In this second newsletter we remember our late Chair, Paul Davies, provide updates on reservoir developments, volunteering opportunities and the work of your Committee – including information on 2023 subscriptions.
Paul Davies, 1946 – 2022
We were very saddened to learn from Paul’s family that our Chair passed away unexpectedly on 29th December. The Friends Committee and Welsh Water sent condolences to Paul’s family and shared our memories of Paul with his wider family and friends at his funeral service on 15 February. We are grateful to members and partner groups that passed on their thoughts to us too.
We will really miss Paul and his enthusiastic contribution to the Friends group as our inaugural Chair. He had a passion for conservation and the environment that was always evident throughout his active involvement with this group and many others in the area. He was also a member of the Cardiff Arms Park Male Choir and was involved in St. John the Baptist City Parish Church in Cardiff, the Rotary Club of Cardiff, the Labour Party and a local rugby club. Given Paul’s energy, there were doubtless other community links that we were unaware of too.
As well as his role chairing the Friends Committee, Paul made a hands-on contribution to the preservation and development of the reservoirs, most notably helping to build dry-stone walls which will remain a testament to his contribution. At our Annual General Meeting last year Paul donated an impressive bird house which has been put up in the woodland educational area near one of the bird hides.
Many of you will have seen the progress being made in establishing the new visitor centre and paths around the site. There has also been extensive work in the woodland areas, including the development of educational environments. We are nearing the planned launch of the visitor centre and the public opening of the reservoirs in the summer. When we know the detail of the arrangements and events we will let members know.
Your Committee continues to meet each month and we were pleased to welcome Welsh Water’s, Michelle Impanni to our recent meeting. Michelle has joined Welsh Water’s expanding team as the new Volunteering manager at the reservoirs. We are really grateful to Annie Smith for all her support to us – Annie will remain involved with us as she takes on broader responsibilities in Welsh Water.
Ahead of our next Annual General Meeting – likely to be held in July – we will seeking nominations for Committee posts that have become vacant or have been filled by co-opted members since the initial elections in 2021. So please contact us at email@example.com if you are interested in serving on the Committee or would like more information on the specific roles.
We applied to the Cardiff biodiversity project and received 12 rakes, 22 packs of gloves, 6 pairs of secateurs, 12 buckets and a wheelbarrow. All items have already been put to use by volunteers on the woodlands management project. The rakes will be used at the end of March to rake the grass banks to assist the waxcap. We are also in the process of applying for a defibrillator from the Edenstone Foundation.
Activities for volunteers
We now have over 200 members with around 100 enrolled on the volunteer management system and many volunteering opportunities being offered in collaboration with Welsh Water. The regular Friday morning woodland management sessions have been very popular and there have been more dry-stone walling sessions, a grassland fungi survey and training in first aid and manual handling.
How to book on activities
We will email members directly about future activities. The best way to book on these volunteering opportunities is by logging on to our volunteer management system (Login Page (teamkinetic.co.uk).
We have recently changed the process for joining the management system as our membership numbers and the range of activities have increased. If you are already enrolled, you do not need to do anything and do not need to know your membership number to join events.
Other members, yet to enrol, will need to be allocated a membership number to enter when enrolling – please email firstname.lastname@example.org to be allocated a membership number to enter into the membership number box. Then, to enrol click on:
Welsh Water will approve your enrolment and you will then be able to log in and book onto activities.
The Welsh Government is consulting on some detailed changes to Planning Policy Wales with a 31 May deadline. The proposed changes further emphasise the importance of net benefit for biodiversity and the resilience of ecosystems, including strengthened protection for SSSIs, trees and woodlands. We have been asked to contact members and encourage participation in the consultation. The consultation website is: https://www.gov.wales/planning-policy-wales-net-benefit-biodiversity-and-ecosystems-resilience
Cardiff Met evaluation
As part of Welsh Government and National Lottery Heritage Community Woodlands Grant, researchers from Cardiff Metropolitan University have been asked by Welsh Water to investigate the role people have played to protect and enhance the woodlands at the reservoirs. The study aims to include people who have volunteered at the reservoir in the last few years as well as members of the Reservoir Action Group. We will hear more from the study team soon with contact details and information about how to get involved.
2023 subscriptions are now due. These are £5 for individual membership or £10 for a household. These can be paid by standing order (a form is included along with this newsletter) or through the Membership section of our website, using PayPal.
Details of how to join the Friends group are also on the Membership section of our website. We are keen to include members in our Executive Committee activities – please contact us if you would like to help. Anyone with marketing and communications skills would be particularly welcome (to support our website, social media and Welsh language communications).