MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING held at the YWCA, Queen Victoria Road, Llanelli on 1st FEBRUARY 2007.

PRESENT: Mr. Andrew Stevens (Chairman), Mrs. Diana Hopkins (Treasurer), Mr. Richard Pryce (Secretary), Mr Barney Gill (Vice-chairman) and nine voting members.APOLOGIES were received from Mr.Geoff Williams, Mr John Taylor and Mrs Kath Pryce.The MINUTES of the 2006 Annual General Meeting were adopted and signed without amendment.MATTERS ARISING: There were no matters arising.

CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT: The Chairman welcomed all those present to this, the 33rd AGM of the Llanelli Naturalists. He thanked the Officers, Committee Members and all Members for their contribution to the Society’s success and paid tribute to Tony Lewis who sadly passed away in the autumn and had, over the years, contributed a great deal to the Society both through his expert knowledge and advice and in the time he spent on Society affairs.  Meetings had been well attended, with a number of new faces and a variety of topics had been covered during the numerous lectures and field meetings. The chairman appealed for ideas for walks and indoor meetings and asked for articles for the newsletter.  He also urged that members spread the word and consider volunteering for service on the committee.  He concluded by calling 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 echoing the tribute to Tony Lewis who gave so much to the Society.  He said that Tony had left a legacy to the Society in the form of books etc, which he would expand on later. He also mentioned that Dr Nigel Stringer had been ill and that he would convey to him the Llanelli Naturalists’ best wishes.  The secretary continued by outlining the Society’s activities over the past year which had consisted of six indoor meetings and a total of twelve field meetings including two joint meetings with the Wildlife Trust and two fungus forays.  Newsletter no 73 and Bulletin no 7 were both awaiting his attention.  He said that Colin Jones the local representative of the British Trust for Ornithology had appealed for recorders to help with recording for the new BTO bird atlas.  The application for a CCW Grant had been delayed this year but there is still a possibility that The Society may be in receipt of funding to assist with its activities.  The Committee had met on three occasions, with North Dock used as a meeting room in May.  Issues discussed included input to the Unitary Development Plan which had resulted in Lower Gwendraeth being added to the list of Special Landscape Areas.  The Llanelli Naturalists’ website is up and running but still under development.  He mentioned also that Society members attend meetings of and have input to both the Llanelli Water Vole Action Group and the Local Biodiversity Action Plan Partnership, and said that the Society had provided conservation advice, through Simeon Jones, on land and specific issues within the Millennium Coastal Park at Burry Port, Machynys, Penrhyngwyn and Pwll Lagoon.

The secretary concluded by thanking all officers, especially the Treasurer, Mrs Diana Hopkins, and Committee Members, those who provided refreshments and those who assisted publicity by distributing posters for display. He also thanked KAP for taking minutes, Mrs.Sandra Stewart for her role as independent examiner of the Society’s accounts and the general membership for their continuing help and support, without whom the Society could not function.

TREASURER'S REPORT: The accounts, which were received and adopted by those present having been proposed by Mrs Pat Gill and seconded by Dr P A Jones, are presented below. The Treasurer explained that there was a gain of £390.43 in 2006, which was largely due to the sale of 33 calendars. The insurance was obtained through BTCV again. The Treasurer said that subscription rates should remain unchanged but she did not yet know what the cost of insurance for 2006 would be. The paid up membership now stands at 83 with 8 complimentary. 11 new members had joined during the year.  A grant of £1000 from the Countryside Council for Wales had been received in the 2006 financial year to assist with costs of meetings, publicity, publications and habitat monitoring. The accounts had been examined and found correct by Mrs S. Stewart.

RESERVE REPORTS

Ffrwd Fen looking towards Mynydd Penbre. Photo: Richard Pryce.Ffrwd Fen: Dr P.A.Jones reported that the Marsh Pea was thriving and that the Marsh Honey Fungus fruited for only two weeks as the hottest day for 100 years occurred during this time and the weather was too dry for it. The cattle were put on to the Waun cae Philip fields quite early at the request of PAJ. No hay had been cut on the  former dune ridge area but the cattle were moved to graze the there later in the year. Phil Ward of the Wildlife Trust wished to set-up a site meeting with the Llanelli Naturalists. There was concern that hay has not now been cut for two years and that the management of the site is less than ideal.  Having said this, however, the Marsh pea seems to be increasing although other species for which the site is noted such as Tubular Water Dropwort are in decline.  Dr Dan Forman of Swansea University has requested if he can carry out Water Vole monitoring at the site. 

Factory Road, Pembrey: Simeon Jones confirmed that the site is not in the Millennium Coastal Park, although it is owned by Carmarthenshire County Council.  He was however keen to look into and oversee the future management of the land.

ELECTION OF OFFICERS AND COMMITTEE MEMBERS: The following Officers were elected unopposed: Mr Barney Gill (Chairman), Mr Simeon Jones (elected as Vice-chairman), Mr Richard Pryce (Secretary), Mrs Diana Hopkins (Treasurer). Both Mr Richard Pryce and Mrs Diana Hopkins gave notice to quit in February 2008 The Committee Members proposed were Ms Molly Charge, Mrs Angela Radcliffe, Mrs Kath Pryce, Mrs Pat Gill, Mrs Edith Jones, Dr Philip Jones, Messrs, Ian Morgan and Mike Smith.  All were elected unopposed. Mrs Sandra Stewart was again elected to the post of Financial Examiner. It was noted that the Society now has a webmaster, Mr Christopher Cottingham.

OTHER BUSINESS. 1). Simeon Jones reported that Ffordd y Wagen, Pwll, had been cleared by Foothold, the gates replaced (although one was subsequently stolen.  Richard Davie of Foothold was asked to carry-out a second cut but it was not possible in this financial year. Planting of shrubs and signage is planned

2). Green Network: An urban arboretum is planned below Bigyn Hill. Mr Ian Morgan (IKM) now represents Llanelli Naturalists on the Green Network but needs help with this as he is now working full time. Genwen and Pembrey Canal are both future projects.

3). IKM has a supply of perennial plants which he offered to give to members.

4). Bres Pit: Angela Radcliffe reported that this is an old pit  located on Bigyn Hill along the line of Robinson Street, which has recently collapsed but was subsequently made safe.

5). Future outdoor meetings suggested by members included Genwen, Cencoed Uchaf, Kidwelly Local Nature Reserve and Coed Bach Marsh.

6). Simeon Jones asked for suggestions to name the ponds in the Millennium Coastal Park.

The AGM closed at 8.30pm and was followed by a selection of Tony Lewis’s slides shown by the Secretary.

Richard Pryce (Hon.Secretary)