Queens Award for Voluntary Service

Fairfield Association Monthly Minutes: 16 April 2024

Minutes of the Fairfield Association meeting held on 16 April 2024 at the Tite & Locke.


Andrew Brennand, Dave Brookes, Grace Naylor, Hilary Short (Chair), Ian Diffenthal, Ian Procter, Jane Parker, Mark Tanner, Mick Short, Mike Stevens, Neil Morrison (for AOB), Pavlos Pavli, Sharon Diffenthal, Sue Pope

1. Apologies

Chris Paterson, Emma Putland, Geoff Oliver, Sue Nieduszynska, Tony Finn

2. Minutes from the last meeting

  • These were agreed.

3. Matters Arising

  • Response from LGGS to letter sent to them about LNR – they are waiting for a response from the English Schools’ Funding Association about whether an arrangement with the Fairfield Association would impact LGGS funding.
  • Bicycle Hangar. Planning permission is required. This will cost £357, meeting agreed to this expenditure.
  • Current complexity of land ownership might be simplified if the Fairfield Association becomes a CIO – trustees to discuss.

4. Treasurer’s Report

Bank balance

DateAccountAmount in £
19.03.24 146,211

Restricted funds

SourceAmount in £
Play area4208
LCC (bicycle hangar)5000

General funds




Significant income

  • Gift aid of £1125, net income from sale of calendars etc. £1639, Easter egg hunt £520


  • £222 newsletter, £85,000 transfer to new savings account, £357 for bicycle hangar planning application, £258 for Hannafin fence posts

Platform for donations

  • Whilst Wonderful passes on the full donation, it can’t accept monies from all banks, including the Coop. There are many alternatives, Jane has identified three options: CAF (3.4% on all donations), Just Giving (can get very pricey if you get a lot of donations), PayPal (1.4%). Agreed to go with PayPal.

6.  Membership and Friends

  • No new members and one new friend.

7. Playground

  • Work commenced Tuesday 7 November. There has been slow progress and they now hope to complete by mid-May.
  • Andrew is awaiting prices for the surfacing.

8. Education

  • There were three educational visits last year, Dave will make the claim for funding to Natural England

9. Events

  • Easter egg hunt was a success raising £520 (compared with £287 last year)
  • The Fairfield Festival to celebrate the new playground will be1200 to 2000 on 25 May – Andrew and Mike will liaise with Jon and Fraser – BBQ during the day and Pizza in the evening, music all day and more ice cream – grant from Gina Dowding of £400 to pay for More Music (based in Morecambe). Sponsorship to minimise costs, eg Vegware is providing disposable burger and pizza boxes and something for drinks. Need a gas BBQ – request via Facebook. If none is forthcoming, borrow an ordinary BBQ from Michael. Need first aiders on site. Ian to send list of qualified first aiders to Andrew and Mike. Payment needs to be more reliable – suggest purchasing an alternative system to Square –  vote agreed to purchase SumUp – Mike will pursue sponsorship for this. Alternative venue should the play area not be ready – ask LGGS if we can use their playing field.
  • NLWG wildlife fair in the orchard on 16 June – Fairfield Association may arrange a tea tent
  • AGM to be 17 September 2024 at the Friends Meeting House

9. FFOG report

  • The horses were collected more or less at the deadline set. We are replacing the bolts on the Aldcliffe Rd gates with tamper proof ones. Agricultural work can now proceed with the sowing of barley and bird food mix.
  • Willow domes in the Orchard have been partly rebuilt with hazel, interwoven with willow, where the trees provided too much shade for willow to grow directly. It is proposed also to construct balance bars and stumps in the same area.
  • The long pads hedge has been made dog proof again.
  • Sites where saplings may be planted have been identified, including in the corner of the play area near the substation. Decision to be taken at the next FFOG
  • Wildflower patch prepared in Pony Wood – thanks to Steve Bullen and Clio Graham
  • Propose to get rid of the backpack sprayers – all agreed.

10. The Triangle

  • Tent on the triangle has been reported to the homelessness team

11. General Updates

  • Charity Commission has rejected the proposed amendment to the objects as the Fairfield Association can do everything proposed within the current objects

12. Website, Facebook, Instagram and Newsletter

  • Membership system being investigated: Membership Mojo – people can join online as either a member or a friend. There will be email addresses for specific audiences, recipients will be able to opt out of communications automatically. Costs £95 p.a. for up to 500 members.
  • 80 followers on Instagram, aiming for 100 in May
  • Is there an easy way of letting people share photos taken on the Nature Reserve? Mark will discuss with Julia.

13. AOB

  • Fascination of Plants Day 18 May – Neil Morrison (University of Lancaster) talked about the researchers who will have a stall in the market place, an exhibition at the university and would like to involve the local community. They would like some leaflets to put on the stall, to encourage people to visit the Fairfield Nature Reserve. Neil is happy to make QR codes available for 18 May – Sue to liaise with Neil.
  • Currently Lancashire Environment Funds come via Entrust through a very bureaucratic process. In the future it should be possible to claim directly from LEF rather than going via Entrust. Agreed that we should withdraw from Entrust once the grant for the play area is signed off.

14. Date of next meeting

The next meeting will take place at 7:30pm on Tuesday 21 May 2024 at the Tite & Locke.