Thursday, June 29, 2006

Friends of Abney Hall Park AGM

The Friends held their first AGM and had a lot successes to report, including two task days, opposing the cycle path, the planting of 1500 bulbs, and the introduction of picnic benches, as well as bird and bat boxes.
They were able to assure us that the new avenue of oak whips was robust. Many of the plants may have been damaged by vandals, but this variant of oak was chosen as new branches will simply grow from the bottom.
The feature which led to the formation of the Friends in the first place is the fishing lake. The Lake was formed about 25 years ago when Bruntwood Estates took over the lease of the hall. It was a condition of the lease that the old lake, between the hall and the motorway, should not be used for fishing. The fish were transferred to the new lake.
The new lake was created by taking water from Chorlton Brook. When the Environmental Agency (EA) was formed, new rules required that a licence was obtained for permission to abstract water. This was never done, so when it recently came to the attention of the EA, they insisted this cease until a licence was at least applied for. As a result, the lake has been slowly disappearing. The EA did turn up on one occasion, to catch the fish and hold them in storage until the lake can be stabilised. But they were surprised to find nesting birds so that was cancelled. Instead, they have allowed abstraction of water from the brook to be resumed. Meanwhile SMBC will be applying for a licence.
The first task day will be 16 July from 10am-2pm(?). They will then be monthly. For details, see the noticeboard, next to the car park adjacent to the old Scout Hut.
There is also a web site, but the address for that is being kept secret until it looks a bit more professional.