Friends of Maryhill Park: September 2015 Minutes

FOMP 22nd September 2015 Annual General Meeting

Redacted minutes*

Asda Community Room, Summerston

1. [Chairperson] opened the meeting and welcomed everyone

2. Minutes of previous meeting (12.05.15) were approved. There were no matters arising.

3. Summer Fair 21.06.15

Despite mixed weather this year ‘s summer fair was a success, so much so that Patricia Ferguson mentioned it in the Scottish Parliament.

The entertainments and catering were well received and NH has frozen burgers and cans of drinks left over, some of which have been donated to a barbecue for young people in the neighbourhood.

SH reported that the takings balanced outgoings.

There was agreement that any donations towards future summer fairs should again be used to support free activities for children.

It is proposed to hold next year’s event on the third Sunday in June 17.06.16, just before school term ends, and that we should apply for funding early in the new year.

  SH

4. AGM Business

It was agreed existing office bearers, [ ] should continue in respective roles as no expressions of interest from others. NH reported that the constitution allows the appointment of up to 12 people, so scope for future expansion.

Accounts will be discussed at next meeting when SS in attendance. SS

5. Volunteers Update

BC described recent activities, mainly maintenance of tennis court and bowling green areas, tidying of bushes by Whitton Street and trimming around holly trees.

There have been attempts to locate and clear drains, challenging as no map of drainage network available. Some drain covers are missing and it will be necessary to approach council for replacements, preferably plastic composite, without scrap value. BC

The possibility of developing a bog garden by a natural spring near Caldercuilt Rd was raised.

Park benches have been shifted from intended locations and it was suggested the council is approached for two new benches and volunteers offer to anchor them.

There was some discussion over optimal placing of benches and the possibility of moulding abandoned shopping trolleys into seats.

  NH, BC

SK remains involved in development of tennis courts.

CW to be contacted to plan a schedule of Tennis Court maintenance SH

6.  AOCB

NH recently addressed Friends of Alexandra Park recounting our own group’s experiences

An application to Stalled Spaces for funds to develop pavilion site was turned down because of our affiliation with the council and lack of independent status.

Glasgow Life have confirmed they are responsible for tennis court / bowling green area, which may make future applications for development funding clearer. It might be possible to apply for Lottery Grant or monies from other charitable bodies. Further research into possible funding sources will be explored. NH

PF advised that there is a designated council official to advise on setting of areas of budget priorities and FOMP should consider applying in Spring 2016. All

NH thanked R and B for their promotion of Maryhill Friends Group through social media, which could in future be a means of raising funds for projects.

CC thanked NH for creating colourful flower beds.

SH reported the petition for pedestrian crossing at Maryhill Station is still in progress – online and in paper form. There may be scope to collect more signatures at local venues and PF will add a link to her website.

Previously petitioning for a crossing was unsuccessful but it was agreed there are significant safety concerns and efforts should continue.

PF

PF mentioned the Maryhill–Queen Street rail-link will be disrupted for a prolonged period next year during line works.

PF described advanced proposals to develop a community facility at the site of the former Springburn Winter Gardens which might inspire our group to persevere with ambitious plans.

SH to seek information from Queens Park Friends about source of semi-permanent metal storage container. SH

7. Next meeting

17th Nov 2015, venue to be confirmed

*Names of private individuals removed.

Planting vampire plants for Halloween!

This Sunday the volunteers will be planting some genuine vampire plants!

By User:FriedC (User:Ceskino) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Little-vampire.svg
By User:FriedC (User:Ceskino) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Link
The plant is called Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor), and it grows partially through the standard means, and partially through parasitizing other plants by growing into their roots.

It needs to be sown in autumn time, the flat seed then lies on top of the soil until germination in February or March. It also needs to be exposed to cold winter temperatures to germinate.

Germination and first growth is the tricky stage – if there is too much grass, or it is too long the germinating plant will be unable to get enough energy from the sun. If there is not enough grass the developing plant will have nothing to parasitize and will struggle to thrive.

We will be planting several plots in the solely grass areas of the wildlife meadow, in the hopes that we manage to get some established. We are going to attempt to strike the right balance of grass versus no grass by vigorously raking over the plots to expose some bare soil before sowing.

© Hans Hillewaert / , via Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3Rhinanthus_minor_(spike).jpg
© Hans Hillewaert / , via Wikimedia Common  Link

If we get it right, and if the general growing conditions are suitable then after germination the plant should throw up a couple of shoots with spiky leaves that look a wee bit like stinging nettles. These will flower late May or early June with pretty yellow flowers that are attractive to bumblebees and other insects. By July the seed pods will have formed and dried, and if you listen carefully you will be able to hear them rattling in the breeze.

As well as benefiting wildlife, if we can get these plants established it will also benefit the plant-life in the meadow. As you will remember, most of the meadow area was not seeded with wildflowers – it is simply “park grass” left to grow long. The issue with this grass is that it is a very robust and vigorously growing plant, that tends to crowd out other plants. These characteristics make it excellent for mown grass areas in parks – less good for wildflower meadows.

Due to the parasitic nature of this plant, if we can get it established, we hope that it will be able to significantly weaken the existing grass in order to give all of the other wonderful flowers in the meadow a chance to spread and colonise the rest of the area.

You may wonder what will stop the Yellow Rattle spreading and parasitizing the other flowers – the answer is nothing. Generally the Yellow Rattle reaches a happy equilibrium with the other plants in a meadow, If necessary, however, it can be easily controlled by simply cutting before it gets a chance to seed as it is an annual plant. We will be keeping our fingers crossed that we see some shoots in the spring!16431611399_e3b9e83afa_b

 

 

AGM: Tuesday 22nd September, 7pm

The “summer” is over [sad face] and it is time for our AGM. It will be held in the Community Room at ASDA Summerston at 7pm on Tuesday 22nd September. All are very welcome to attend.

AGENDA

  1. Welcome and Apologies
  2. Minutes Approval
  3. Summer Fair Report
  4. AGM business, including;
    – Changes to Office
    – Accounts Report  (TBC)
  5. Volunteers Update
  6. AOCB
  7. Date of Next Meeting

Saturday 25th April: New planting along Caldercuilt Road side of park.

Glasgow City Council are kindly providing us with a substantial quantity of plants to be planted on the Caldercuilt Road side of the Park.

We are going to need as many people as possible to come along and help out between 1000-1400 – we don’t expect people to work for four hours (!) but it’d be great if people could plant a couple of plants.

We will be working with the Countryside Rangers, and with RSPB volunteers, and can probably provide a trowel if you can’t bring your own.

Details of the plants can be found here (native) and here (non-native)

New sparrow habitat to be created in Maryhill Park

As part of the RSPB’s “Giving Nature a Home” project, they will be creating a sparrow habitat in Maryhill Park. This is in partnership with the Friends of Maryhill Park, Glasgow City Council’s Land and Environmental Services (L.E.S.), and the community.

History

In recent years, house sparrows have shown a rapid national decline in the UK, decreasing

Adult Sparrow
Adult Sparrow

by around 60% in rural areas. It has been shown that in urban areas, young sparrow chicks often suffer from a lack of insects and other invertebrates in their diet. This leads to their poor development and survival, boosting local numbers of invertebrates can alleviate this.

In response to this, the RSPB ran the “Bringing House Sparrows Back to London’s Parks and Green Spaces” project, to identify the best habitat type for invertebrates, and by extension, house sparrows.

Wildlife seed plot in Maryhill Park

Wildflower Seeds
Wildlife Seed Plot

The research established that wildlife seed plots were an excellent habitat for invertebrates and the RSPB has been identifying sites within Glasgow suitable for wildlife seed plots. One of these sites is in Maryhill Park. The area identified is near to the playpark, and it will be seeded with a mix that will provide a fantastic display of flowers. This should all happen before the end of April 2015. The site will be maintained by the Friends of Maryhill Park, with guidance from the RSPB and L.E.S.