Our Meeting on 19th September

A big thank you to those who joined us on Thursday 19th September at the Town Hall in Bishops Castle. 

We are delighted to have had such a good turnout; around 30 people attended from a variety of disciplines including representatives from Natural England, The National Trust, a range of wildlife groups, and local farms and small holdings.

The event started with Richard Keymer, the Chair of the steering group, giving a general update of what the Trust has achieved to date and its future direction. The members of the steering group have been investigating the possibility of renting land close to the Long Mynd and purchasing some land in the next couple of years. When we know more about these two possibilities, we will be in touch with our members to ask for feedback, so watch this space!

Jonathan Brown talked about our financial position and governance structure. The good news is we are in the black and have paid off all our set-up costs. We are in the process of completing several funding applications, such as the Bright Ideas Fund and we have also registered for the National Lottery’s £100m Climate Action Fund.

We are incredibly grateful to everyone who has become a shareholder member and helped to make the vision of the Trust a reality. The steering group are all working on this project voluntarily, so your shares and donations are really going where it matters most. 

In terms of our governance structure, we have now identified the roles needed for the Board and we are recruiting. You can find a summary of all the roles here. If you are interested in becoming a board member, we would love to hear from you! Please register your interest in the role(s) and we can let you know how to proceed with your application. 

Rob Rowe expanded on the idea of Middle Marches becoming both a physical and virtual hub. The steering group understands the hub as something that:

  • Receives, stores and transmits information
  • Produces energy that ripples out
  • Is at the heart of things
  • Encourages innovation
  • Is a place where people can look for practical help and advice

Is it all a lot of hot air? Well, as Rob reminded us, sometimes hot air can be useful…

The landscape photograph on the right led us on to an interesting discussion about community mapping. We are planning, with your help, to add more organisations, groups, farms and events onto our Community Map. Please contact us if you would like to contribute.

Our aim is to make this resource as helpful as it can be to everyone in the community, so please don’t hesitate to send us your suggestions! We can feature any locations on it provided they link with the Middle Marches’ objectives.

We were delighted to be joined by Richard Craven and Caroline Uff who both gave talks on a rewiliding project in Bishop’s Castle. Richard, who owns the land, described each of the different habitats that could be found on the patch and Caroline talked in more detail about the species living there. It was fascinating to hear about their work and what can be achieved when there is a change in management.

Before we got up to stretch our legs and have another cup of tea, Tim Selman presented our programme of upcoming events for 2019-2020. For more information on what we have planned and how to sign up, please visit our Events page.

Again, if you have any ideas for activites you would like to see on the programme in future, please let us know.

We thank you again for your support and enthusiasm. We are over the moon with how things are progressing – we now have 30 shareholder members and can really see the Trust coming to life!