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The FoDP 2019 AGM took place on 15th February at My Place in Dagnam Park Drive.

FoDP Secretary's Report 2019.

 

2018 was an inspiring year for the Friends group for the reasons as follows;

  • We continued the archaeological dig, now into its fourth continuing year. Due to the long hot summer the ground was hard as concrete, so we moved to the more shallow and sheltered grounds of the walled garden. We uncovered the long lost floors of the numerous hot and green houses and ancient pathways. Whilst continuing to keep the stable court yard area clear of fallen leaves and storm debris.
  • A sponsored walk raising a marvellous £1329 for St Francis Hospice May 19th
  • DNA crested newt sampling in selected ponds. May 18th.
  • During July we assisted Havering Museum with a childrens' wild life treasure hunt. A printed sheet based on the fauna and flora of the Manor.
  • August 12th saw the Mayor of Havering’s dog walk.
  • The artefacts from the archaeology dig were displayed in the Havering museum for a 6 week period from 8th September. Some of these were selected for permanent showing.
  • Picnic in the park during August.
  • Ghost walk in October.
  • The 2018 FODP capital project where more saplings were planted along the dust track that leads to the Manor house site. The parks department planted 16. Tom Fradd of LBH asked us to water them. Which we did from 1st July right through-out the dry months until 3rd October. 2018 was very hot and long. But due to our diligent watering, all the saplings are still fine and ready to spring into bud.  
  • We also received from various grants another 80 whip sized saplings and these are to be planted in the coming weeks.
  • Also during October we recorded interviews with elderly former residents of Harold Hill, their memories of the Manor and surrounding area proved most interesting and valuable.
  • Our second year venture of creating and selling of FODP merchandise proved highly successful e.g. the sale of 300 calendars. (250 in 2017). We have around 5 left if you haven’t purchased any yet. We had a stall at the 29th November Hilldene Christmas Light fair. The weather was against us. Our marquee was wrecked by the high winds but thanks to Councillor Paul Geary’s generosity, of a marquee loan and some suitably tied sand bags, we managed to sell FODP key rings, fridge magnets and 17 other multiple prizes in a raffle.
  • Throughout all the year we continued our litter picks and working parties such as barbed- wire removal.
  • However, our main concern is that the nature reserve boundary issue is still unresolved. Whilst most of LBH regard the boundaries are the full 345 acres. Officially it is still only 70 acres. This committee has been very busy in the background keeping the aims of the Friends of Dagnam Park high in the minds of council. A further meeting is being arranged with Council to hopefully bring a close to this great concern.

Alan York

 

 

FoDP Chairman’s Report 2019.

 

This past year has seen the group taken on more work within the nature reserve to keep it up to a certain standard which resulted in a Gold Award for the third year running from the London in Bloom 2018 panel in the Large Conservation category.   Since we started to be entered into the London in Bloom program in 2015 by the local authority, the Nature Reserve has been awarded three Gold and one Silver Gilt in the  Large Conservation category and two silver gilts in the Country Park of the Year category.  This has been a fantastic result for the nature reserve and has only been made possible by the work that has been carried out by the members of the Friend’s group, supported by Havering Parks Department, who have strived to keep the parkland looking the way it does by going out in all weathers to undertake certain projects. 

Projects such as tree planting and having new seating set into the park are things that visitors to the nature reserve can see straight away but what many do not see is the clearing of litter around the park,  household rubbish deposited in the woods picked up and cleared away, the removal of barbed wire that once formed boundaries on fields, the reporting of  dangerous trees to the council and asking for their removal and the reporting to the Parks Police when any illegal activity is seen taking place.  All these things, and much more, go into the make up of things that are covered by the members of the Friends of Dagnam Park to secure a future for the park and to make it an enjoyable experience for the visitor.

2018 also saw a new venture for the FODP in that we had a display in the Havering Museum of the artefacts that the dig team, drawn up from our members, have found whilst undertaking the excavations at the site of the house, stable block and former walled garden.  Whilst the exhibition was on for only a month at the museum the dig is on going and a lot of interest from those that visit the park has been shown.  By undertaking the dig the history of the old estate is being brought to the fore and a new understanding for the layout of the buildings that once stood there is beginning to emerge.

This past year has also seen an upsurge in visitor numbers to the park with many coming from afar to photograph the Deer that roam freely in the nature reserve.  A good percentage of those visitors are first timers to the parkland and the vast majority have either said that they will return or have done so, in some case’s repeatedly, to capture the beauty that we have on our doorstep and for what some take for granted.  As one visitor comes to the park they then tell their friends what they have seen and they in turn visit and do the same and we are now finding that people are travelling from  Leigh on Sea,  Chelmsford, Writtle, Braintree, Stanford le Hope, Bow  and even Potter’s Bar and all have said what a great place it is and that we are so lucky to have it on our doorstep.

Now as we go into 2019 things that we had only spoken about are starting to come to fruition.  Trees that we had planted in March last year along one side of the drive are soon to be joined by more on the opposite side which in years to come will form an avenue of white and pink blossom in the Spring time.  After many years of discussions with the council a  new car park in the former tennis courts has now been laid and will be landscaped to include new trees in the form of whips which when full grown with not only help the wildlife in that area but will also form some shade.

All in all last year was good but with things that are in the pipe line this year can see even more work projects for the Friend’s group which in the long run can only be good for the Nature Reserve.

In finishing my report for this year I would like to take a moment to thank those that have worked hard in getting us to this point, my fellow committee members, the dig team who double up as the litter pick / seat preserving/ path clearing / calendar selling (and delivery) and stall holders team, and Tom Fradd from Havering Council’s Park Department who along with the members of  Havering Council Parks Police Service have given as their help, support and encouragement.

Don Tait.

 

Minutes of the Annual General Meeting of the Friend’s of Dagnam Park, held on February 8th 2018 at Myplace Centre, Dagnam Park Drive Harold Hill.

34 people were in attendance.

Prior to the full meeting coming to order Alan York presented a short talk on the archaeological dig taking place on the site of the manor house and stable block with a display of some of the items that have been so far unearthed.

A.G.M.

Apologies for absence.

Apologies given for Denis and Susan Cook.

As there were no one being put forward from the floor for the committee positions on offer it was agreed by those members present to carry on with the present holders of those positions for the forthcoming year.

These being;

Chairman; Don Tait.

Vice-chairman/Secretary; Alan York

Treasurer; Susan Cook.

Schools co-ordinator; Don Tait.

Assistant Secretary; Jan Sargent.

It was also agreed to make Jan Sargent the groups co-ordinator for Duck Wood.

The A.G.M. of the FODP started at 7.30pm with Don Tait thanking all those in attendance.

Minutes from last year’s AGM were agreed upon and signed.

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For completeness the draft minutes of the 15/2/19 AGM are published below These minutes will not be formally ammended and/or accepted until the 2020 AGM.

  1.  Welcome by Dennis Cook. 
  2. Talk by Lois Amos from The Friends of Bedford’s Park. The speaker apologised for not being able to show slides as we were unable to connect the computer to the projector. Notwithstanding this Lois gave a first class talk on the reinstatement of the walled garden in Bedford’s Park and how the £350,000 lottery grant was spent and promised to return on a later occasion to show the slides.
  3. Apologies were received from Alison Shorter, Lawrence Webb, Keith Prince, Julia Lopez, Tom Fradd and Irene Rudds.
  4. Election of Officers.  The previous officers were all re-elected with the exception of Cllr. Jan Sargent who stood down as Assistant Secretary and was replaced by Ken Lynn, the son of former Councillor Ron Lynn who served for many years on Havering Council (proposed by Don Tait and seconded by John Pugh).
  5. Minutes of the 2018 AGM were passed around and agreed at the end of the meeting.
  6. Don Taitgave a detailed Chair’s report which has now been posted on the FODP website.
  7. Alan York gave a detailed Secretary’s report which has now been posted on the FODP website.
  8. Copies of the Treasurer’s report were circulated. Secretary  reported a future expenditure of £1,000.
  9. Chair distributed a list of dates for litter picks and other events.  These will be posted on the website, Facebook and on the new noticeboard.
  10. AOB – New information board to be put up by English Heritage at the moat.  Signs to be put up in the new carpark to encourage people to clear up after their dogs. Ken Lynn praised the Park’s Police who arrive quickly and get on top of problems.  Ron Annis asked about reporting fallen trees. Dennis Cook asked about the future of the recently installed football pitches, there was some discussion about lack of parking and changing facilities. Dave Ainsworth reminded the meeting of other points relating to the football pitches. Denis O’Flynn to raise the matter with the relevant Cabinet Minister. The meeting was informed about a guided walk on the 23rd of March.  The Chair reported that Brookside Angling Club had retained the use of the ponds this will include the Priory Pond which will need renovating. Shantel Cook spoke about the Harold Hill Deer Aid page on FaceBook and asked members to report incidents involving deer on the site and spoke about the dangerous behaviour of some school children i.e. chasing the deer into the road.  It was suggested that the local schools be contacted.  The Chair reported that he had been told by Tom Fradd that no action is planned by the Council at the moment to deal with the deer. Other members said that more roads signs should be put up to warn of the hazard that might be caused by deer on the road.  A talk was given by a representative of Land of the Fanns relating to possible grants that could be obtained. It was reported that Footpath 136 is overgrown in places and that it is important to see that the public do no lose use of the footpaths through neglect.
  11. The Chairman thanked everyone for their attendance.
  12. The meeting closed at 9 p.m.
  13. 33 people were present

Friends of Dagnam Park Annual Accounts

8th February 2018 to 15th February 2019

 

Balance on the 15th of February 2018      £3434.21 

Expenditure

Renewal of domain name

   £49.99

Christmas Stall

£258.09

Presentation to museum

£60.00

Hire of Myplace

   £36,00

Stationery and postage

 £111.39

Tools, equipment and t shirts

  £419.24

Insurance

 £125.05

Cost of printing calendars

£1145.00

Total

£2204.76

 

Income

Donation from Havering Council

£1000.00

Donations

    £355.00

Sale of bags

£30.00

Membership

   £184.00

Christmas Stall

    £348.41

Sale of calendars

  £1495.00

Total

  £3412.41

 

Balance on the 15th of February 2019       £4641.86

These accounts have been examined by Frank Tapley.