Notes from our January meeting..

The following are some notes from our meeting on Thursday 30th January 2014. We were delighted to welcome some special guests to the meeting including Royston Smith, former leader of Southampton City Council, Martin Wilcox from Southampton City Council, Lindsay McCulloch, Planning Ecology Officer and three guests from the University of Southampton’s group for the Marine Conservation Society.

Community Chest Fund Grant

We are delighted with the news that our application for a grant from this fund had been successful.  The money is to cover the cost of insurance for 2 years, litter pickers, leaflets, a banner to use at events and a stand for it. We are especially grateful to Southampton City Council for this generous award.

Surveys of Weston Shore – Lindsay McCulloch

One of the conditions our grant is that we liaise with Lindsay, who is the Council’s Planning Ecology Officer. This ensures that anything we do on the shore is positive and does not unintentionally disturb / damage the flora and fauna of the area. We were very pleased that Lindsay was able to attend our meeting. She explained about her role and the Development of Green Space policy – Weston Shore is considered to be a principal site.

It is hoped to have a `bio blitz’ and to revisit the Council database that was started 25 years ago, and add it again. Initially this could include interested volunteers being trained in the necessary skills. The group felt this was something we might be interested in and the UMSC students were also keen on the idea.

Some useful information from Lindsay was that during the winter months when birds are feeding on the foreshore mud flats when the tide is out, it is very bad for the birds to be disturbed by dogs running there or large kites directly overhead (the Rolling Mills field is fine). This is because it causes then to take flight and use up their energy reserves, which can cause them to die .

We will be liasing with Lindsay on a regular basis and will keep members informed about any opportunities to be involved as volunteers.

UMSC Beach Clean

The students from the University of Southampton group for the Marine Conservation Society have arranged a beach clean on Saturday Feb 8th 10am – 12 midday. Martin Wilcox (from Southampton City Council) will support with provision of gloves and litter pickers. Th

Useful tip from Martin … if you are litter picking without a bin bag ring, put a stone in the bottom of your bag and it will stop it blowing up in the air and tipping out your collection of litter !!!!

Martin mentioned there had been a clear up by the Community Payback Team.

There was a suggestion that at some point it would be good to organise a joint clear up with other groups operating along the shore areas.

Friends Forum

This is an association for all Friends’ Groups in the area which has recently been restarted. The next meeting is on Saturday 22nd Feb 11.30am-1.30pm (inc refreshments) at Woodmill Outdoor Activity Centre in Woodmill Lane. It will include discussion re Risk Assessment, and input from a Rep from the National Federation of Parks and Open Spaces, also any issues or queries people have. If you are interested in going please contact Adam via our e mail or Chris at

Marine Conservation Society (National organisation)

Will be holding a beach clean on Thursday 10th April. The will be using their own equipment. Any members wishing to help can go along.

Time to be confirmed.

Royston Smith with Adam Manning, chairman of Friends of Weston Shore

Royston Smith with Adam Manning, chairman of Friends of Weston Shore

Linking with Weston Junior Wardens / Spring Group Members’ Litter pick

There was a positive response to our initial email approach about this idea, however for the May litter pick they would need to have a week day date as Junior Wardens don’t normally have weekend commitments. Following discussion it was agreed that this wasn’t feasible for us for May, but that Sarah would contact Annette Williams (Junior Wardens Co-ordinator) to see what might be arranged later in the year possibly for the November Group Litter pick.

The agreed date for the Group Members’ Spring Litter pick is 10am – 12 midday Saturday May 17th , meeting at the Pitch and Putt car park. Martin asked us to send him a reminder. This litter pick is for members of the Friends of Weston Shore.

Shore Walk

It was agreed a Group Walk along the shore as a social occasion just to enjoy it would be a good thing. NO LITTER PICKING INVOLVED !!!!!

Date agreed Saturday 14th June meeting at Southampton Sailing Club.

“Big Beach Clean” 

The annual Big Beach Clean event, when we invite help from the public, will be held on Sunday August 3rd at 10 am. As part of our development plan we decided to start planning for this event earlier than we have in the past, so we will have an initial discussion at the next meeting.

Annual Pirate event at children’s playground on Weston Shore

Friends of Weston Shore volunteers have helped at this popular family event and Chris hopes to continue it this year. It has been held in September but as the weather proved a problem it has been suggested it is in August. A date will be fixed later, but what can be offered depends to some extent on how many volunteers offer to help. More info at a later date.

Autumn Group Members’ Beach Clean Up

Date fixed for Saturday 15th November 10.0am.

Membership Fee (previously discussed)

We agreed this would be implemented as from the next meeting. Membership forms will be made available. Sarah to ask if Woolston Community Association can advise about secure storage of members’ forms / details, as we need to make arrangements for this.

Bench Project

Still underway, pressure of time getting in way. Martin advised that his department usually use metal benches because they are more resistant to vandalism. Some discussion about what is most comfortable/ Project remains ongoing.

Next Meeting

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 13th March 7.00pm at Woolston Community Centre, Church Rd, Woolston, Southampton. Everybody welcome!


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