Changes in the Committee
Co-opted Committee Members:
We are pleased to announce we have 'co-opted' member Kate Ashley onto the committee. Kate is our first 'co-opted' committee member, meaning that she has a specialist role where she can guide
voted-in committee members in their deliberations. As a committee we were keen to progress data recording around species in the reservoir area, but with limited time and knowledge this was going to be problematic for the standing committee.
Therefore, Kate offered to lead and organise the annual Eco-Blitz on behalf of Friends of Bartley Reservoir, which involves us benefiting from her wide knowledge, skills, and connections, having worked in conservation previously. C0-opting Kate, allows her to access our online files and emails, to communicate with relevant people and organisations regarding conservation, nature, and bio-blitz events, on our behalf, whilst being bound by Confidentiality and Data Protection law/policy, like the rest of the committee.
We are so lucky to have Kate doing this for us, which has already resulted in a fantastic Bio-Blitz event in August this year, and plans and communications are already going on in the background to make the next one (May18th/19th) even better! Co-opting has worked out very well on this occasion and we hope it is something we can also consider doing for other aspects of our 10 year plan, so that more can be done sooner, rather than later.
Farewell to Portland Jones as our Secretary.
Sadly, Portland has stepped down as Secretary of the committee. Portland was Secretary from before Friends of Bartley Reservoir was properly constituted in May 2021, until October 2023 - so for 2 years and 5 months at least! As chairperson, the support Portland provided to me in the early stages of forming the group was invaluable, and I refer to the Chairperson's report from the first AGM where I wrote:
This year has also faced big challenges to becoming established. We began in the year leading up to local elections and inadvertently stepped on political toes in the area. This has resulted in much backlash and opposition aimed at me personally and the committee more widely. I would like to thank the committee for their professionalism, resoluteness, and clarity of purpose over the last year to ensure that FOBR thrived regardless, and that our vision and goals for the area marched on.
It was by Portland and I working closely together as a team early on, that we managed to weather the storm, and still achieved in our aims and goals. For example, I wrote the grant applications for the benches and signposts, but without Portland presenting our application, both at the ward meeting, and again to another committee online, we would not have been successful in acquiring the grant. We also worked together on the presentation content for the ward meeting. In order to meet the terms of the grant Portland wrote most of the material for the 'Talking Benches' event, whilst I completed the necessary paperwork to prove we had done what we said we would.
As well as doing the 'daily grind' of secretarial work for the group, such as writing up minutes, answering emails, and working on the AGM, Portland more recently, threw herself into crafting to raise money for the group. Along with Treasurer Eleanor Martin, many, many hours were spent crafting and making arrangements to attend craft fairs, and to then be there on the day. Portland also supported the promotions of the recent summer raffle. Her creativeness did not end there, with Portland doing many 'rock art' pieces for our 'Resa-Rocks' project at the start of the group's journey, and most recently completed her own short book of amazing Fake Folklore based around Bartley Reservoir and nearby places. The tales are available on our website, or you can buy the book from Amazon here.
So Eleanor and I wish to thank Portland for all that she has contributed to the committee, and to Friends of Bartley Reservoir, and we wish her all the best in her future endeavours. For those of you that know Portland, you will know she is an incredibly creative and busy person, and will continue with her writing, poetry classes, her support of other writers, and with her work on the committee of Northfield Arts Forum (NAF). Portland will continue to be a member of Friends of Bartley Reservoir, and hopefully you will get to catch up with her if she is able to attend the next AGM on the 08/03/2024.