Welcome to Chris Anderson

John Richomme of Smiths Gore, the rural property consultants who provide the secretarial services and provide management advice in regards to all matters related to CWMCL, especially in regards to the management of the woodland, has recently retired. I am sure you will join the Board in giving our thanks to John for all the work he has carried out over the transitional period during 2012 and we are grateful to the service he has provided us.

He is being replaced by Chris Anderson, who we welcome to the company. Chris has worked for Smiths Gore for the last 5 years in the North-West of the country, managing a number of private and institutionally owned rural estates, encompassing the full range of issues that arise. His management work included the 6 Duchy of Lancaster estates located in the NW, the only other Duchy in the country in addition to the Duchy of Cornwall. Prior to this, Chris spent 6 years in the British Army as an officer in the Royal Engineers. Chris will continue to be assisted by Ross Collins. Chris’ contact details are 01872 274646 or christopher.anderson@smithsgore.co.uk.

Woodland Update 23rd November (provided by Ross Collins, Smiths Gore)

Phytophthora and Clearance of Feral Rhododendrons
At the time of writing Crinnis Wood remains under restriction due to the Eradication Notice that the Food and Environment Research Agency served on CWMCL. This requires all of the feral Rhododendron and other susceptible plants within the woodland area to be destroyed and incinerated. To try and prevent the woodland from being restricted further and reclassified as a Containment Site, and to avoid spreading Phytophthora, notices have been erecting asking all parties not engaged in essential works to keep out of the woodland until the restrictions are lifted.

Paul Wallace of Woodsmiths is continuing with the work to clear the feral Rhododendrons from Crinnis Wood. This work is being done under the contract that Paul Wallace has with CWMCL, which was arranged prior to Smiths Gore taking on the role of providing Company Secretary services and management advice. The contract is 80% funded by the Forestry Commission based on their own cost estimates, but Paul Wallace undertook to carry out the project and forego the 20% balance that would otherwise have been due from householders via an increased service charge. The contract involves clearing and burning the feral Rhododendrons in year one, with follow up work in years two and three to spray any re-growth of feral Rhododendron. The work is being carried out under the watches of Nicholla Ingram of FERA who is the Phytophthora Project Officer.

We are hopeful that the initial clearance work and burning will be completed soon and Paul is making good progress under difficult conditions.

Railway Screening
It was agreed at the AGM that some CWMCL funds would be allocated for a contribution towards the costs of planting screening behind those properties worst affected by the Rhododendron clearance. This concerns those properties closest to the railway line where removal of Rhododendron from the woodland may leave households with no screening. This contribution will be towards the cost of planting screening in the woodland area outside of any private gardens. Peter Fitzgerald has very kindly taken on the voluntary role of walking the woodland in consultation with Nicholla Ingram to monitor conditions on behalf of CWMCL and he will now be speaking to householders to firm up the proposals for the screening.

Restoration and Replanting
With the ongoing restrictions, notices, clearing and burning it is important to keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to rid the woodland of this plant disease so that the woodland can be restored and replanted. As the Rhododendrons are removed we can already see young trees that were previously being smothered by them but which will now be able to thrive and bring “new blood” into the woodland, and we look forward to seeing which dormant ground species emerge in the spring.

In consultation with Garin Linnington, the new Forestry Commission Officer for Cornwall, we intend to apply for funding towards the costs of replanting and restoring the woodland with native broadleaf species. Funding is provided through English Woodland Grant Schemes which last five years. Before we can apply for this funding we will need to prepare a 20 year Woodland Management Plan approved by the Forestry Commission to show the intentions for the planting, restoration and ongoing management of the woodland over that time. Following our initial consultations with Garin, the next stage towards achieving this was to make an application for funding to cover the costs of producing the 20 year Management Plan. This has been done and the application was submitted before the AGM in September 2012. We are now awaiting confirmation that the Forestry Commission will pay for the Management Plan to be drawn up. Once we have confirmation of this, the Management Plan will be prepared and submitted to the Forestry Commission for their approval. Only when we have that approval can we make the subsequent application for the funding towards the costs of replanting new trees.

The Forestry Commission have confirmed that they are processing our initial application and Garin has said that he will put forward his support for the project. However the Forestry Commission are extremely busy dealing with Phytophthora across the South West and so they have given us prior warning that it will take longer than usual to process the application, and they have also said that due to their funding rules we should not start work on the Management Plan until they have confirmed approval for the funding.

As discussed at the AGM, Autumn (November onwards) is the best time of year to plant trees. The tree-planting season lasts until the end of March but planting should be avoided when the ground is very cold, or very dry and certainly when temperatures begin to rise. I would therefore hope that planting can begin from November 2013.

Its the AGM in less than 10 days time !

Have you seen the meeting invite ? This is an ideal opportunity to hear about the workings of our Management Company and the opportunity for you to become or nominate new Directors as we move towards 2013 (already!?)

Proxy and Nomination forms *must* be submitted prior to the meeting. See the event details for more information and details of proposed Agenda items.

If nothing else, come along to the Carlyon Bay hotel and meet the neighbours for a chat !

FERA Quarantine Notice Served

FERA have served an “Eradication Site” quarantine notice on CWMCL covering Crinnis Wood. There is an even higher classification of “Containment Site” which is further restrictive as nothing can be moved off the site without consent. Thankfully, Crinnis Wood is not subject to the higher classification because the Rhododendrons here were already being eradicated. To avoid any risk of reclassification to an “Containment Site”,  please refrain from entering the woods during the quarantine period and do not remove any firewood or anything else from the woods.

Please read & respect this FERA order which is in all of our best interests

August 2012 Newsletter

Welcome to all householders and their families, especially those of you who have joined us at Crinnis Wood Management Company Ltd recently.  You will already have been contacted by John Richomme of our new managing agents Smiths Gore of Truro working in collaboration with our Board of Directors who are elected annually to represent the membership in order to fulfil the stated aims of CWMCL of which each household is Shareholder.

Continue reading “August 2012 Newsletter”

June 2012 Update – Rhododendron Clearance

Current Board and Duties

  • Roland Fox Chairman, Working on the Forestry and County problems with grants, trees and Rhododendrons.
  • Jane West, Deputised for Roland, working with Smiths Gore and residents.
  • Dominic Skerry, Led the change over to Smiths Gore from Countrywide.
  • Larry Woodland, Carrying out regular inspections of the woods, running behind on tree work
  • Peter Fitzgerald, Writing updates to residents and working on accounts.
  • John Richomme (Smiths Gore), Involved in many aspects of the estate work.
  • Ross Collins (Smiths Gore), woodland manager.

Rhododendrons and Trees

It is fair to state that the majority of the householders would like as little change to the woodlands as is possible, apart from the removal of really dangerous trees and general improvement works.

We are probably all aware from the media that a disease carried by Rhododendrons is a most severe threat to the majority of the woodlands in the west of the UK.

The disease caused by Phytophthora ramorum, is spreading from Cornwall through the South West.
We have been left in no doubt that as Directors and members we have a legal responsibility:

  • County Council were aware of isolated problems in Crinnis Wood.
  • Council will give us 7 days notice to start clearing the if disease is found again, at our cost !
  • The Forestry Commission awarded us a grant after FERA detected infection by Phytophthora.

We really have little choice, either act now, or have higher costs later. This is why Paul Wallace has undertaken the clearance of Rhododendrons.

Peter Fitzgerald, 31st May 2012

March 2012 – Update

For many years Labyrinth have been the managing agents for the CWMC. Last autumn they were amalgamated into Countrywide Management Ltd.

Both Labyrinth and now Countrywide accept that they are unable to provide CWMC with the specialist woodland management required by our Company.

By mutual agreement between your Board and Countrywide, it has been decided to terminate our management agreement.

Your Board has invited tenders from several local companies to take over the position of Managing Agents.

The Board is pleased to announce that, following negotiations, we have appointed Smiths Gore of Truro to be our agents for the next year.

Smiths Gore are a national land agency practice with specialist management and agency functions covering Forestry, Woodland and Arboriculture.
At a strategic level preparing policies for Forest and Woodland management and development and taking an active role in their management.

One of the areas of expertise developed to complement more traditional woodland management roles is risk management. Tree surveys are
increasingly important where there is public access and a requirement to show that trees have been professionally inspected and action taken to minimise chances of litigation and extend the life of valued veteran trees.

John Richomme BSc FRICS and Ross Collins of the Truro office are already advising us and working towards a smooth handover from Countrywide at the end of April.

We are all looking forward to working with Smiths Gore and utilising their knowledge to improve our woodland.