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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 doesn’t 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 isn’t, 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. Conservation.

As a change of tone from the previous paragraph we should celebrate the fact that the hill hasn’t 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 West’s irreplaceable oasis of Lowland Heath. These were recently highlighted by David Belamy’s 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 conservation works.

Charitable Status
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 don’t wish to go down this road, don’t 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 don’t 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 again.

It isn’t 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 year’s.

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.



Click below for previous newsletters:

Summer 2003 | September 2003 |January 2004 | September 2004

March 2005 | September 2005 | Summer 2006


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