Will be a ‘Flora & Fauna’ walk. Details such as cost, times etc will be provided nearer the time. Carolyn is meeting Alex in January to plan the walk.
  • Glantlees Farm Walk – Spring 2023.
  • Visit to NCC Recycling Plant – Greg has been on one and would recommend it. Groups of 12. This will be arranged for sometime in 2023.
  • Val and Rob Woodland Walk – Val and Rob offered a repeat of their walk around June 2023 when the orchids will be in bloom and a walk to look at ‘Pond Life’.

9. Any other business: None

10. Date of Next Meeting – January 17th 2023 at 7pm, Location to be confirmed. Carolyn to check with Mick to see if meetings could be at Percy Wood in January & February (Action CL).

Email: talktosnac@gmail.com