The 26th June must surely have been the warmest evening of the year so far, and we were delighted to welcome 18 shareholders and 13 members of the public to our 2018 AGM in the Redlake Valley Village Hall. Chairman, Mark Limbrick, reported a busy year, with work parties in the quillet, visits to other woods and, of course, last October’s highly successful Woodland Fair. Treasurer, Anthony Morgan, followed this up with a very positive financial report (available on request to those shareholders who weren’t able to attend), and suggested that we should now create a reserve fund for any contingencies that might arise. Shows of hands from shareholders present supported two proposals. The first was that the Society should register its objections to the scale of development proposed by the Forestry Commission for a holiday park in Mortimer Forest. The second was to reassure board members of their confidence in them to open negotiations on any future sale of a quillet in Brineddin Wood without repeated recourse to shareholder opinion.
The AGM was followed by a fascinating and well illustrated talk by biologist and author, Andrew Allott on ‘Woodland in the Marches from the last Glaciation and into the Future’. Andrew studied Botany at Oxford and entered teaching, first in Kent, then for 26 years as Head of Biology at Shrewsbury School until his retirement two years ago. In addition to authoring Biology text books, his major work, ‘The Marches’, No 118 in the highly regarded Harper Collins New Naturalist Series, is what he describes as his “Love letter to the Marches”. Andrew went to great pains to turn generalisations on how The Marches was affected by the series of ice ages and recolonised by tree species into very specific thoughts and authoritative speculations on how these would have manifested themselves in the Redlake Valley. It’s unlikely that anyone in the audience will now be able to drive up the valley without visualising the advance and retreat of successive waves of ice, and how, after each retreat, plants species would have gradually gained a hold on the stony terrain left behind.
A few shareholders who weren’t able to attend asked if we could film Andrew’s talk, which we did. We plan to show this later this year, so anyone else who is interested is most welcome to get in contact.
Andrew and Alison Allott with RVCBS Secretary, Karen Limbrick, at the top of the steps in Quillet 2879
Andrew visited the Society’s quillet earlier in the day and left us with some valuable advice on future management.