WHAT IS RVCBS?
RVCBS was formed in December 2011 and is registered with the Financial Conduct Authority under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 (CCBSA2014) to own assets or manage activities within the Redlake Valley and its environs that are solely for community benefit. The Society aims to provide an opportunity for public-spirited people to invest and get involved in projects that maintain or improve their surroundings. There will be no financial return for any investment but as well as being involved in decision making, shareholders will be able to take part in the running of projects and practical work. Although the aims of the Society are wide-ranging, and permit other projects in the future, the initial reason for the formation of the Society was to purchase Quillet no 2879 which became available for purchase in 2011.
WHO IS INVOLVED?
1. Management Board
Mark Limbrick is Chairman of the Society and a Founder Member. He lives at the Smithy in Chapel Lawn and is married to Karen. Mark is retired civil servant but still active as a Chartered Town Planner. He is a trustee of the Sturchley Charitable Trust.
Anthony Morgan is Treasurer to the Society and a Founder Member. He is a retired hospital consultant. Married to Christine, they moved to Lower Lye in the Redlake Valley from Whitcott Keysett in 2010. They are keen cyclists and gardeners and have planted their own woodland. Anthony chairs the charity that was set up in 2019 to established individual, community and business support for the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Bob James was born in Chapel Lawn. Like his father and grandfather, he has farmed here all his life. Bob brings immense practical experience to the board and has a particular interest in trees and woodland.
Simon Jameson has lived in the valley since 2000. He and his wife, Sarah, are both self-employed as successful artists and were instrumental in forming the Redlake Valley Artists. Simon also serves on the Village Hall Committee.
Patrick Cosgrove is a retired civil servant. With his wife, Di, they ran a B&B in Chapel Lawn until 2012. He walks, rides and cycles in and around the Redlake Valley and spends a great deal of time researching the history of the Valley. He is a Founder Member of the Society.
Sara Randall is a retired university professor whose main research was in West Africa. She moved to Lydbury North in 2019 and now wants to deveop practical knowledge about Shropshire Conservation issues and woodland management. She spins, knits and is learning natural dyeing skills.
In addition to theManagement Board, , the early shareholders of the Society were Claudia Brown of Bryncambric Farm, Chapel Lawn; Liz and Ian Campbell of Skyborry; Karen Limbrick of The Smithy, Chapel Lawn, Barry and Beryl Palmer of Chapel Lawn; Ollie Holder and Steph Thomson of Clun; Christine Morgan of Lower Lye, Bucknell; Sarah Jameson of New Invention; Michael MacTurk of Pentre Hodre. They have since been joined by 40 others, most of whom live in or near to the Redlake Valley.
We obtained expert advice at each stage of setting up the Society and purchasing the quillet. At the very beginning we talked to the Cooperative Society and the Plunkett Foundation who were both extremely helpful. Others we have taken advice from include: Nicky Kent of Shropshire Rural Community Council whose role is helping communities set up social enterprises and Michael Whithouse (also a shareholder) who has formerly advised Fordhall Community Land Initiative and Knucklas Castle Community Land Project. Eventually we chose Wessex Community Assets to draw up our rules and register us as a CBS. Later we talked extensively with Brian Barker, the Woodland Officer for Shropshire Hills AONB who helped us with the woodland management plan and Fiona Gomersall, the Conservation Officer for the Shropshire Wildlife Trust. We are also in touch with nearby projects that have similar aims. These include Knucklas Castle Community Land Project which manages a community woodland and the Knighton Tree Allotment Trust, both of which are just over the border into Wales.
WHAT WE INITIALLY INTEND TO DO AND WHY.
With the purchase of quillet 2879 in 2011, and then 2880 in 2020, the Society will strengthen the historic link between Brineddin Wood and the community of Chapel Lawn and the Redlake Valley. This will provide a focus for joint action and cooperation by members of the community and will increase the opportunity for residents and visitors to the area to use, learn from and enjoy the woodland. We would like to develop a long-term sustainable vision for woodland under community management in Brineddin Wood, working with some of the other quillet owners. One owner of a neighbouring quillet has agreed to let us undertake management work there. The Society would expect to enhance biodiversity in the woodland, (both wildlife habitats and species of fauna and flora), thus preventing further decline.
The Rules of the Society are deliberately broad and enable shareholders to hold ‘assets’ on behalf of the community. This provides scope for activities that are not related to woodland, although that is our main focus at present.
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