Category Archives: FTNCG

Spa Ponds Work Session this Saturday (6th October)

Our next Spa Ponds work session is planned for this Saturday 6th October, from 10am at the Clipstone Drive entrance. Everyone is welcome as there will be plenty to do, including some of the actions outlined in the notes available from: http://www.foresttown.net/nature/Spa_Ponds_Site_Management_Meeting_21_September_2018.pdf such as:
  • Strimming the nettles near the entrance
  • Thinning out the self-set sycamores and other marked saplings
  • Identifying and preparing spots for planing trees in November
  • Clearing around the roses that we planted earlier this year
  • Repairing dead-hedges along the boundary and around Ponds 0 and 1
  • Using the grapple to remove woody debris from Pond 2
  • Trimming the hawthorn at Spa Lane, widening the path, and other tasks associated with maintaining bridleway
Please join us on Saturday if you are able. Weather reports suggest we could be in for some light rain, so dress appropriately.
 
Hope to see you there!

Annual General Meeting: Saturday 1st September

Dear Member / Supporter of the Forest Town Nature Conservation Group (FTNCG),

I write to formally notify you of FTNCG’s rescheduled 2018 Annual General Meeting (AGM).

This meeting will be open to the public, and the formal business of the AGM will be followed by a short break and then a presentation and discussion about the fungi to be found at Spa Ponds with Ann Ward of the Nottinghamshire Fungi Group.

Date, time and place of the AGM:
Saturday 1st September 2018, from 10am at the Flint Avenue Community Centre (see attached directions).

General nature of business to be transacted:
1) Report and Accounts (including finance report / Annual Statement of Accounts)
2) Election of Officers and Trustees

Membership Renewal / Joining FTNCG:
The AGM will also provide a good opportunity to renew your FTNCG membership, or to join FTNCG (£5 suggested donation, waivable upon request).

Thank you for your ongoing support for the Forest Town Nature Conservation Group.

Yours sincerely,
Shlomo Dowen
Chair of the Forest Town Nature Conservation Group
http://www.foresttown.net/nature

See: Map to Flint Avenue Community Centre

See: Event poster for display

FTNCG AGM postponed (and other news)

Hello again FTNCG Folk

I write to inform you that the Forest Town Nature Conservation Group (FTNCG) Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for Saturday 28th April has been cancelled. We will arrange a new date and let you know in plenty of time…

In addition to this Saturday evening’s toad count (from 8pm at Spa Ponds) we are also looking forward to some daytime work sessions.

The next work session planned for Spa Ponds will take place on Saturday 21st April, from 10am at the Clipstone Drive entrance.

Also, we anticipate organising a planting session at Spa Ponds as part of our Wetland Habitat Recreation Project. Sometime from Monday 23rd April onward, depending on EMEC collecting plants after being informed by NatureScape that they are ready for EMEC to collect. Watch this space (especially around Pond 1 and the start of Pond 2)…

Opportunities for more Heritage research and training with Matt Beresford are being planned for Thursdays in May (in particular Thursdays 3rd, 10th, 17th and 24th May). Details to follow…

Thanks again to everyone who continues to support FTNCG!

Planned FTNCG Activities (January – April 2018)

Hello to All FTNCG Members and Supporters
 
May I start by thanking everyone who made 2017 such a very special year for the Forest Town Nature Conservation Group (FTNCG). I am very pleased to be able to share some dates for FTNCG activities in the first part of 2018.
 
January 2018
  • Friday 26th January (1pm – 4pm) FTNCG Management Meeting at Flint Avenue 
  • Saturday 27th January (10am – 1pm) Spa Ponds Work Session
February 2018
  • Saturday 10th February (10am – 1pm) Spa Ponds Work Session (UPDATE: CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER)
March 2018
  • Friday 2nd March (10am – 2pm) FTNCG Management Meeting at Flint Avenue
  • Saturday 3rd March Work Session from 10am at the Rushpool Open Space and then from 1pm at Spa Ponds (to be confirmed).
  • Saturday 24th March (10am – 1pm) Spa Ponds Work Session
April 2018
  • Saturday 28th April 2018 from 10am FTNCG’s AGM at the Flint Avenue Community Centre, followed by a talk from Ann Ward about the various types of fungi found at Spa Ponds (to be confirmed).
Details:
 
Spa Ponds Work Sessions 
There will be something for everybody to do to help improve nature conservation at Spa Ponds (weather permitting), including dead hedging, de-silting, thinning and pruning trees
  • Saturday 27th January 2018 from 10am – 1pm
  • Saturday 24th March 2018 from 10am – 1pm
FTNCG Management Meetings
All are welcome to tea, biscuits and to join the discussions, which will include a consideration of the recommendations in our Heritage Management Plan – Map to Flint Avenue available via: http://www.foresttown.net/heritageproject/Flint_Avenue_Community_Centre_Map.pdf
  • Friday 26th January 2018 from 1pm – 4pm at the Flint Avenue Community Centre
  • Friday 2nd March 2018 from 10am – 2pm at the Flint Avenue Community Centre
The Great British Spring Clean
There will be a very special day of activities on Saturday 3rd March 2018, starting with some litter picking, gorse management and wildflower planting at the Rushpool Open Space from 10am – 12 Noon, followed by a session of litter picking, gorse planting and wildflower management at Spa Ponds from 1pm – 3pm, all in honour of the Great British Spring Clean (to be confirmed).
 
FTNCG Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Spa Ponds Fungi Talk
FTNCG’s AGM will be held at the Flint Avenue Community Centre on Saturday 28th April 2018, from 10am. The business of the AGM will be followed by a talk from Ann Ward about the various types of fungi found at Spa Ponds (to be confirmed).

Formal notice of FTNCG AGM (5th July 2017)

Dear Member / Supporter of the Forest Town Nature Conservation Group (FTNCG),
 
I write to formally notify you of FTNCG‘s 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM). 
 
This meeting will be open to the public, and the formal business of the AGM will be followed by a short break and then a presentation and discussion about the Oral Histories element of the Spa Ponds Heritage Project.
 
Date, time and place of the AGM:
Wednesday 5th July 2017, from 7pm at the Forest Town Arena (Welfare) Sherwood Room
 
General nature of business to be transacted:
 
1) Reports and Accounts (available here)
– Review of the past year (Shlomo, Chair)
– Membership report (Shlomo)
– Finance report / Annual Statement of Accounts (Josh, Treasurer)
 
2) Election of Officers and Trustees – The following have been proposed and are willing to stand:
– Shlomo Dowen for the Office of Chair;
– Richard Smith for the Office of Vice-Chair;
– Lorraine Dowen for the Office of Secretary;
– and the following as Trustees: Alan Alberry, Mark Fretwell, John Gibson, Phil Goodall, and James (Jez) Healy.
 
Membership Renewal / Joining FTNCG
The AGM on 5th July will also provide a good opportunity to renew your FTNCG membership, or to join FTNCG
(£2 suggested donation, waivable upon request).
 
Thank you for your ongoing support for the Forest Town Nature Conservation Group.
 
Yours sincerely,
Shlomo Dowen
Chair of the Forest Town Nature Conservation Group

New trees identified in Spa Ponds tree map/database

FTNCG’s tree map/spreadsheet has been updated to include a new area (which we call ‘EMEC5b’), including mainly young trees and some intriguing damsons. Continue reading

Spa Ponds Heritage Project Announcement

Heritage Lottery Foundation - Lottery FundedThe Forest Town Nature Conservation Group (FTNCG) has been successful in attracting Heritage Lottery Fund money to help pay for the Spa Ponds Heritage Project.

The FTNCG-led Spa Ponds Heritage Project has been awarded a Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) Sharing Heritage grant of £8,500 to research and celebrate the history of Spa Ponds Nature Reserve, known locally as ‘Gara Ponds’.

This project takes place 700 years after King Edward II is believed to have ordered the creation of the site’s medieval fish ponds.

The Spa Ponds Nature Reserve is located off Clipstone Drive near Garibaldi Wood in Forest Town, Mansfield. FTNCG is the volunteer-run charity who bought Spa Ponds in 2014 with help from the community of Forest Town. FTNCG will be assisted by friendly experts, led by Matt Beresford of MBArchaeology, for this year-long project.

The Spa Ponds Heritage Project will provide around 20 participants with training and guidance from historians and community archaeologists through a series of free workshops and activities. The project will also include recording people’s memories of the site and creating a community-led Heritage Management Plan.

The HLF grant will fund opportunities for local people to experience local heritage through learning how to interpret maps and documents, being introduced to tree recording, and by participating in archaeological surveying at Spa Ponds. Together, these efforts will help reveal the site’s history and identify features that need to be protected. This will improve the community’s understanding of the site and help FTNCG look after the Nature Reserve in ways that respect the site’s heritage.

At the end of the project there will be public displays and events to share what has been learned and to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the site.

Those wishing to be kept informed about the project, and those who would like to share their Spa Ponds stories, can register their interest by e-mailing spa.ponds@gmail.com or by phoning Shlomo Dowen on (01623) 640134. Further information will be made available through http://www.foresttown.net/heritageproject/

Commenting on the award of the grant, FTNCG Secretary Lorraine Dowen said: “I am hugely excited and grateful to be part of a project that will skill-up local volunteers to research this amazing and as yet unexplored medieval site, recently purchased by the community and now held in trust for future generations.”

Jonathan Platt, Head of HLF East Midlands, said: “Our Sharing Heritage programme helps local communities embark on a journey of discovery to find out more about an aspect of their area’s heritage. The Gara Ponds will be known to many in Mansfield, but few will be aware of their 700 year history and it’s great that this project will involve dozens of volunteers in revealing their untold stories.”

FTNCG stall at the Forest Town Village Market

FTNCG Mugs & Cards for saleWe have had some high quality mugs and cards produced using Tim King’s photos to promote Spa Ponds and to help us raise some funds for the Group

These are available at the Forest Town Village Market held at Kingway Hall on:

  • Saturday 20th August, 10am-2pm
  • Satursay 17th September, 10am-2pm

At the following prices:

  • Mugs for £6 each
  • Cards for £1 each
  • Pack of 4 cards for £3.50
  • and 3 packs of 4 cards (12 cards in total) for £10

All proceeds will go to the Forest Town Nature Conservation Group.

Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1070353449716690/

Formal Notice of FTNCG 2016 AGM

Dear Member of the Forest Town Nature Conservation Group (FTNCG),
I write, in accordance with our constitution, to formally notify you of FTNCG‘s 2016 Annual General Meeting (AGM).
This meeting will be open to the public, and the formal business of the AGM will be followed by a short break and then an open discussion about future Forest Town Nature Conservation Group activities and projects.
Date, time and place of the AGM:
Wednesday 4th May 2016, from 7pm at the Forest Town Welfare (Arena) Sherwood Room
General nature of business to be transacted:
1) Reports and Accounts
• Review of the past year (Shlomo, Chair)
• Membership report (Shlomo, Chair)
• Finance report / Annual Statement of Accounts (Josh, Treasurer)
2) Election of Officers and Trustees – The following have been proposed and are willing to stand:
• Shlomo Dowen for the Office of Chair;
• Richard Smith for the Office of Vice-Chair;
• Lorraine Dowen for the Office of Secretary;
• Josh Dowen for the Office of Treasurer; and
• Alan Alberry, James Healy, Rose Powell and Ross Lacey as Trustees
Thank you for your ongoing support for the Forest Town Nature Conservation Group.
Yours sincerely,
Shlomo Dowen
Chair of the Forest Town Nature Conservation Group

Updated Spa Ponds tree listing / map

The latest version of Mark Fretwell’s list of trees that he has recorded at Spa Ponds, with accompanying map, is now available from https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/11jDtnt3Zd9lUc_mL0XqU5SPAWtV6urhC9-_6XpaGpq8/edit?usp=sharing and some of these trees are also shown on the Woodland Trust’s interactive map of ancient trees at http://www.ancient-tree-hunt.org.uk/discoveries/interactivemap

One of the trees identified by Mark on Spa Ponds (the ‘mystery tree’ featured on the ‘Our Mansfield and Area’ website) was also recently named “The Duke” as part of a TCV competition. FTNCG submitted the following entry:

“The Duke’ is a mature paper birch tree believed to have been planted on behalf of the Duke of Portland over a hundred years ago due to the novelty of its bark. This ornamental North American tree is traditionally used by Native American Indians for making canoes, so he is a long way from home. However, the tree appears settled in the Spa Ponds Nature Reserve in Forest Town, Mansfield. The site is at the boundary of the historic Clipstone Park and part of Sherwood Forest, so the tree may consider himself as one of the many tourists who has ventured far to experience the legends of Robin Hood #IDigTrees”

Hopefully we will soon be able to bring you an article with some theories on how The Duke got to Spa Ponds, as we are currently chasing up some promising leads.

In addition to these established trees, last year FTNCG volunteers planted nearly 100 new trees: Blackthorn, Dog Rose, Dogwood, Goat Willow, Guelder Rose, Hawthorn, Hazel, Holly, Red Oak, Spindleberry, Wayfairing, and a ‘service tree’.