Report of the Superintendent of City Commons (copy attached).
The Committee considered a report of the Superintendent of City Commons, relating to the management priorites for the City Commons Division that will guide the annual work programme during the period 1 April 2013 – 31 March 2014 inclusive.
The Chairman led the Committee in commending the new format presented in the report.
The report was taken in conjunction with a verbal update from the Senior Ranger, during which the following points were noted:
· The staff at the Common were aware of the rise in tree disease noted recently around the country. It was emphasized that monitoring of the trees in the Common would be increased, but staff were also careful not to make any rash decisions.
· Young cattle were to be introduced to the Common in the coming year, although there will not be an increase in grazing.
· As the volunteers and staff work across the Common replacing the signage, et cetera, as outlined in Item 5, it will provide an opportunity to find and upgrade dead hedges and clear areas around veteran trees to improve light and space.
· Bracken and the associated fire risk would be managed in the year ahead with a mixture of cattle, rolling and cutting.
· Scrub areas are to worked on to create a 50/50 ratio of grass to scrub, a ratio recommended in Natural England guidelines.
· The excavation works around the Roman Villa were entering the final year of the seven year project, with a report outlining the findings to follow.
· The system of hardstandings and paved routes were to be addressed in a prioritised manner, after the completion of the signage works.
Members were told of the important work done by the volunteers to bring this all to fruition. The Committee also heard that in the autumn, several of the volunteers underwent leadership training. This had proved to be a success, and these specially trained volunteers were now leading small groups of other volunteers in completing work under their own supervision.