COLTISHALL COMMONS TRUST

 
AUGUST 2013

 

Lower Common

The position for a bench in memory of Charlie Smith has been agreed.  It will go between two other seats towards the far end of the Common.  Once the seat is to hand then the base will be constructed and the seat fitted. 

 

Work to complete the installation of the ladders put in by the Broads Authority is scheduled for completion in September.  They plan to bring a machine across the Common to install oak ‘fendering’ at the side of each ladder.  Mats will be used to protect the Common and any damage will be repaired before they leave.  The Trust remains deeply unhappy at the way in which the Broads Authority have conducted themselves over this installation.  However, they do have an assurance from the BA senior management that in future any work will be carried out after prior consultation with, and agreement from, the Trust.  The Trust has consented to the fendering but maintain its opposition to the ladders.  Not only are boats using the ladders as mooring posts, the mooring ropes often go across the ladders which would render them useless in an emergency.  They have been used by swimmers several times and by one person to pull his dog out of the water, and one ladder impinges significantly on the disabled mooring spot, constructed recently.    

 

Advertising around the village map in the notice board is proving to be very successful.  The recycling bin on the car park was seldom used and has been removed.  One of the small litter bins on the roadside is to be replaced by a larger one.  The Mobile Blood Donor service has ceased now, this is a nation wide decision.

 

Upper Common

The Marsh area of the Common has been cut twice now, this is allowing the grass to grow through the pin rush to provide more grazing of a better quality.  Having experienced weed wiping and cutting, cutting is now the favoured method of controlling the rush.  One more cut is planned for this year this will depend on the weather.  The next major project will be to clean out the dykes and to put in the ‘scrapes’.  This is a big job and it could take up to two weeks.  The Trust has consent from Natural England to undertake this work in September, when hopefully the ground will remain quite dry; normally this work would have to wait until October onwards.

 

The planning application for the Salvation Army hall is progressing and the Trust understands that the Broads Authority is a consultee, as the adjacent authority.  We believe that they have requested ‘conditions’ but do not know what these are, however any development must be contained within their own curtilage. 

 

Ling Common

Nothing to report at present.  The Trustees will work on this Common later in the year.

JUNE 2013

 

Lower Common

A request has been received to site a new bench in memory of Charlie Smith, a former head teacher in the village.  The Trust will be pleased to accommodate this and will provide the base once a suitable position has been agreed.  Litter is a problem when people are too lazy to take it to the large skip and pile it up below the small bins at the roadside.  

 

Correspondence is ongoing with the Broads Authority over the installation of the ladders placed along the quay heading.  The Broads Authority claimed this work was necessary to comply with the Dock Regulations.  Subsequent scrutiny of these regulations revealed that this was not the case.  The regulations dated 1988, craft and moorings such as those at Coltishall are excluded from the regulation in question.  Subsequently this was confirmed by the Health and Safety Executive and acknowledged by the Broads Authority themselves.

 

Upper Common

Higher Level Stewardship is now in place for the Trust’s area of the Grazing Marsh.  To comply with the terms of this arrangement a section of the pin rush had been ‘weed wiped’ last year.  As reported on a previous occasion the very wet conditions last year made it impossible to complete the planned work.  However, perhaps this was not a bad thing because the treatment used to control the rush has also taken the grass below the rush.  An alternative to weed wiping would be to cut the rush, to be effective this will require several cuts each year. 

 

The Trust has a contractor ready to undertake this work and with the approval of Natural England it will be put in hand straight away.  Subsequent to that meeting I can report that the proposed course of action was agreed.  The work was put in hand straight away while the weather continued dry.  Now this has been completed an improvement in the grazing is quickly becoming evident.  An additional benefit over weed wiping is that it will not impinge on the available grazing.   Another meeting with Natural England has been scheduled for July when the location of the ‘scrapes’ will be decided.  There will be two or three, the total area of which will be 800 sq m.  These are shallow areas where the top soil is removed.  The idea is to allow the natural vegetation to grow through and perhaps retain some water which in turn will encourage more and hopefully different species of wildlife to the area.

 

Ling Common

Some of the Trustees met here to asses the work needed in the future.  It cannot all be done at once but a plan of work will be formed to see that steady progress is made.  When the grass cutting contract is renewed some variation will be needed to reflect the increased area to be cut.

COLTISHALL COMMONS TRUST

 

APRIL 2013

 

Shortly after our last meeting and as I type this report the contractors have cut the grass for the first time this year.  Hopefully a normal weather pattern this year will allow us to keep the grass areas up to the usual standard.

 

Lower Common

There have been a couple of new requests to place adverts around the map in the Notice Board recently and the space is about full now.  Now that everything is in place we have found that slightly larger cards can be accommodated around the map. 

 

The Broads Authority has placed ladders along the quay heading against the wishes of the Trust.  Installation was actually carried out during the week before a meeting to discuss the issue was scheduled.  Objections were raised to the appearance of the ladders which are out of keeping with the rural conservation area, the poor quality of the installation and the likely invitation for swimmers to cause a hazard to themselves and boat traffic.  The Trust considered that in this location they would be more of a danger than a help.  The Broads Authority countered that they had acted in accordance with regulations and a generic risk assessment.  The regulation to which the Broads Authority refer are the Dock Regulations 1988, it is a moot point whether they are intended for the type of craft visiting Coltishall and a location such as ours.  Clarification of this will be sought from the Health and Safety Executive.


It has been noticed that there is the first sign of a crack forming in an area between the boat-house and the Anchor Street end of the Common.  It is thought that the lack of drainage to this section is the probable cause.  This section will be kept under observation and action taken if necessary.

 

A lot of undergrowth has been cleared around the area where the skip and bins are sited.  This should improve the visual impact of this area and make car parking a little better there.  Roy Smith had also cleared some of the dyke for the Trust when he had his digger in the area.  The Trust very much appreciates his help.

 

Upper Common

The Higher Level Stewardship is now in place for the grazing marsh.  An inspector from the Rural Payments Agency visited recently and was satisfied that the Trust was keeping things in good order.  The dyke between the Marsh and the Common has been ‘slubbed’ out, which cleans out the silt but has left some weed floating on the surface.  The remainder of the dykes are scheduled to be cleaned out in early October. 

 

We have again been in touch with the RSPB about completing the weed wiping on the marsh and to cut the dead pin rush that was wiped last year.  But like everyone else they are trying to catch up with work that could not be done last year because of the prolonged wet spell.  It is not for the lack of trying that the work has not been completed earlier. 

 

Ling Common

A lot of work has been done on this Common over the last few years and has brought about a considerable improvement.  However, it is now time to take stock and plan ahead, to consider what is desirable and how this can be achieved.  The Trustees will meet on site to assess this.

 

 

THIS ARTICLE IS PUBLISHED IN THE MARLPIT, THE PARISH COUNCIL WEB SITE AND IN OUR NOTICE BOARD ON THE LOWER COMMON CAR PARK

COLTISHALL COMMONS TRUST


AUTUMN 2012


The representative for the Eastern Region of the National Playing Fields Association, now known as the Fields in Trust, came to talk to the Trustees about the work of his organisation.  There may be some mutual benefit if the Trust joined their association, the Trustees will reflect on what Mr. Healy had to say for discussion at a later date.

Lower Common
Notice board advertising adjacent to the foot bridge is up and running now.  The new map is in place and the adverts have been arranged in order around it.  There is still space for 2 or 3 more displays if anyone would like to place an advert there.

The Trust now has a plaque to identify the tree planted in memory of Alan Spinks and also to record and acknowledge the work that Alan did on behalf of the Trust and for the community.  A suitable mounting will be arranged by Geoffrey and Michael Spinks to be installed at the tree.  A plaque of a similar nature will also be mounted on the Jubilee Tree planted earlier in the year.

Upper Common
Natural England have confirmed entry into the HLS Scheme for the grazing marsh.  The Trust will have a schedule of work to tackle in order to improve the area, they will be working with Natural England and the RSPB to bring about these improvements.  Partial weed wiping has been carried out by the RSPB but their efforts have been severely hampered by the exceptionally wet weather this year.  Hopefully, next year will be different.

The Broads Authority have granted permission  to remove the split centre section of the Poplar tree; work will be completed by the time you read this.  However, despite professional advice contained in the second survey of this tree they have refused consent to remove the damaged western limb.  A copy of the report was sent with the detailed request to carry out this work.  Consequently, the Trust have contacted and written to the Broads Authority asking them to confirm that they are looking at the same limb that the report refers to and asking them to reconsider their decision.

Ling Common
The Trust will be arranging a date to deal with the hedge reported to be causing a problem.  Once this has been arranged the lady who reported the problem will be notified.  The Trustees agreed to meet on this Common early in the New Year to look at planning how to make this area easier to maintain. 



SUMMER 2012


Lower Common
A draft of the new map for the advertising display has been approved.  At this point in time a firm delivery date has not been advised but it is likely to be early August.  Repairs to the short section of quay heading adjacent to the boat house have been completed and the area reseeded.  A considerable number of post have been knocked over at the Anchor Street end of the Common, these will replaced without delay. 

At the time of writing the Bure Navigation Trust’s event will take place on the 26th August when a Wherry will moor alongside the Common.  To encourage use of the Common for this type of event removable posts will be installed to allow access for designated vehicles to this end of the Common.  These will be installed in time for this event.


Upper Common
The historic Environment record and stewardship papers have been completed and sent to Natural England.  This will be a ten year agreement during which time the Trust will be able to work with Natural England to improve the area both for grazing and to encourage a wider variety of wild life into the area.

May Gurney have rollered the area that had been left uneven by their vehicles after the completion of the recent road repairs.  This area has now been restored to good condition.

The Tree Preservation Order made by the Broads Authority has been confirmed.  The tree must be re-inspected by another independent arbocultural specialist to determine its soundness for insurance purposes. 

Correspondence has been received from the Parish Council who have asked the Trust to consider formalising the existing permissive parking arrangements.  The Trust is always, willing to discuss a matter that is of concern to parishioners


Ling Common
A section of hedge forming the boundary of a property backing on to the common was inspected following a report that brambles were encroaching into the garden.  The Trust will cut the hedge on the common side and lower the height.

 MAY 2012

 Lower Common

The Commons Trust working with our local Tree Warden, Peter Croot, have planted a tree in honour of the Queens Jubilee at the Anchor Street end of the Common.  This was to replace an Ash tree that had to be removed from the small copse close by.  Peter told the gathering that the tree was a variety of the Plane Tree family which once mature will have a very nice and decorative bark.  The Trust was very pleased that the ceremony was supported by so many people. 

 The Information board is coming along nicely but there has been a delay in getting the map to a finished standard.  Consequently, the Trust has had to source a map from another supplier, this has caused an inevitable delay.  Most businesses have supplied their adverts but there are a few still to come in.  If you are contemplating advertising your business around the map but have still not produced your copy, please do so now without delay.  Adverts must placed by the 31st July.

 You may have noticed that the skip is different to the one usually supplied at this time of year.  We felt that the enclosed type was preferable to the open one currently being supplied, consequently we will be enquiring to see how this has come about.

 Upper Common

We will be meeting with Natural England and the RSPB in the next couple of weeks to take the proposed improvement to the grazing marsh forward.  This should not only improve the quality of the grazing but also be of benefit to the wildlife by making the area more appealing to a wider variety of birds and mammals.  It may also attract more visitors to Coltishall.

 Following the road repairs in the village both May Gurney and the Norfolk County Council have not honoured their promises to repair to Common to its previous condition.  To some extent the area has repaired itself but their attitude has disappointed the Trustees.

 Ling Common

The work scheduled for this area has been completed now and makes another step forward in improving this Common.

 
COLTISHALL COMMONS TRUST

JANUARY 2012


The Trust was pleased to welcome Peter Baker from the Bure Navigation Conservation Trust.  Peter came to talk about their proposals for a forthcoming event to be held in August which will be designed to promote their work.  This event will be held on the Lower Common.  Peter and his team will be promoting the event when they are ready but suffice it to say at present, it should provide a nice carnival atmosphere with the Wherry in attendance.  We hope that the event will be blessed with good weather and prove to be both successful and profitable. 


Lower Common
A Liquid Amber maple tree has been planted with a short ceremony to commemorate Alan Spink’s dedication and life long work in Coltishall.  This tree will be an asset to the Common and is a fitting tribute to Alan who gave so much to further the green and pleasant spaces that we enjoy today. 

Now that planning consent has been granted for the display and notice board the order for this has been placed.  It is hoped that it can be erected during March, certainly ready for the new tourist season.  The Broads Authority have also given consent for the repairs to the small section of quay heading adjacent to the boat house. 
Further to the Tree Survey the Trust still awaits consent from the Broads Authority to carry out the recommended work.  Once this consent is given the work will be put in hand without delay.

Upper Common
Natural England have advised that there has been yet another change to the Stewardship scheme for the marsh area.  We will meet with the representative in May to progress the application which should then start in July.  May Gurney, who used the Common without consent for parking their plant and machinery during the recent road works, have agreed to reseed the area and make good the damage that they caused.

A tree survey commissioned by the Trust and carried out by one of the Broads Authorities’ accredited surveyors; identified the large poplar tree as having “reached it limits before it starts to become a potential hazard”.  Consequently the Trust applied to the Broads Authority for permission to fell and replant the tree with one that was quintessentially English.  However, their assessor disagreed with the survey commissioned by the Trust.  Based on advice from their assessor the Broads Authorities’ response has been to put a Protection Order on the tree.  The Trust have submitted a further application to carry out the work recommended by their arboculturalist.  Once this is complete then a further survey of this tree will be commissioned in an attempt to establish the soundness of its limbs.

Ling Common
The Tree Survey also identified a number of trees on this Common that needed work.  Three have been felled, one stem of a twin stemmed Ash tree that was growing towards a house has been removed, one tree has been pollarded, one coppiced and the dead wood removed from the crowns of a number of others.  That concludes all of the work that the report recommended.




COLTISHALL COMMONS TRUST

DECEMBER 2011

The Trust welcomes Mr. Bill Musson to the board of Trustees.  Bill has for some time now taken a great interest in the wellbeing of the Commons, particularly the Lower Common and had often undertaken voluntary work there.


Lower Common
At last the work on the new footbridge has been completed together with net new signs.  Now the area around the bottle bank and rubbish bin can be tidied up ready for the new season.  The planning consent has come through for the new display sign and notice board.  An order has been placed for this and we are hopeful that it will be completed and installed before Easter.

The Tree Survey has been completed and detailed quite a lot of work that needs doing.  A lot of the work amounted to removing dead wood from the crowns of a number of trees.  Sadly, the Red Horse Chestnut tree near the car park has been diseased for several years and now without any improvement in its condition.  Now the only option is to fell this tree and replace it with another suitable tree.  In addition to this there is an Acer at the other end of the Common that is in poor condition and this also is recommended to be felled and replaced.  Work recommended on the Lower and Upper Common will need planning consent from the Broads Authority; at present we are awaiting approval before any work can commence. 

The Aylsham Navigation Trust representative responsible for organising the celebratory events later in 2012 has changed and now Peter Baker has taken over the reins.  We wish Peter every success with this project.  Peter was unable to attend our last meeting to tell us what plans he has in hand but we look forward to his visit to the next meeting.

A small area of quay heading that is in need of repair has been put in hand for a fraction of the price quoted by the Broads Authority.  It is expected that the Broads Authority will contribute towards this work, as we have towards the new bridge.

On Sunday 8th January 2012 a tree was planted on the Common to commemorate the life and work of Alan Spinks.  Alan gave so much of his time, effort and sometimes his own money to promote and develop the green spaces in the village.  It is doubtful that if Alan and others with him had not taken such an interest we would not be blessed with the lovely Commons that we have today.  As James Wheeler said in his address “this was but one tree, when we look around there are many trees in our village that are a memorial to Alan”

Upper Common
Following discussions with Natural England and the RSPB about the marsh area of Upper Common, the best way forward has been agreed.  In May the RSPB will ‘weed wipe’ the pin rush this should eradicate 80% to 100% of the growth.  The former seems more likely than the latter and we would expect to have to repeat the treatment over subsequent years.  The object is to return the area to the condition that it would have been in years past making it a good quality flood plane grazing marsh.  Once this has been achieved it should be able to support more cattle and a greater number of birds and other wild life.  Previously, it had been expected that to achieve this and the be accepted for the higher level grants that are available we would need the costly services of a Wild Life Consultant.  This is no longer the case thanks to the help and support from Natural England. 

A tree survey carried out has identified that some work is needed on the Poplar tree in the centre of the common.  This will be put in hand in the very near future.  Again, we await consent from the Broads Authority.

Finally, after much prompting the last remnants of the road contractors equipment has been removed.  It was rather disappointing that they took so long when they came onto the Common without permission.  The grass area still needs to be made good.

Ling Common
Tree work on Ling Common is required as two Poplars were in a delicate condition and needed to be felled before Christmas.  Additionally, two other trees on this Common are in need of coppicing, this together with other tree maintenance will be carried out early in the New Year.

In general, this area continues to be in good condition.  Once the recommendations of the tree survey have been completed the Trust plan to continue their programme of gradual improvement for this Common.




Coltishall Commons Management Trust

Applications are invited from interested parishioners to become Trustees of this Charity. The Trust preserves, protects and maintains the Lower Common, Upper Common, and Ling Common in Coltishall for the enjoyment of parishioners and the protection of wildlife. We have an average of seven meetings a year, so demands upon Trustees are not onerous.

Please contact the clerk Barbara Elvy 01508 558761 if you feel you would like to become involved in our work.

Coltishall Commons Trust  Committee Meetings - 2010


COLTISHALL COMMONS TRUST

Coltishall Commons Trust
April 2011

Lower Common:

At last the old bridge across the dyke has been removed but the bank where this bridge was still has to be made good. When this is done the spoil from clearing the dyke will be used to repair the area along the bank. Consideration was given to using this to repair the low areas on the Common that become waterlogged during the wet times. Because this soil had been taken from the dyke it was not thought suitable for use there. If the weather turned wet again it could quickly become quite messy so it was decided to use it as originally planned. The charging point has also been replaced by the Broads Authority with a better, up-to-date version.

The signs have been erected on the car park now; these are a modern replacement for the various signs that have used over the years. An idea was mooted that some plastic matting with large holes and small ground spikes may help to hold the gravel on the car park. Because a number of heavy delivery lorries have to use the car park it was thought that their weight would pull the mats out of place very quickly.

The Trust had hoped to lift the crowns on many of the trees on the Common but the Broads Authority have been slow to deal with our request. Consent is needed from them for much of this type of work so consequently, the work \\ill now have to wait until later in the year. However, the Trust will endeavour to deal with some untidy dogwood and undergrowth around the substations when attending to the trees in this area. The sub-stations will remain well screened.

Upper Common:

The Parish Council have told the Trust that business people have expressed concern over the lack of parking spaces in the village. They consider that business is being lost when visitors are frustrated by too few parking spaces adjacent to the shops. The Trust has noticed that vehicles are being left on the area in front of the Salvation Army hall for long periods and often all day, despite notices restricting parking to only one hour. This area is only intended to provide access to the marsh and to the Salvation Army hall and is not a car park in the true sense of the word. Its use has only been permitted for short stay parking to help the village. It should not be regarded as an alternative parking area if you have space available at your property. Would even one respect the time limit and leave it available for shoppers to use. This will improve the situation while a more permanent solution is sought by the Parish Council.
A chain and padlock has had to be placed on the marsh gate after it had been left open one night, allegedly by some youths. Fortunately none of the cattle got out onto the Common or the road. They also left litter strewn all over the Common. This was tidied up by two ladies who live nearby, so our grateful thanks go to them for their public spirited work.

The Broads Authority have cleared away the fallen tree that blew across one of the drainage dykes shortly after they had all been cleared.


Ling Common:

An inspection of the trees on this Common is planned for the autumn when any work that is identified can be put in hand.


FEBRUARY 2011

Since our last meeting we have sadly lost one of our long serving and valued trustees.  Peter Holdaway passed away on 18th December 2010.  He will be greatly missed by the trustees; he was renowned for his clear thinking, wit and good humour.  In Peter’s memory the Trust has made a donation to the Mardler, a charity that was close to Peter’s heart.

Lower Common
As predicted in October repairs to the car park entrance have been successfully completed.  In addition to the planned work there an additional forty tons of aggregate was laid to make good the area surrounding the concrete extension.  Fortunately, the work was completed just before the hard weather set in.  The job was completed to a very good standard and so far the amended design looks to be working as expected.

Work on the new bridge is nearing completion now after work was delayed by the hard weather.  Health and Safety inspectors from the Broads Authority have asked for barrier rails to be fitted between the bridge and the river to comply with their risk assessment.  Turf will be laid with a mesh on top in the surrounding area of bank so that it will form a firm surface that should make it easier for disabled visitors to move between the car park and mooring.  This will remain fenced off for three or four weeks to allow the turf to consolidate and then the old bridge will be removed and the area tided up.  This project has been undertaken jointly between the Broads Authority and the Coltishall Commons Management Trust.

Signs are to be erected on the car park and on the Common at the Anchor Street end to clarify the designated use for both the car park and the Common.  Over the years it has been felt that there has been some misunderstanding about this.

The crowns on some of the trees need lifting but although they are not subject to a Tree Preservation Order permission is still required from the Broads Authority before any work is carried out.  An application is in hand to obtain the relevant consent.

Following the flood of 1912 navigation beyond Coltishall ceased.  There is a proposal to commemorate the centenary of this on August Bank Holiday 2012 by brining a token cargo from Wroxhan to Coltishall and then on to Aylsham by canoe.  The project chairman has approached the Trust for permission to use the Lower Common during this event.  Trustees agreed to his request in principal but would need to see and consider all proposals before full approval is given.

Upper Common
All of the dykes around the marsh area have now been cleaned out and the area should soon be ready for the grazing to recommence.  There had been a suspicion that some pennywort had returned to the mash but a recent inspection has not found any trace of the weed.

Ling Common
During the high winds another tree fell and was removed the next day.  A tree survey is due to be carried out later this year on all of the commons and any work identified will be put in hand but this area of Ling Common will be looked at carefully. 



OCTOBER 2010

A number of quite large projects are coming to fruition between now and next spring.  This kind of work is best done at the quiet time of year but planning these jobs has been ongoing for quite some time.

Lower Common
By the time you read this the car park entrance should have been repaired.  Reinforced concrete to a depth of eight inches for two metre beyond the existing apron will have been laid.  This should ensure that all the wheels of vehicles leaving the car park are on a solid area and not able to spin and loosen the other material.  Also the concrete will be laid to ensure that surface water is drained away from the other surface material which is thought to have been a contributory factor in eroding the surface adjacent to the speed hump.  Of course there will always be repair work needed to the remaining surface but this work should greatly reduce the need for this and make the whole area more durable.

The Trust has agreed to work with the Broads Authority to jointly finance a replacement wooden bridge over the dyke.  The aim is to make the Common more accessible to disabled people.  Consequently the new bridge will be wider and the access to it more wheel chair friendly. 

Quite a number of boundary post were replaced at the Anchor Street end of the Common before the planned fete in the summer.  It was disappointing to see that several more were broken before the day of the fete.  Despite the quite considerable cost involved the wooden posts just don’t seem to be as durable as we would have hoped, therefore they are to be replaced with powder coated galvanised steel posts that will blend in with the wooden ones.  As posts are broken they will be replaced with the new type.

The dyke between the car park and the common has been cleaned out.  Our thanks for this go to Roy Smith, we really appreciate his help with this work and it has ensured that the dyke is really free from obstruction.  The spoil will be levelled off in due course.  The small copse close to the dyke will be looked at to ensure that this area is being managed in the best way.  The crowns on some trees adjacent to the island will be lifted in the near future.

Upper Common
The cattle are due to be moved off the marsh area now.  All the dykes and ditches on and around the Common and marsh are scheduled to be cleaned and cleared early in the New Year.  This is work that will be carried out in collaboration with the Coltishall Parish Council and the Norfolk Rivers Authority.  All work will be completed before the cattle return to the marsh and the birds start to nest. 

An area near the pumping station will be prepared to plant a tree, probably a maple, in memory of Alan Spinks who gave so much of his time to promote the wellbeing of the commons.

Ling Common
There were no reported problems here. 

August 2010

A vote of thanks was given to Geoffrey and Michael Spinks for cutting the Common in readiness for the Fete. The Common was prepared and looked particularly good. It was such a great shame that the rides planned for the Common did not turn up on the day.
Lower Common:
Repairs to the car park entrance will be carried out soon, possibly in November; we are just waiting for a date from the contractor. A brass plaque has been attached to the tree with the wrought iron seat around it in memory of Mr Furness. Mr. Furness was a visitor to Coltishall who sadly passed away whilst his boat was moored at the Common. The dyke is scheduled for cleaning now, it is hoped that this can be carried out before the end of the year.
A large number of boundary posts have been replaced along the Common in readiness for the Fete but before the day arrived several others had been broken. Whilst the wooden posts look pleasing to the eye the regularity with which they are being broken together with the increasing cost of replacing them is causing the Trust to consider a more durable type.

Although the Common had been given an extra cut in preparation for the Fete the Trust will not look to the organisers for a donation towards the cost. It was sad that the organiser was let down by the children's rides at the last minute.
It was noted that a resident of St James collects litter from the Common each week. The Trust would like to express their gratitude to this gentleman for his public spirited work for which they are most grateful. It was suggested that a seasonal sign should be placed at the Anchor Street end of the Common to direct people towards the skip.
Upper Common:
A maple tree w ill be sourced so that it can be planted in the autumn in memory of Alan Spinks who gave so much to the commons. A plaque will be placed on or near the tree to commemorate it. Some work will need to carried out to prepare the site before planting can take place.
The litter bin has been replaced, although emptying it is a problem. We are most grateful to Mr Landamore for his offer to deposit one or two rubbish-bags per week in his skip, space permitting. We hope that visitors to the Common will act responsibly and take their litter home if the bin is full.
Ling Common:
There were no reported problems here.

Coltishall Commons Trust June 2010
The Commons Trustees and the Parish councillors met with the organising committee of the fete to discuss arrangements for the fete, and received the necessary assurances that all formalities such as Public Liability were in order.
Lower Common: The new seat donated by Mrs Mintum has been refitted onto a new and larger base. Repairs to the car park entrance are in hand, these will be made later in the year bin before the winter weather sets in. Similarly, the Dyke is also scheduled to be cleaned and this will be done in the autumn. There are two posts thai need replacing at the Anchor Street end of the Common, this work will be put in hand as soon as possible.
The Blood Service have asked to continue ln.iliiijfciu.ikai on the Common. Also the Salvation Arrm have asked permission to hold a service on the Common as they have done on many occasions in the past.

Upper Common: Now that the Commons Trust has worked with the Parish Comcfl to iuuD a bin for dog waste on the Common the green litter bin has re-appeared. This is in need of a link flepac which once carried out will be replaced on the original post.
There are a couple of posts around the car park that need re-setting because vehicles reverse into them,this
will be put in hand. The dyke on this Common is also in need of clearing. Estimates for this work will be sought
sought with a view to having the work undertaken once the cattle are off the marsh area in October.

Ling Common: There were no reported problems here. The rough area was cut recently.

COLTISHALL COMMONS TRUST

FEBRUARY 2010

Lower Common
A new seat will be placed on the Common at the car park end by the ‘Minturn’ family in memory of their father.  The Trust will provide a new base for this.  Repairs to the car park are urgently needed now that the winter weather is finally over.  Temporary repairs will be made to fill in the holes as soon as possible whilst estimates are obtained for a more permanent solution to the problem. 


Upper Common
Another seat is to be placed on this common too, in memory of Stephen Coman who served the village for many years as a Parish Councillor.  Again, the Trust will provide the base for this to be secured to.  A plaque will also be placed in memory of Alan Spinks who served as a member of the Commons Trust for some thirty years.


Ling Common
Some of the trees have been trimmed to remover overhanging branches.  The debris were shredded and removed at the same time so the site was left in a nice tidy state.

DECEMBER 2009


Lower Common
The car park is in need of repair and has a number of pot-holes, mainly by the entrance.  Work to repair this will be put in hand as soon conveniently possible.  Work is also scheduled to be carried out on the speed hump, as previously mentioned granite setts are to be used so that it will be more robust.  More canoe activity had been reported near the Rising Sun; apparently this was the police diving team on an exercise.  A dead deer in the dyke was reported to the authorities but at least four days elapsed before it was removed.

Upper Common
The black poplar tree offered to the Trust is to be planted on the marsh area opposite the copse on the other bank.  The tree will have a guard around it to protect it from livestock.  This together with a seat to be placed on the upper common will be in memory of Stephen Coman, a former trustee.  Some willow trees are to be removed and once the area has been tided up then a nice tree, possibly a Canadian maple, will be planted in memory of Alan Spinks.  Alan had devoted a lot of his life to developing the Common areas into what they are to-day. 

The trustees had noticed an increase in the number of vehicles parking on the newly developed area of common near the sub station.  More posts may be needed to prevent damage if the trend continues.  As usual, there are a number of posts loose by the Salvation Army hall due to careless parking.

Ling Common
Some of the trees will need to be trimmed to prevent branches overhanging the road.  This will be scheduled for early in the New Year and hopefully can be co-ordinated with the use of a shredder so the debris can be removed on the same day.

OCTOBER 2009


Lower Common

For the time of year the Common is in good shape.  The damaged area seems to have recovered quite well and so far is not waterlogged.  The last cut for this year is due in November.  Both the litter bin and the dog bin need emptying and this will be brought to the attention of Broadland District Council.

An idea has been mooted about holding a village fete on the Lower Common.  If it comes to fruition this would probably take place next July.  In essence, the Trust would support such an event subject to certain conditions and suitable insurance cover.  The Trustees’ view was that the Common is for village use and that a fete should be supported, but the Trust would not organise or be held responsible for it.

The usual contractor who carries out a lot of work for the Trust is unable to construct a new speed hump, using granite sets, at the entrance to the car park. Consequently, the Trustees will undertake the work themselves, hopefully in January when the trade and traffic is quieter.

Upper Common

The cattle are due to moved off the marsh area shortly and preparations have been made for this.  A decision will be made at the next meeting about where the black poplar tree should be sited.  There is some ongoing work to be carried out on the ash trees during the winter months.  One of the signs has been rotated so this will be re-aligned.

Ling Common

A complaint had been received about the beauty of this area after the hedges and blackthorn had been trimmed back.  Although perhaps it looked a little unsightly immediately afterwards it will soon recover and will benefit from the trimming.  A broken branch reported at the previous meeting has been attended to.  There is some further work scheduled for January, during which any debris will be chipped and removed on the same day. 

Two parishioners had expressed concern over some overhanging branches, these have been inspected and not considered dangerous.  However, their condition will be monitored over the winter months when other work in hand.  Horses have been using the common, this area is not a bridle way.  Although no damage has been done yet, f it continues the ground could become uneven during the winter months.  It may be necessary to speak to the horse owners in the interests of public safety. 

AUGUST 2009

The Broads Authority have been notified of the action recommended in the Tree Survey and have not raised any objection.  Consequently, for safety reasons, three trees have been felled.  Other work has also been prioritised on a safety first basis.  From September the time between cutting the grass on all areas will increase slightly as the need becomes less.  The Trust is considering putting a sign on the Lower Common to let people know that the area belongs to the Commons Trust who represent the people of the village.


Lower Common

The chestnut trees do not appear to have deteriorated any further and the bark is still in reasonable condition.  It may, after all, be the leaf mite that is affecting them.  Before drastic action is taken they are to be allowed to recover whilst a close eye is kept on them.


A number of canoes have been left around the edge of the Common after travelling along the river from Buxton.  This may constitute a greater use of area than had been agreed, consequently an eye will be kept on this activity to ensure this is not the case.  A complaint was received about the Car Washing activities on the car park by some young people during their summer holidays.  It was thought they were trading from the Common, which is not allowed.  They were in fact on an area under the jurisdiction of the King Head public house and therefore not contravening any regulations.  Comments had also been made about an RSPB tent; again this was not quite on the Common and therefore beyond the jurisdiction of the Trust.  The number of live-aboard boats mooring along the Common would appear to have eased lately.  This may be because the Broads Authority has been surveying this area quite regularly. 


To date the dog bin has not been re-sited to the new position adjacent to the normal litter bin.  This will be followed up to ensure the move takes place as soon as possible.  Also on the subject of repairs, the locking post is ready to be refitted.  The area of the Common so badly affected during the very wet period is now beginning to repair itself.  If the root structure spreads it may well not need the top soil and repair that had been planned.  Rather than spoil the area during the holiday season it was decided to wait to see how well the area holds up when it becomes wetter later in the year.  Since asking for the grass to be cut more frequently during the summer, the area has looked particularly good.  Some parishioners had commented on how good the Common was looking this year, which was very gratifying.  The Trust has been offered a Black Poplar sapling, which they were pleased to accept.  However, this type of tree will grow very tall and must be sited carefully to avoid becoming a risk.  As there is no rush to plant the tree each committee member will walk the common areas to find the best place for it to go. 


The Parish Council has identified that, with the demise of the Air Base, the village now depends to quite an extent on tourism.  In a bid to promote the village to tourists and boaters alike they have suggested holding a number of events on the Common during next year, in collaboration with the Commons Trust and other village organisations who are interested, and also those with a vested interest.  In essence, this was well received and the Trust will look forward to working with the Parish Council and others on some events for next year.  Hopefully, this will be of mutual benefit to all concerned and help to promote the wellbeing of our village.

Upper Common

A new dog bin has been delivered and will be sited opposite the garage.  In this position it will be both prominent and convenient for dog walkers from whichever direction they walk, and can emptied easily.  The bin is a medium-sized one which should be large enough to avoid it overflowing between being emptied. 


Parking remains a bit of a problem, as does litter.  This is often picked up by members of the Trust and residents who live near-by and have a pride in their village.  Perhaps once the dog bin is installed the old litter bin will reappear!

Ling Common

Members of the Trust walk this area frequently and noted that the grass cutting was looking good.  Whilst walking this area they noticed that some residents are putting garden rubbish and grass cuttings in to the bottom of the hedge; if this practice continues, it will ultimately kill the hedge.

Some of the trees need to have work carried out, this will be done according to priority.  Parts of the hedge need cutting, this is to be done with a flail later in the year.  Once a date has been arranged the residents will be notified accordingly. 


From: Nigel Noble, 6 Church Close, Coltishall



COLTISHALL COMMONS TRUST

JUNE 2009

Lower Common

There is one broken post that will be replaced as soon as possible and the lock on the lockable post is missing.  This will be replaced immediately, it must be kept locked at all times to ensure that only authorised vehicles have access.  Also the repairs to the damaged grass area mentioned previously will commence soon.

It seems as though dog walkers are using any litter bin to dispose their dog waste rather than the bin designated for this purpose.  Perhaps the position of the red bin near the waste skip, whilst out of the way, was not conspicuous.  Therefore it was agreed to reposition it next to the green waste bin by the footpath.  This work will be carried out straight away.

It has been reported that quite a number of vehicles belonging to walkers are being parked adjacent to the pubs, potentially interfering with their summer trade.  Some undertaking to patronise the pubs had been given by some, but it seems this promise failed to materialise.  Subsequently, contact was made with the chairman of the Norfolk Walkers club to explain the problem.  He was understanding and promised that an article would be published in their newsletter.  As a courtesy, walkers will also be asked to let the pubs know when they plan to use the car park.


This year there seems to be more private residential boats than usual using the free mooring and facilities along the Common, restricting the number of moorings available to hire boats.  It is also thought that hire boats are being put off from visiting Coltishall by the tolls levied to ensure safe passage under Wroxham bridge.  Together, this is having an impact on trade within the village.  A meeting with the Broads Authority will be arranged to try to resolve these difficulties.  There was also a feeling that the canoe man was using the area more than was first thought.  An eye will be kept on this to ensure that his activities do not unreasonable impinge on the pub trade.


Upper Common

There are four post which need resetting due to careless parking, this will be put in hand straight away.  Also the fence adjacent to the new bridge still has to be installed and this is in hand.  The dyke is ready for clearing now and this will be organised quite soon.

The grass cutting contractors will be asked to cut the area more frequently during the summer months rather than spacing the number of cuts evenly throughout the year.  Then the village centre should then look at its best during the summer.  The effect of strimming the newly seeded area can now be seen as the grass is taking hold and the weeds begin to diminish.

Overnight parking in front of the Salvation Army Hall continues to be a problem.  This area is only for short term parking to allow people to use the village shops etc. not for use overnight.  Some form of action/restriction will have to be considered if this continues, but would be such that village residents would not be denied the use that they are accustomed to.

Ling Common

It has been noticed that the grass cutters have accessed the common by going over the bank rather than using the gate.  It is important that this bank is not worn down, allowing un-wanted access, by travellers etc.  Consequently, the bank will be built up with more top soil and reseeded.  The contractors will also be asked to access the common only via the gate, for which they have a key.

Some of the hedges around the common are getting rather large.  Once the birds have finished nesting the hedges will be inspected and the necessary work put in hand.


Tree Survey

The report has been completed now and circulated to all trust members.  It contained a number of recommendations which varied from lifting the crowns on some trees to felling others.  Approval for this work must be sought from Broads Authority before any work can start.  Once the necessary consent is given then work will be prioritised and put in hand.  However trees will be preserved where possible

April 2009

Lower Common

There is a build up of rubbish in the stream that will soon have to be cleared.  The grass, on each of the Commons, is in need of cutting.  A call will be made to the contractor to ensure that this is carried out without any delay now.  It was expected that they would have had the first cut during April.  An area of the Common has remained wet for so long it is now in need of repair.  To do this most effectively it will be necessary to strengthen the subsoil below the grass.  Once this has been completed then fresh top soil can be applied and the area re-seeded.  There is no alternative but to carry out this work during the summer months and this will mean cordoning off an area, but plenty of room will be left for boaters to enjoy the Common. 


Two horse chestnut trees adjacent to the car park are still giving cause for concern.  It is now feared that what is affecting them is a ‘bleeding canker’.  Should this be the case there will be no alternative but to remove them.  Naturally, they would be replaced but it will take some time for new trees to mature.  The tree survey is imminent, so advice will be sought from the tree specialist whilst the survey is carried out.  Also some costings for ‘grading’ and levelling the surface of the car park more regularly are to be obtained for consideration.


The speed at which vehicles enter and leave the car park is a cause for concern.  Apart from the obvious danger to pedestrians this is the main reason that potholes form.  Estimates for extending the concrete entrance/exit apron, including a new speed hump possibly with granite sets incorporated, are to be obtained for consideration.  It is thought that by making the run off from the road a little larger this would allow vehicles to slow down after leaving the road.  Also when leaving the car park back wheels would be on the concrete and not on the relatively loose surface of the car park where wheel spin digs out the surface even further.


Three ‘canoe trails’ will take place from the car park during the summer months.  These will take place on 3rd May, 20th June and 26th September.  The Broads Authority, who are organising the events, have agreed to liaise with the Kings Head and Rising Sun public houses to ensure they know what is happening.


Upper Common

Most of the work has been completed now, the new bridge is in place and the old one removed.  A post and rail fence between the two bridges is all that remains to be done, this will be completed in the next few weeks.  The nettles that are growing back will be strimmed and treated over the course of this year whilst the grass seed which has been sown becomes established.  Beech shoots have been planted around the sub station and these should mature into a nice hedge that will form a screen.  The area will soon become established once we get some rain.


Overnight and parking for excessive periods adjacent to the Salvation Army hall has eased a little but still needs monitoring.  This area is intended to provide parking for up to two hours during the day time and should not be used for overnight parking.  Also the gate onto the marsh should never be obstructed as access to the marsh by the farmer can be needed at any time.  The marsh should be dry enough now to have it ‘topped’, this will be inspected to see if that is so.

Ling Common

The reported gap in one of the hedges was inspected to see if a repair was necessary, it was hard to find and thought that no further action was needed at this time.  As previously reported, the only other work likely to be needed during the coming months is some lateral branches would need pruning to lift the crowns.  That is of course, in addition to routine grass cutting.


December 2008

General: The Blood Service will continue to visit throughout 2009 as they have done this year. Grass cutting on all of the commons is due for review again. A new quotation to provide seven cuts per year has been received, this was a little higher than the previous one which had run for a three year term. It was agreed to accept this price, again for a three year period.

Lower Common: As a result of the persistent rain fall over the recent weeksthere is a lot of surface water on the Common. One part close to the island isof particular concern. Here the level will be raised, once it is dry enough, by putting some top-soil onto it. This should see the area reinstated ready for thesummer time and avoid damage that would be caused by ducks if the ground is allowed to remain flooded.

There are some low boughs on the group of trees at the Anchor Street end of the Common that need to be raised. This work will be put in hand straight away. At the other end of the Common there are two chestnut trees around the substation that are looking a bit ‘sick’. It is likely that they have a disease which is attacking this type of tree at present. The Committee will investigate to see if there is anything that can be done to revive them before more drastic action is taken. The new licence for the Rising Sun car park was signed. To comply with the Charity Commission rules this will now be verified by an independent chartered surveyor who mustagree that the Trust is getting a fair return on the assets under their jurisdiction.

It has been noticed that some people who walk their dogs on the Common are not clearing up after them. Broadland District Council is currently carrying out a survey (in general) about dog fouling and the best way to deal with it. Whilst dog excrement is a cause for concern on the Common, the Committee were not keen to see a proliferation of signs to remind dog owners to do what they know they should be doing. So if you exercise your dog on the Common, or anywhere else, please act responsibly and clear up after them. Already, one of the new finger sign posts has been pulled out of the ground and will need replacing.

The position of the bottle bank needs to be adjusted slightly. At the time of the meeting the skip had not been taken away but this should happen very soon.

Upper Common
: Litter remains a problem around the seat area. Members of the Committee will try to clear some of it up, especially from the dyke. The dyke is due for clearing again and this work will be put in hand as soon as convenient. Once the weed is out then it will be possible to see if it has become silted up, if so then thiswill also be done.
To date there is no further news on Broadland’s proposed dog bin emptying service; until this is in place it remains impractical to site one of these bins on the Common.

A meeting with the Broads Authority to discuss re-siting the bridge was fruitful. It is likely that a new bridge will be made and installed, with an improved pathway, as a joint venture before the summer. When this happens the Broads Authority will remove the old bridge for use elsewhere. Quite a bit of vegetation will need to be cleared from around the pumping station in preparation for installing the new bridge. To date there has been no further response from Natural England about the possibility of obtaining a grant from them towards this work.

Ling Common:
Here there is apparently one rotten tree that needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. To date the tree report which was commissioned earlier in the year, for all common areas, has not materialised. The Trust will now push for this to be completed because this tree would have been brought to notice earlier had this report been to hand.