GLAMORGAN HERITAGE COAST ADVISORY GROUP
Minutes of a meeting held on 13th September, 2013.
Present: Councillors Mrs. A.J. Preston, R.P. Thomas and E. Williams (Vale of Glamorgan); Mr. N.A. Lewis (Glamorgan Wildlife Trust); Ms. G.M. Barter (National Resources Wales); Mr. J. Golunski (Dunraven Estates), Councillor G. Davies (Bridgend County Borough Council); Mr. R. McLaggan (Merthyr Mawr Estates); Mr. B. Acott (Friends of Glamorgan Heritage Coast); Mrs. A. Morgan (One Voice Wales) and Mrs. H. March (Independent).
(a) Appointment of Chairman –
AGREED – T H A T Councillor Mrs. A.J. Preston be appointed Chairman for the current municipal year.
(b) Appointment of Vice-Chairman –
AGREED – T H A T Councillor E. Williams be appointed Vice-Chairman for the current municipal year.
(c) Apologies for Absence –
These were received from Councillors L. Burnett, J. Drysdale and Mrs. V.M. Hartrey.
(d) Minutes –
AGREED – T H A T the minutes of the meeting held on 12th April, 2013 be accepted.
(e) Presentation by Ms. Sinead Lynch, BFE Conservation Officer Wales –
Bumblebee Conservation –
Ms. Lynch commenced her presentation by advising that there were around 250 species of bumblebees worldwide and 24 in the UK which feed exclusively on pollen and nectar and are found mostly in cool regions in the northern hemisphere. In order to thrive they required :
· somewhere to nest
· lots of flowers for food throughout spring, summer and early autumn
· somewhere to hibernate.
Ms. Lynch further advised that it was important to conserve bumblebees because they were important pollinators of commercial crops and wild plants, they were part of 'our valuable biodiversity' and managing habitats for bumblebees also helped lots of other wildlife. Members were provided with a PowerPoint presentation and full description of the species. Reference was made to the importance of land management and the need to ensure that wild flower meadows existed together with bee friendly planting beds and that boundary habitats were enhanced and managed and that tussock grass was encouraged. Ms. Lynch also referred to a number of types of flowers that the bumblebees frequented which included Red Clover. All these initiatives would assist in the conservation of the bumblebee. There was also the importance of developing areas within parks, foot path verges, road side verges, farms and small holdings, campsites, orchards and brown field sites which would assist further and that hedges, ditches and banks also provided vital foliage in early and late summer as nesting habitats. These should be cut every other year rotationally in sections and not cut between April and mid September in order to encourage the bumblebees to nest.
Following the presentation Ms. Lynch advised that should any organisation wish to pursue a project they could contact her direct.
AGREED – T H A T Ms. Lynch be thanked for an interesting and informative
presentation and that her contact details be forwarded to all Members.
(f) Achievements and Issues Since the Last Meeting -
The Principal Ranger, Mr. Paul Dunn, provided Members with a PowerPoint presentation of pictures that had been taken of the Heritage Coast over the previous five months. He advised that visitor numbers to the coast had increased as a result of the excellent summer weather.
Maintenance work as always continued to be undertaken in relation to issues such as fences needing mending, safety issues and cliff falls. Mr. Dunn also referred to the number of visits made to the Heritage Coast Centre by schools and informed Members of the significant number of thank you letters that had been received from pupils in relation to their visits.
The local gardens were a fantastic resource and work had recently been undertaken to improve the garden wall. Mr. Dunn took the opportunity to offer special thanks to Mr. Malcolm Drysdale of the Vale of Glamorgan Council who had arranged for a number of contractors to undertake work at the site which had been successful and managed well.
A number of events had also been held throughout the year as detailed below:
· Literature Wales Poetry event
· birthday parties
· rock pooling parties
· a variety of managed walks
· Garden open days
· assistance at the Vale Walking Festival
· Local Painting exhibition.
In referring to litter, Mr. Dunn advised of the substantial amount of waste that came to the Coast from rivers and the sea, and that it needed a co-ordinated approach from all agencies, landowners and interested parties to help solve the problem. He, however, took the opportunity to thank the number of volunteers who arrived on a day to day basis to assist with litter picking. The Police had approached the Authority as to whether the Heritage Coast Centre could be used as a base for enabling best resource management of future large emergency incidents. This was currently being discussed with Dunraven Estates and the Vale of Glamorgan Council.
In conclusion, Mr. Dunn took the opportunity to thank 'The Friends of the Heritage Coast Centre', landowners and all other user groups for their continued support, following which it was
AGREED – T H A T the presentation be noted.
(g) Matters Raised by Bridgend County Borough Council –
Councillor G. Davies referred to the coastal path advising that it had opened up the coastline for a number of people. He also referred to a local conflict between walkers on the Heritage Coast and horse-riders which was currently being looked into by officers in Bridgend County Borough Council and he would report back to the Advisory Group accordingly.
(h) Matters Raised by Natural Resources Wales –
Ms. Barter referred to a recent staff restructuring within the organisation and that, although it was not anticipated that it would affect Bridgend or the Vale Council, it was of note that Sites of Scientific Interest were likely to be dealt with by staff from the Swansea office.
(i) Matters Raised by the Friends of Glamorgan Heritage Coast –
Mr. Arcott urged the Vale of Glamorgan Council to monitor progress in relation to the rights of way through the Sea Watch Centre.
(j) Date of Next Meeting –
It was agreed that the next meeting should be held in the month of April 2014 and the Democratic and Scrutiny Officer would confirm the date in due course