Queens Award for Voluntary Service

Fairfield Association Minutes: 19 September 2023

Minutes of the Fairfield Association meeting held on 19 September 2023 at the Tite & Locke.

Present:  Dave Brookes, Frank Stevens, Geoff Oliver, Hilary Short (Chair), Ian Diffenthal, Jane Parker, Mick Short, Mike Stevens, Pavlos Pavli, Sharon Diffenthal, Sue Pope

1. Apologies 

Andrew Brennand, Ian Procter, Sue Nieduszynska, Tony Finn

2.  Minutes from the last meeting 

  • These were agreed.

3. Matters Arising

  • Wall at the back of the Orchard has been replaced. The cost was shared equally with the neighbour – Fairfield Association paid £788
  • Volunteer email list to be sent to Anne Greenwood and Sue P – Ian to pursue
  • LGGS re LNR – Sue and Geoff recently met the headteacher and he was very positive – Geoff has followed up unsuccessfully
  • The legs of the benches under the trees in the play area are starting to rot – need to repair – Ian Diffenthal and Mick Short will have a look

4.  Treasurer’s Report 

Bank balance   

DateAmount in £
25.07.23 72,773

Restricted funds     

SourceAmount in £
Lancaster University     72
Triangle  830
Play area    5101
LCC    3000
Fundraising 262
Tesco Grant        500
Play area      -6933
Total Restricted2832

General funds and balance

FundsAmount in £
General Funds69,239
Total Restricted2832
Total Balance72071

Significant income

  • £500 from Tesco
  • £1600 from wind turbine is due soon


  • Wall £788
  • Bin liner £309
  • Updated chain saw equipment £405

5.  Membership and Friends

  • No change
  • Geoff to contact Andrew to check that all Friends are on the Members’ List.

6. Playground

  • Work is delayed until November, likely to take two months
  • Jigsaw housing association may provide funds towards the safety surface

7. Further Discussion

  • Wording of Fairfield Association objects:

The revised objects are:

a) to promote the conservation of the natural environment and improvement of the physical environment, for the benefit of the public.

b) to preserve, enhance and maintain public areas and amenities in the city of Lancaster, in particular the Fairfield area.

c) areas and amenities referred to in (b) include but are not limited to Fairfield Green and Playground, The Fairfield Millennium Green and Community Orchard, Fairfield Fauna and Flora Nature Reserves, and the Aldcliffe Road Triangle

  • County Council have funds for active travel that may help with purchasing and installing a cycle hangar – we can apply for £5000 and would need an additional £500. People are responsible for their bikes, we would be responsible for the cycle hangar. We will need planning permission, but this can be requested at the same time as submitting a request for funds – deadline end of October. It was agreed that whilst the FA had provided  the space, County Council Funding was essential if a cycle hangar was to be installed.  It was also agreed that we would need to have a method for allocating the spaces and that people  from Fairfield without a garage should be given preference.

8. Education

  • No update

9. Events

  • 29 July – volunteers’ picnic – not as well attended as hoped – possibly too late in the year
  • 23 September – Apple Day – Veronica Dunn will organise the tea stall. Pavlos Pavli will organise children’s games. Jay from Egg Cups will do an apple identification stall. There will be a stall of wood carvings. Musicians will be there for the duration. Volunteers to put up and take down.
  • 7:30pm on Tuesday 17 October, AGM will be in the Social Room at the Meeting House (booked from 7pm) – Jane and Geoff can’t attend; accounts may not have been subject to independent examination; Hilary will do the notices.
  • 18 November – Green Fair – table booked, Sue N to organise

9. FOGG report

  • The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs held a public consultation on Protecting Hedgerows. This arose because of the ending of EU regulation in 2024 and the need to establish replacement rules. Currently, farmers must not remove hedgerows without prior notice given to local planning authorities, must maintain a buffer strip along their hedgerows, and must not cut or trim hedgerows during bird nesting and rearing season. There is the possibility of the weakening of current protections, for example, allowing ploughing within 2 metres of a hedgerow but also the possibility of strengthening protection, for example, ending the exemption of small field hedges from protection. It was important that the public, including environmental charities, engaged with this consultation as important changes are possible. The FA is responsible for about 5 Km of hedge, some of which borders other landowners. Sue responded to the consultation on behalf of the FA, using the excellent exemplar answers from the RSPB as a guide. Ian sent a message to reserve volunteers with the relevant information so they could respond individually should they wish to do so.
  • The hedge on the western border of West Field has never flourished and does not provide a good habitat for wildlife. We intend to plant a line of traditional hedge and informal shrubs or spinneys in front of it. In time these will merge to create a wide hedgerow of varying height and width. Over 1000 saplings are due to be planted along the 285m length. 900 will come from the Woodland Trust at a cost of £136.98. The remainder, which give us greater diversity, will be bought commercially at a cost of approximately £400. Ian and Sue will apply for funding from the Tree Council’s ‘Branching Out’ funding scheme. (

We have advertised a ‘community planting event’ on Saturday 13 January in the newsletter and are hoping for a good turnout (and good weather).

10. FOTT report

  • The Triangle hosted a music festival event in 2022, but organisers for 2023 have decided to use the Storey Gardens instead as the Triangle is ‘too far out’

11. General Updates

  • Skipton Building Society has selected the Fairfield Association to be one of its three local nominated charities that could receive £200, £300 or £500, depending on members’ votes from 25 September – people will be alerted via e-news and Facebook
  • Cromwell Road gate now has a rope to close the gate. The rope may need to be more securely attached.

12. Website, Facebook and Newsletter

  • Website needs to move to a new provider – this is in hand. The Friends of the Storey Gardens (FoSG) has enjoyed hosting via the Fairfield Association. This will no longer be possible and FoSG has plans for an alternative.
  • Newsletter is being printed and will soon be distributed.

13. AOB

  • John and Elaine Weedy along with Dave Brookes instigated the redevelopment of the site at the top of Sibsey Street, recently completed by Lancaster City Council. This is getting overgrown and needs a volunteer group to look after it. Hilary to contact John, copying in Dave.
  • Rubbish and litter around Fairfield is a concern

14. Date of next meeting

The AGM will be held in the Social Room at the Friends Meeting House on Tuesday 17 October.

The next meeting will take place at 7:30pm on Tuesday 21 November at the Tite & Locke.