GOOD NEWS FROM THE GORSE

“GOOD NEWS FROM THE GORSE – THE COMMUNITY RESPONDS!

We can all relax! The Gorse is safe! At least for the short term.

My last Walrus article was rather downbeat. It was written just before the all-important Gorse Annual General Meeting (AGM). At that time the Gorse Trust was fast running out of funds. Its future hung in the balance. The AGM would decide its future. The outcome could not be predicted. The article was headed “Would the Kraken Awake?” That is, would the community rally round to support The Gorse?

It is my pleasure to report that the Community’s response was magnificent. The AGM saw its best public attendance for 20 years and the contributions received on the day have made the future of The Gorse secure for a year or more. The Trustees were truly overwhelmed by the community’s response and would like to thank the many supportive people who came forward on the night and who signed up as “Friends of The Gorse.” To you, a special “Thank You” card is being forwarded for your support, compliments, practical ideas and financial contributions.

The AGM endorsed the use of some funds for a modest celebration for The Gorse’s 20th birthday. (The Gorse will be 20 years old on 24.7.2018). Plans are now being drawn up for such an event. Look out for local advertisements nearer to the time; details should also be available in the next edition of The Walrus. The community was also receptive to a proposed development project with the aim of providing better public access by improving some deep gorse paths.

The newsletter advertising the AGM invited members of the community to show interest in becoming a Gorse Trustee. Six members came forward and, subject to adequate insurance arrangements, will join the current Trust of six as additional Trustees. The enthusiasm shown by these new members with their new and exciting ideas bodes well for The Gorse’s future.

With the short-term future of The Gorse assured, our focus has now shifted to how the long-term survival of The Gorse can best be safe-guarded. At the AGM many of the Friends of The Gorse indicated that they would much prefer to commit to an annual standing order than face repeated calls for crisis contributions. As this would certainly make The Gorse income more predictable and stable we have responded to this idea by sending out a standing order form with our Thank You cards. Please contribute as much as you can!

So, what is going to happen next? A comprehensive wildlife inventory is planned for 2018 to set a baseline of what is present on site. This will help to manage the Gorse so it is not only preserved but enhanced. We have already eliminated the invasive Japanese Knotweed and Russian Vine from the site and we plan to control the non-native Sycamore to giver spaced and allow our more attractive plants space to flourish. Assessments are being made on how to improve the site’s paths. This will allow people safely to enjoy not only the garden area but also the wilder, natural Deep Gorse. The inventory should be completed by September.

The Gorse Millennium Green now appears on Google Maps and you can find useful information about The Gorse on both Facebook (just type in “The Gorse Millennium Green”) and Twitter (@millenniumgorse). Please give us a follow, like, retweet and share your photos and experiences of the space! Our new Trustees are preparing a more dedicated web site with the facility to accept computerised Gorse standing order payments. For the near future, standing order sign-ups might be encouraged by the provision of small rewards – collectibles fashioned by celebrated local artisans – dependent upon the level of contribution. The design and merchandising of Gorse souvenir items is also being considered.

The Gorse’s future looked bleak. Now – at least for the short-term – it looks more rosy. Our annual maintenance target is £750. If there is a sufficient take-up of annual standing orders it’s long-term future will be secured as well.
Nev Bradley
Chairman
The Gorse Millennium Green Trust”

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