Newsletter September 2003
Before the three evenings of entertainment this year we hardly dared hope
for more than one or two rain free nights at best, bearing in mind last
years awful weather, so to be given three out of three seems barely believable,
but was nonetheless most welcome. The Society of Wonders eclectic
performances attracted several hundred people who warmed to the enthusiasm
of these student players and the CMPG were able to put a modest sum into
our modest piggy bank.
Special General Meeting and Annual General Meeting
Thursday, October 23rd. 7.30pm. Carharrack Methodist Church Schoolroom.
This is the date for your diary. You will find all the relevant documents
enclosed with this newsletter. Do please make sure that you renew your
membership as soon as possible so that you can fully take part. Among
other items will be the long awaited report from the Woodland Sub Committee.
So take a few minutes out to read through the various bits of paper to
avoid missing the cut off dates for membership etc. We look forward to
these meetings as they give us all the chance to see who is who, who is
doing what and what is planned for the future on the unique and increasingly
valuable Carn Marth. The AGM is only once a year and it really doesnt
take that long, make the effort to come along, we welcome any input you
may have and it gives you the chance to keep us on our toes. I must here
repeat that perennial plea of all committees, for new members. If you
feel that you could have even the smallest of contributions to add to
the management of those parts of the Carn within our remit, then do make
an application to join us on the committee. Enthusiasm, a sense of humour
and most of all a love of the countryside are of far more importance than
any knowledge of committee procedure. The group has made a real difference
to secure the long term future on Carn Marth over the years. Anyone who
doubts this must have already forgotten about the 1.3 million tons of
the Carn that Penventon Concrete were going to remove and all that that
would have entailed. It is now three years since our Chairman Alan Green
was elected and as there is a three year limit on the tenure of the office
he will be standing down at the meeting and a new chairman elected. While
it is slightly premature I must at this point say a big thanks to Alan.
He has successfully steered the Group through three tough years. Achievements
include the excellent new constitution, the now almost complete and very
lengthy process of becoming a registered charity, the laudably even handed
setting up of the Woodland sub-committee, and the regularising of our
meetings in a public place to make it easier for members to attend if
they wish. Well done Alan.
Fire and vandalism
The vandalism that we experience on the Carn graphically underlines the
need for the sort of wardenship that we provide. At the end of August
there were three separate heath fires on CMPG managed areas of the hill,
apparently they were all started deliberately. The fires were controlled
and put out before any major damage took place. There were more attacks
in the Theatre Quarry itself, to the electrical boxes and to the temporary
toilets. Over the last year we have carried out over thirty bin bags full
of litter and rubbish, much of it from around the areas used by fishermen.
There is more but I can see that it all begins to sound rather gloomy,
it isnt, because we do cope, although we naturally wish for a few
more hands and for the vandals to take a long holiday from time to time.
As a change of tone from the previous paragraph we should celebrate the
fact that the hill hasnt been quarried away and those areas managed
by us are being cared for. This year we have been alerted to the fact
that an endangered species, the Great Crested Newt, has bred in a pool
somewhere on the managed area of the Carn. This is in addition
to the growing realisation of the value of Carn Marth as one of the South
Wests irreplaceable oasis of Lowland Heath. These were recently
highlighted by David Belamys inauguration of the Waved Heathland
conservation scheme in the Scillies. On a more down to earth level, where
would we go for our walks, fishing and whatever else we do, if the Carn
was closed off and being quarried away? This years Knotweed Control has
just been carried out by a professional contractor and will keep up the
good work following the successful job done last year. We are now looking
at options for making a start on controlling the large areas of bracken
and have hopes of getting some much needed funding for this and other
We are, believe it or not, almost there. The Charities Commission asked
us to make minor changes to the wording in the Constitution. The Constitution
sub-committee have met and attended to this and the result just has to
be approved on October 23rd. We then only have to await the final approval
of our application and we shall be a registered charity. As has been said
before, this will open the door to the sort of funding only available
to registered charities. This in turn will lessen our reliance on the
annual entertainment to provide funding for our overheads. It would be
nice to be able to put more energy into the conservation and ecological
side of the hill, which is, after all, the reason for the setting up of
the CMPG in the first place, way back in 1986.
Web site and e-mail
Our embryonic web site is now being worked on and it is hoped to have
a really informative site running in the new year. We already have the
ability to e-mail newsletters and any short interim items thus saving
us a lot of our precious funds, it has already made a big difference to
the postage bill. For those who dont wish to go down this road,
dont worry, we shall continue to keep you informed with real paper
delivered to your door. Meanwhile, for those who do have PCs and e-mail
facilities, please let us have your e-mail address if we dont already.
Incidentally, my apologies for the newsletter that took so long to download
last time, I had put wrong photo file in, all my fault and it won't happen
It isnt generally realised that the Theatre Quarry is available
to hire. While it is probably a bit late in the year now, bear it in mind
for next summer, our rates are very reasonable. We will do our best to
order a summer as good as or even better than this years.
I found some old photos the other day, taken before we started work on
clearing the wreckage left by the various quarrying activities. The differences
are quite startling, there were large areas of bare waste from the crusher,
the remnants of the crusher itself and other bits of building, all with
exposed jagged metal edges, the theatre stage was just a swamp and there
was little growth anywhere. A pat on the back for all concerned is in
order here, especially all the local authorities who came up with vital
starting funds, this is an ongoing project where local people have made
all the difference, and will continue to do so. We are so lucky to have
this jewel of a hill on our doorstep.
Looking forward to seeing you all at the meeting.
KG. Editor. September 2003.