PRESENT: Mr B Stewart (Vice-chairman), Mr R D Pryce (Secretary), Mrs D Hopkins (Treasurer), and eight members: Mrs E Jones, Mrs V Lewis, Mrs K A Cottingham, Dr P A Jones, Messrs T S Crosby, T Lewis, I K Morgan and C A Cottingham.
APOLOGIES were received from , Mrs J Crowden (Chairman), Mrs B Crosby, Mrs B Stewart and Mr J Taylor.
MINUTES of the 1999 Annual General Meeting (reproduced in Newsletter no 64) were adopted and signed without amendment.
There were no MATTERS ARISING.
CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT: The Vice-chairman who was standing in for the Chairman, reported that she had sent her apologies as it was necessary for her to attend an important Badger conference elsewhere. He thanked the officers and committee members for their continuing service to the society and the membership as a whole for their support. He then called on the secretary to present his report of the year’s proceedings.
SECRETARY’S REPORT: The Secretary opened by thanking the Chairman for his statement and continued by outlining the society’s activities over the past year which had consisted of six indoor meetings and eight field meetings. Attendances at meetings was still a cause of concern as was the problem of retaining existing members and recruiting new. The committee was currently putting together the future programme. He read out the proposals so far which comprised a varied selection of field and indoor meetings and appealed for any further suggestions. Only one edition of the Newsletter (no.64, September 1999) had appeared which was entirely due to the continued diminishing amount of time that the secretary was able to devote to its production. It had featured colour photographs on both front and back covers and it had apparently been well received. The secretary thanked the editor, Ian Morgan, all contributors and the distributors and repeated his apologies for delays. He appealed for help with its future production. The Bulletin of the Llanelli Naturalists no 4 was published in March 1999 and exhausted the existing stock of contributions with the inclusion of George Hutchinson’s major review of Carmarthenshire poplars and Jamie Bevan’s paper on Semi-natural grasslands of Carmarthenshire. The secretary continued by saying that only a few copies had been sold and that it deserved a wider circulation. Although some articles have been promised for the next issue, there is now a need for additional material and he appealed for prospective authors. The Llanelli Millennium Coastal Park project is now well advanced although several elements are behind schedule. The ‘Swannery’ (the extension to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust Centre at Penclacwydd) was opened in the spring and the Pwll-Burry Port elements were now finished.
Carmarthenshire County Council intends to designate the area between the Ashpits Pond and West Pwll Lagoon as a Local Nature Reserve to manage it to promote its ecological interest, despite a few vociferous local residents protesting at the idea. Other schemes, including the Machynys golf course and the ‘Eisteddfod Fields’ also include major elements of wildlife interest. Already those part opened, particularly the new cycle and walk-ways are proving very popular. Little further management work was carried out at the Pembrey Saltings Local Nature Reserve where the future intention is to provide fencing and a water supply to enable the dunes to be grazed in a controlled manner to arrest the rankness of the vegetation. The society had been invited by the Countryside Council for Wales to provide an exhibit at the National Eisteddfod to be held at Pwll in August but the cost of £400.00 was considered to be excessive. The Secretary continued by reporting that the Llanelli Section of the Wildlife Trust West Wales had been absorbed back into the East Carmarthenshire Section. This would mean that the Llanelli Naturalists would now have to pay the full cost of hiring the room at the YWCA for indoor meetings which for the last few years had been shared with the WTWW. The Secretary then reported that the County Council and CCW with partners from both conservation and land-owning communities were pushing forward their commitment to the provision of a Local Biodiversity Action Plan with robust policy statements, at least, being ready in time for inclusion into the emerging Unitary Development Plan. Publicising the society’s activities had been a neglected aspect in recent years but the secretary welcomed the return of John Taylor who, after an absence of several years, had offered to continue with the task. He appealed to members to provide John withsuitable material. The Secretary concluded by echoing the Vice-chairman in thanking all those involved in the running of the society and also all those supporters without whom it could not function.
TREASURER'S REPORT: The accounts, which were adopted by those present, are presented below. Payment of annual subscriptions continued to be a concern with only about half of the membership making payment during 1999. Several defaulters had been removed from the membership list and membership therefore now stands at 61 with 9 complimentary. Although a small profit had been made during the year, the greatest expense continued to be the hire of the room for indoor meetings. Both the public liability insurance premium and affiliation to the BTCV ahd remained unaltered. After discussion it was resolved to retain present subscription levels for 2000 but, as in previous years, the treasurer was given leave to raise subscriptions from January 2001, if required, which would then be ratified at the 2001 AGM. The accounts had no, as yet, been audited but a new auditor was to be appointed later in the proceedings (see below).
Lliedi Reservoirs No report received.
Stradey Estate (Ian Morgan) No changes at the reserve reported.
Factory Road, Pembrey (Philip Jones) The Bloody Cranesbill continued to flourish. Viv and Tony Lewis had thoroughly searched the Tassel-hyacinth area in 1999 but did not refind the plant.
Ffrwd Fen (Philip Jones) The site is currently being grazed by 7 horses but they are not making much impression on the reedbed areas. The Marsh Pea area had not been adequately grazed in recent years and a suitably cattle grazier continued to be sought. Reed cutting was being investigated as an alternative.
Both the Vice- chairman and Secretary thanked the Hon. Wardens for their efforts during the year.
ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND COMMITTEE MEMBERS: Prof. Charles Stirton, Director of the Welsh National Botanic Garden, Middleton continues as Patron of the Llanelli Naturalists. As the number of nominations for officers and committee members equaled the number of vacancies, the following were elected unopposed: Mrs Jan Crowden (Chairman), Mr Barry Stewart (Vice-chairman), Mr Richard Pryce (Secretary), Mrs Diana Hopkins (Treasurer). Committee members: Mrs Kath Cottingham, Mrs Edith Jones, Mrs Viv Lewis, Dr Philip Jones, Messrs Ian Morgan, Tony Lewis, John Taylor and Andrew Stevens. Wildlife Trust West Wales’ Observer: Steve Lucas. The post of Hon. Auditor was vacant but Mrs Sandra Stewart was nominated by the Secretary and was elected by those present.
There was no OTHER BUSINESS
The meeting closed at 8.40pm and was followed by slides shown by Tony Lewis (mainly Gower plants) and Richard Pryce (Sicily and the Aeolian Islands and their flora).