Agenda item

Review of the Annual Work Programme 2019-20 and Presentation of the 2020-21 Programme

The Senior Ranger to be heard.

Minutes:

The Senior Ranger was heard regarding key achievements during 2019-20 and the following points were made:

 

  • There had been a number of key achievements and updates during the 2019/20 financial year:

 

  • There had be a significant increase in visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic which was managed by greater levels of patrolling and engagement.  This had been supported by the regular mowing of the firebreak, ride and path network to reduce fire risk and provide good quality access for the public as well as increased bracken spraying in July 2020. 

 

  • There had been no volunteering or cattle grazing since March 2020 to allow rangers to concentrate on site safety and public engagement.  The apprenticeship programme had continued and Rangers had used the period of homeworking to develop the draft Ashtead Common Management Plan 2021-2031.

 

  • Work was also underway to take forward a range of work over the next six months:

 

  • The volunteering programme would resume with reduced-scale practical tasks.  A Member noted that Lower Mole Countryside Management Project volunteers had just embarked on a three-year project at Rye Brook and that after a delay caused by planning processes and the COVID-19 pandemic, a wetland scheme in Kestrel Field would commence in late-October 2020. 

 

  • Rangers would concentrate on keeping patrol levels high whilst working to improve the infrastructure across the Common, including bar-ways and noticeboards.  Rangers would also attend refresher training for wood-chipper and chainsaw use.  Contracts to clear veteran trees, open glades and thin out oaks would be taken forward during Autumn 2020.

 

RESOLVED, that the update be noted.