Agenda and minutes

Duchess Wood Local Nature Reserve Committee - Tuesday, 19 May 2015 10:00 am

Venue: Braeholm, 31E Montrose Street, Helensburgh

Contact: Theresa McLetchie - Tel: 01436 657621 

No. Item




The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.


Apologies for absence were intimated from:-


Charlie Cairns

Iain Wilkinson


Minute pdf icon PDF 78 KB

The Minute of the previous Duchess Woods Committee meeting held on 17 February 2015.


The Minute of the previous meeting which was held on 17 February 2015 was approved as a true record, subject to the following amendment:-


Item 4 – Engagement with schools/community


However they were keen on the ‘web-based idea’ and would perhaps use Duchess Wood for orienteering and geo-caching.


Matters Arising


Page 5 – Any other competent business


Alastair Macbeth stated that he had omitted to email Johanna Urquhart in regards ideas for local pupils to become involved with. He proposed that pupils could undertake self-contained projects within Duchess Wood.


The Committee agreed to the suggestion.


Morevain Martin highlighted that a meeting in regards the Integration of Health and Social Care in Argyll and Bute within a Third Sector context had been scheduled for Tuesday, 26 May 11.40a.m. – 12.30p.m. at the Council Chambers, Kilmory Castle, Lochgilphead. Video conferencing would also be available at the Marriage Room, Helensburgh



Fairy Tale Woods Proposal - Update

Update on the Fairy Tale Woods proposal by Robert Bell, West Highland Photography.


The Committee heard an update from Robert Bell, West Highland Photography in which he outlined the issues his Committee had encountered in endeavouring to take forward the Fairy Tale Woods project. Due to this, a decision had been made by his 

Committee to delay the event until October 2016.


Discussion followed and the Duchess Wood Committee outlined several suggestions to assist Mr Bell with progressing the project.




The Committee agreed that Mr Bell would liaise with Johanna Urquhart to re-draft the flyer for local businesses.


That an electronic copy of the draft Business Plan which Mr Bell had tabled at the meeting would be disseminated to the Committee. 


The Chair thanked Robert for his update and requested that the Committee be kept up-to-date with progress and that an update come to the February 2016 Committee meeting.




Engagement with Schools/Community pdf icon PDF 55 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee gave discussion to the proposal submitted by Eileen Kay and it was noted that Friends of Duchess Wood (FODW) would continue to assist and that the FODW website would continue to make available the Educational resource. Eileen Kay would remain as the point of contact for schools in Helensburgh and Lomond.




The Committee agreed:


1.    To accept the proposals regarding the Educational resource pack.

2.    That Eileen Kay and Charlie Cairns would meet to progress these and that the Duchess Wood Committee would receive regular updates.





Friends of Duchess Wood Reports pdf icon PDF 138 KB

Additional documents:


The Committee considered 2 reports which outlined the work undertaken by Friends of Duchess Wood (FODW). Updates were provided regarding the activities the Friends are engaged in, with copies of the Spring Wild Flower Walk distributed to members of the Committee.




The Committee agreed to note the reports.


Other Issues/Opportunities


CWA Event


It is hoped that the FCS/CWA “A Wood of our Own” networking event, proposed to take place at Duchess Wood and the rugby club probably in the first two weeks in September will go ahead however confirmation is still required. Stewart Campbell will contact Diane Oliver regarding this. 



Faslane Base Events


Alastair Macbeth drew attention to the recent Cross Country run undertaken by the MOD. He advised that permission had been granted initially when the Duchess Wood Committee had first been advised of these events a number of years ago. However, latterly no notification had been received nor permission requested.




Stuart McCracken would make contact with the MOD to advise on the procedure and policy in place to hold events in Duchess Wood.



Hermitage Park Links


This was discussed under Item 4.


Orienteering Event


Johanna Urquhart outlined a proposal to hold a community orienteering event in Duchess Wood. The event would be open to families, school groups and the local community and it was planned to hold it on a Sunday morning in September. She highlighted that Lomond School would provide an orienteering map.




The Committee agreed to the request. Johanna will contact Stuart McCracken to establish whether an events pack also requires to be completed.


Development of the Wood pdf icon PDF 79 KB


The Committee gave consideration to a report which addressed the future management of the Local Nature Reserve (LNR).


The Chair informed the Committee of recent discussion had in regards Community Ownership of the Duchess Wood. Stewart Campbell tabled a response from the FODW to the report and the Committee gave further discussion to various issues raised in regards funding, partnerships and community involvement.




The Committee agreed:


1.    To accept the recommendations contained within the report.

2.    That an electronic copy of the FODW response to the report would be circulated with the Minute.

3.    That a meeting would be scheduled between the FODW Chair, FODW Funding Officer, Charlie Cairns and Stuart McCracken.

4.    That any further information may need to be disseminated to the Duchess Wood Committee by email, depending on timescales.



Network Rail - Fencing


Stewart Campbell confirmed that the work had been undertaken satisfactorily by Network Rail and was a great improvement.


Routine Maintenance


Update from Amenity Services pdf icon PDF 64 KB

Report by Amenity Performance Manager


Additional documents:


The Committee gave consideration to reports from Stuart McCracken, Amenity Performance Manager.


Discussion continued and Stuart McCracken highlighted the remedial work necessary to remove the 2 dangerous trees near the West Highland line and the possible cost implications. He pointed out that it would perhaps necessitate a tender being compiled by the Argyll and Bute Procurement section to ensure this work was carried out in a timely manner.




The Committee agreed:-


1.    To note the reports.

2.    That an updated financial report come to the Duchess Wood Committee meeting in August.

3.    That this Agenda item would be headed ‘ Argyll and Bute Council Maintenance update’ for future Duchess Wood meetings.



Any Other Competent Business


There was no other business.









Date of next meeting

The next meeting is scheduled for- Tuesday, 18 August 2015 – 10.00a.m. Braeholm, 31 E Montrose Street, Helensburgh.


The date of the next meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, 18 August 2015 at 10.00a.m. in Braeholm, 31E Montrose Street, Helensburgh.


If there was any changes to the meeting venue, then the Committee would be advised accordingly.


The Chair thanked everyone for attending the meeting and providing informative updates and reports.