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It was good to see news of the Friends’ activities, and their relevance to climate action, being spread on Manchester Community Central recently.  Thanks to David and Ian for being interviewed about the Friends during one of the Thursday volunteer days!

We were very pleased that the staff at Sainsbury’s in Fallowfield chose the Friends to be the community group that they worked with as part of the Sainsbury’s 150th birthday celebrations! We agreed three volunteering activities to carry out with the staff:

  • A stall for the Friends in the foyer of the Fallowfield Sainsbury’s store. The information stall proved to be a success with many visitors; we hope that we can repeat this activity during 2020.
  • Undertaking a survey of users on the Loop, with the aim of providing further data to support the Friends and help Sustrans further develop the Loop as a community resource. Erica led this activity with Bryony, the Sainsbury staff volunteer co-ordinator. In all over 80 survey forms were completed and the information gained will be shared in due course.
  • Holding a litter-picking event to familiarise some new people with the Loop while also producing a measurable change in the quality of the Loop environment. Here is a section of Charles’ litter-pick report: “On 11th August manager Gareth and his team showed up to super-charge the litter-picking regulars this month and we completed cleaning the Sainsbury’s to The Quadrants stretch in good time – and despite the littering being light, we managed to remove 6 bags of the stuff as well as having a good time to boot.  Thank you Sainsbury’s.”

The staff at Sainsbury’s in Fallowfield have chosen The Friends of the Fallowfield Loop to be the community group that they will work with as part of the Sainsbury’s 150th birthday celebrations! We have agreed three volunteering activities to carry out with the staff:

  • A FotFL stall in the foyer of the Fallowfield store on Saturday 27th July.
  • Undertaking a survey of users of the Loop. This will provide data to support The Friends of the Fallowfield Loop and Sustrans in further developing the Loop as a community resource. This will take place in August.
  • Holding a litter-picking event which will familiarise some new people with the Loop and produce a measurable change to the quality of the Loop environment. This will be on Thursday 8th August.

Volunteers are needed to work alongside the Sainsbury’s staff.  Please contact us if you might be able to volunteer for an hour or two at any of the events, or get in touch with Frances on 07933 088484.

My Wild City survey

The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside has partnered up with Manchester City Council to celebrate and improve the wildlife and wild spaces on our doorsteps.

Organisation logosFriends who value the Loop’s status as a wildlife corridor across Manchester might be interested in completing this survey and sharing their views of wildlife’s importance in general and of the Loop in particular.  The survey is intended to help shape the way wildlife is protected and to contribute to the new 10-year vision for biodiversity in Manchester.

Apologies for the late notice, but this weekend the residents of Scarisbrick Road are planting Rosa rugosa ‘Rubra’ bushes (a pretty pink-flowered native species) along the Loop at the rear of their properties.

Rosa rugosa 'Rubra' © RHS

Rosa rugosa ‘Rubra’ © RHS

It is hoped these will be a wonderful addition to this stretch of the Loop and funding for the bushes has been provided by the Council.  Please come and help with this if you can!  Planting times have been arranged as follows:

• Saturday 27th from 10am; and
• Sunday 28th from 11am.

It doesn’t matter whether you can spare only an hour, or help from start to finish, all and any help would be very much appreciated.  There will be a break for a bite to eat at 1 p.m. each day; you are welcome to bring some lunch for yourself (and maybe to share with others) for a refuelling picnic.  Everyone welcome!

For more details please contact David (07886 932 554) or Aysha (07882 682354).

A call for volunteers to join the committee of the Friends of the Fallowfield Loop please!

After many years of service, several members of the Friends’ committee are wishing to reduce their level of involvement and therefore there is a need for new members.

Please consider volunteering for one of these roles to help keep the Friends running! The present incumbents have helpfully provided a summary of roles which give an idea of what is involved; tasks are not excessively onerous and the committee rarely finds it necessary to meet other than at the members’ meetings every two months. If you would like to find out any more informally or just have a chat with someone from the present committee, please contact us.

The Friends’ Annual General Meeting will be on Monday 15 July 2019. Committee roles available are as follows (if you would like to be involved but not necessarily for one of the specific roles below, then please still get in touch as more general roles are also available).

Membership secretary

  • Deal with new member applications, either via email (from website), post (rare) or from stalls. Add new member details to our definitive list of members (maintained on computer file) and the MailChimp circulation list.
  • Remove details from the membership list and MailChimp system of those members who fail to renew their subscription (e.g. moved away, deceased, lost interest).
  • Send pro forma reminders to members whose membership subscriptions are due – by email or by post as appropriate. The majority of members have standing orders set up for their subscriptions, so this process only applies to two or three members each month.
  • Mail out the newsletter (once every two months) and occasional other notices to members via the MailChimp system, plus to those members (about 8) whose email systems have rejected the MailChimp method. Provide Honorary Secretary with computer-generated labels for those members not on email (about 10 currently).

Treasurer

  • Record payments into and out of our bank account. Payments out are easy because we only use cheques currently. Payments in are more complicated as members’ subscriptions (the overwhelming majority of receipts) include those by cash, by cheque, by standing order and by bank transfer. Currently we only get bank statements every 3 months.
  • Get cheques countersigned by a listed officer and sent off (usually by post) for our outgoing payments.
  • Pay cheques into our bank account (Co-operative Bank).
  • Prepare annual accounts for the Annual General Meeting in July each year. These are very simple – just income and expenditure summaries.
  • Deal with any occasional problems relating to payments e.g. banks making payments into our account monthly rather than annually.
  • Maintain and alter as necessary the list of officers who can countersign our cheques.

Meetings secretary

  • To attend and write the minutes for meetings of the Friends (once every two months), committee meetings (approximately twice a year).
  • To circulate draft minutes to all attending the meeting.
  • To ensure the Secretary has copies of final minutes.

Web and social media

  • To work with the chair and other committee members to maximise the potential of web and social media resources to publicise and encourage engagement with the aims and objectives of the Friends.

The Fallowfield section of the Loop runs through a sandstone cutting. At this week’s meeting of the Friends, James Astbury of GM RIGS introduced himself and the purpose of RIGS (Regionally Important Geological and Geomorphological Sites), then gave a very interesting slide presentation to explain why the 500-metre long section of the Loop between Ladybarn Lane and Slade Lane is special.  This section shows a variety of different types of rocks, including Collyhurst sandstone (laid down about 290 million years ago) and the younger Chester formation, which exhibits interesting fault lines. The geology of the site was assessed by Standish and Draper in the 1970s.
Criteria for a site to be declared RIGS include rarity, good examples of something more common, being of educational value and of historical significance. This site has been put forward for a RIGS designation by this group recently, and they are awaiting the result of the assessment. When registered, the site condition will be checked about every two months. James would like to agree with the Friends and with Sustrans a maintenance strategy for vegetation for short sections (each about five metres wide) in order to allow the geological features to be displayed whilst maintaining the existing ecology of the site. GM RIGS believe the site offers a good opportunity for education given its proximity to the universities and local schools. There have been brief discussions at meetings between GM RIGS and the Friends about the possibility of information signboards or QR code signs either at the main site or at nearby entrances to the Loop.