The 4th Annual General Meeting of The Watercress Way 8 pm 16 June via Zoom
The meeting reported on the period from June 2019 until June 2020.
The 9 Trustees are the only members of The Watercress Way. Members of the public were invited as observers.
We were delighted to welcome 9 members of the public in addition to the Trustees. In particular, we were pleased to see our volunteers from the Duke of Edinburgh award who are developing maps of walking, cycling and riding rites as well as helping with conservation.
Chairman Jackie Porter welcomed everyone and then presented our Annual Report.
- The success of annual Dawn to Dusk Day in April 2019 and the series of well attended guided walks led by trustees. Unfortunately the 2020 day had to be cancelled due to the lockdown but we hope to be back in 2021.
- The work on conservation by our brushcutter trained trustees to improve access and bio-diversity. The contribution to the work done by Worthys Conservation Volunteers at Worthy Down Halt and helped it achieve Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) status from HCC.
- The generous donation of £4500 from Alresford Rotary club in remembrance of Mr and Mrs Newitt. This will be used to install 10 more benches and some listening posts.
- The old railway line through Top Field, Kings Worthy was officially designated as a Public Bridleway by Hampshire County Council and a new section of the old Watercress Line, also in Kings Worthy, was successfully claimed too. It is overgrown, but we will be working with the developers and Winchester City Council to join it to our network. It is hoped that this will be opened in 2021.
- We received recognition from the CPRE in the Community and Voluntary Award 2019 sponsored by Southern Co-op. Our donations were double that for 2018/19, and we had increased our volunteering , Facebook and email by a similar percentage too.
- We advertised The Watercress Way through local fetes and shows and via our website and Facebook page. In addition, leaflets are available in many locations on the trail and also in local tourist offices and businesses.
- We have raised funds for our projects through grants, sponsorship by local businesses, donations and by a very successful quiz night at a local pub
Plans for 2020-21:
- Enhance the environs of the Wonston Rd bridge and open the area for public use
- Build an access ramp for wheel chair users at Couch Green by liaising with Itchen Valley Parish Council and obtaining the necessary planning permissions and grants
- Open a designated path through the new Top Field development in Kings Worthy respecting the ecology of the area
- Install 10 benches and 10 listening posts using funds donated by the Rotary Club in Alresford (deferred from 2019-20 due to the lockdown)
- Continue to increase the awareness and use of the route through guided walks and local events as well as Facebook and the website
- Increase the use of volunteers, in particular DoE students, to improve awareness and access to the line
Accounts to year end April 2021
Treasurer Kay Mead has prepared and presented the annual accounts to the Trustees who have agreed and signed them.
Overall income is up by almost £6,500.
Online donations were £468.99. Most of this is from My Donate and the service which replaced it, Local Giving. We also received £63.33 from Give As You Live.
Please sign up via our website if you would like to donate when you shop on line.
Other donations £1,738.60. Mainly from our Quiz Night £579 and Tony Langridge’s Challenge Adventure cycle sponsorship, £410.
Expenditure is down from last year at £2,559.21. The largest item is for work on Projects, and most of this is for costs related to posts and waymarkers. Included in projects is the topographical survey for the Couch Green project.
Public Question Time
Gail Alexander from Worthys Conservation Volunteers indicated that they are very appreciative of the help given to WCV by The Watercress Way in achieving Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC). They were hoping to meet soon with Abby Sullivan of HCC and us to discuss the management of Worthy Down Halt.
Yvette Riley thanked the charity for its work on behalf of Itchen Valley Parish Council.
Date of next meeting: 16 June 2021
Secretary, The Watercress Way
24 June 2020
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16 walkers enjoyed a 4 mile stroll on a rare dry Sunday morning.