The longer view…
An update from John on Camden Meadow
Two brief updates – one, our new Friends of Camden Meadow group and, two, our second working party.
In reverse order, we held our second working party over last weekend. A slightly smaller affair than last time, for two reasons. Firstly, with the recent wet weather, and the ground being a little slippier than normal, we were keen that only more experienced people take part, for safety reasons. Secondly, whereas last time our aim was to coppice quite a large area of overgrown hazel, this time, with the trees in leaf and wildlife in full swing, we wanted to be a little more ‘surgical’ in our approach, so a smaller intervention but still to good effect.
Here’s a ‘before’ photo:
And here’s a couple of ‘afters’:
Friends of Camden Meadow
Working with B&NES Council we have now formed an official ‘Friends of Camden Meadow’ group. Basically, this is an open group for local people who would like to be part of the long term management and vision for this little patch of our neighbourhood.
There are various such ‘Friends’ groups linked to parks and open spaces in Bath, the most obvious local example being the very successful Friends of Hedgemead Park – so there is good precedence and established practice between these groups and the Council.
Friends of Camden Meadow has been initially established as an ‘unconstituted group’ – keeping it quite informal. Nevertheless, it is now recognised by the Council as being the key local group with an interest in this site – so it makes us official, and gives us increased latitude to continue our work towards our longer term vision (see previous blog). In time, it will also allow us to extend our activities, for instance, perhaps applying for grant funding etc. The Council will also consult with us about the site before making unilateral decisions.
We’ve got off to a flying start with 14 members already. There’s room for plenty more. Membership is very simple – a dynamic system based simply on taking part in volunteering activities, 3 times a year or more. Basically, we’re not interested in names on a list (although there is, of course, a list) – lists for their own sake have a tendency to get bloated and / or go stale. Membership means doing. Rolling your sleeves up and getting stuck in. (Depending on levels of interest, the commitment hurdle may be varied from time to time.)
It’s not onerous. Volunteering events will likely take place every 1-2 months, for around 2.5 hours a piece, and range in activities from pruning, weeding, grass cutting and coppicing, to simple litter picking, to occasional planting. So, a mix of things for a wide range of abilities and skills. Members do not need to commit to every event held, just take part in a minimum of 3 to meet the current membership criteria. We’re two events in, and it’s also great fun and a good way to meet other local people. It’s a community thing.
If you’d like to get involved, please just contact John Long (currently leading the group) or John Lindup. Both happen to be Lower Camden Place neighbours. The more merrier 😀
Cheers for now
Friends of Camden Meadow