Annual General Meeting 2019

The AGM took place on 14 March 2019 at the Sandhurst Community Hall.

Chairman’s report

AGM 14 March 2019

Save our hedgehogs

On 14 March, we held our 13th AGM – my first as Chair – to a packed room in Sandhurst Town Council offices. We were pleased to be joined by many of our members, the Mayor of Sandhurst Town Council, Councillor Andy Blatchford and the Mayoress, various councillors, and Councillor Paul Bettison OBE, Executive Member of Bracknell Forest Council. Several of our associate members kindly put on interesting displays of their work.

We were able to report on another successful year for the Trust, with changes in the Trust management team and structure, several projects completed and grants awarded, and a packed and varied schedule of events during the year.

Projects included providing advice and grants to schools, the development of our ongoing woodland flowers projects, lots of activity on our Saving Our Swifts project, some good work arising out of our joint initiative with the Camberley Society called “Natural Surrey Heath” through which we distributed nest boxes and the Lost Words book to 90 Schools and held a live event with Michael Gove about the 25 Year Plan for the Environment.

Our events programme included 10 circular walks, the successful Big Valley Ramble round Yateley called ‘Beating the Bounds’, our ‘Walk off the Christmas Pudding’ walk and 5 events at the Sandhurst Chelsea Fringe. We also raised awareness at local fairs and fetes, staged several specialist walks, and participated in local planning applications and submissions.

We also looked forward to another busy year this year, and an interesting series of events planned, including our Big Valley Ramble on 28th April. We were excited to announce that for the first time, we shall hold a series of varied events called Blackwater River Week, to celebrate the past and present work undertaken in the Valley, primarily centred around the River Blackwater. The events will take place during 21-29th September to coincide with Loddon Rivers Week.

As well as continuing to build a new website, we have a new logo, and several projects are being planned. Our focus would be on greater use of social media to improve our profile, working with the business sector for fund-raising and attracting more team members to help with our work.

During the refreshment break, there was much lively discussion as old friends met again, and new friendships were made.

After the break, Anne Brummer gave a fascinating talk on the work of Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue, in particular the Amazing Grace campaign to save our hedgehogs.

I would like to thank all those who helped make our AGM successful, in particular our Trustees and management team, our friends and constant supporters at the Blackwater Valley Countryside Partnership, our exhibitors, Sandhurst Town Council for providing the venue and for their ongoing support and Anne Brummer for her great talk.

Last, but by no means least, I would like to thank new associate member, Kebur Garden Materials, for their kind sponsorship of the AGM and for providing a discount to our household and associated members on their extensive range of garden products.