The following is a record of the activities of the Friends of Three Sisters:
Tuesday 21st June 2011 (Following the AGM.)
AGM & this meeting have had to be rearranged due to lack of Rangers to open up building for us. Need to discuss this problem with AC or LB.
Article from Wigan Evening Post saying Three Sisters is new LNR. Questions asked as to what happened to the public meetings that GW promised. Where will the friends stand if Wigan council are to manage the site? Secretary to e mail Anne Cockram re our concerns.
Feasability study to be conducted for a Visitors’ Centre and refreshment facility. Secretary still has surveys done when we were bidding for money. Most ask for such facilities.She will offer them to AC.
Lancs Wildlife not moved to 3S yet, do not know if will be using house or Visitors’ Centre [this has IT facilities and the house does not]
Photos of man cutting fence were taken at 6.0am. He is committing criminal damage and evidence has been passed on.VG has repaired the fence again tonight[21-6-11] and Friends are concerned on H&S grounds as there is very deep water now in some of the areas.
Boardwalk has been closed off due to its condition.
Appears to be very little maintenance going on. Rangers are withdrawn to collect fishing money at Orrell and this is time consuming.
Following the fire at GeorgiaPacific, cable [copper] is being stolen and insulation is now littering the wood on other side of their fence. It is a H&S hazzard. Secretary to inform AC.
WORK DONE AT LAST WORK DAY:- 4 members helped out at the cycle event on the Race track run by Active Living Team.
VG & AO mended a fence during week 2x3hours = 6 hours
List of raffle prizes given out. Secretary to email list to VG for website.
Letter from AC re canoeing on lake. The following points were raised and secretary is to write to AC.
Most of us were unaware that this was offered as an option and presumed that if people wished to boat or canoe they asked the Rangers. We know it used to happen quite extensively in the past but has been a very infrequent occurance recently. Most people who arrive with a vessel of some sort usually do have life jackets and occasionally helmets. If they have a boat/ canoe they are aware of safety issues.
How would people be made aware of the ban?
How would ban be enforced if there are no Rangers on the site?
We would all be sorry to see yet another reduction in services at the Three Sisters but appreciate the potential H&S problems.
Tuesday 25th. April 2011
The bench on Arena Hill has been moved but gate and fencing still not finished.
Concern has been shown by many members of the public about the lack of general maintenance on the site and about the toilets being locked at 4.30pm on days when there are no Rangers on ‘lates’.The play area and the site in general is still very busy in the evenings, especially as the evenings are light, and the toilets are still needed after 4.30pm.
Easter Egg Hunt was a great success and enjoyed by 109 children and 67 adults. Many good comments received.
Books have been audited ready for AGM. Balances of £2266.54.
No work was done at the last Work day as there were no Rangers to open garage so no tools were available.
In light of previous comments about lack of maintenance, can LCT not see that any work The Friends do would only improve the situation. Perhaps access to the tools could be organised without a Ranger needing to be present? Secretary to raise problem with management.
JW would like to tidy up the scrub land outside the toilets and plant with wild flowers.
Old Dipping pond needs cleaning out - it is many years since we did this.
Roof over the bird feeding station needs repairing.-think this was last done 2008.
Raffle tickets have been printed, IGW sold about £50 worth at Easter Egg Hunt. He gave tickets to members who were present at meeting. JW asked PB to ask if Caledonian would donate a prize and IGW is to ask at Wetherspoons. VG said he would ask at shops in Bryn. Any other offers will be welcomed.
Will we be able to sell tickets at Race track? VG to ask.
The Active Living Team have asked if members can help at their Cycle event on 12th June. Several members volunteered.
29th March 2011.
A reply has been received from Graham Workman , thanking us for our response to the LNR. He will let us know when the public meeting is to be held. PM reported that Natural England are pleased with the plan and it will go forward to Cabinet for ratification.
The Car Park mentioned in the last meeting has started to be cleared of garden rubbish.
Last swan death was 23rd February. 7 swans have died and 5 have gone to swan reserve near Chester. Swans are thought to be suffering from a clostridium virus. Lake water has been tested but is clear.
PONTOONS :- The swans cannot get onto the new pontoon, it is proposed we build a ramp to help them.
A bench on Arena Hill needs moving as land round it is very worn.
Fencing & gate needs finishing.
If there is no Fun Day, Chair suggests we organise a Car Boot Sale.-implications need to be researched-insurance especially.
WORK DONE AT LAST WORK DAY:- Repair gate & fence on Nature Reserve at top end of lake. 2 Rangers and 7 volunteers worked 10.30 am to 12.30pm. [14 hours]
Eggs have been bought for Easter Egg Hunt  Chair informed meeting of arrangements for the Hunt.
21st April 1.30pm to 4pm. Rangers to print map
RAFFLE:- Secretary proposed that we have a Summer Raffle and sell tickets over the summer months. Draw the winning tickets at end of August. All agreed and VG will try to get prizes from Race track. JW to get tickets printed.
DRAFT MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR LNR STATUS.:- All members had received a copy of the plan by e mail.
There was much discussion about the plan and the proposals for a new Friends of the LNR group. The secretary is to put together a response based on the views expressed. It will be circulated to Members prior to being sent to Graham Workman.
LCT are to stop feeding the birds at the feeding station from April due to lack of money. It was suggested that we could use some of our funds to buy bird food to continue to feed birds.
Bird pontoons should be made soon, as they need to be in the water by end of February. We will set aside our next work day to do this work, getting a work party for a week-end. Secretary to e mail Friends to find who will be available. JW & PM to co-ordinate this week ends work.
TO is cleaning out the existing bird boxes, stencilling numbers on them and marking them on a plan. He will get more wood to make extra boxes.
I t was suggested that the swampy area near Arena Hill be made into a small pond.
Car park 5, which we have cleaned up earlier last year, is once again being used by Wigan’s Parks Department to dump garden waste on. Will it be cleared up by LCT once the weather improves? Secretary will try to find out.
Balances stand at £2682.50 but we will spend some of this on Bird Pontoons and Bird boxes.
PB asked about the balances of the monies donated for David and Gilbert.
SMK and AO will buy bulbs/trees with the respective balances and report back to meeting.
Secretary explained what is to happen at the Township Forum and asked for suggestions to take to the next Forum meeting. Members can e mail suggestions when they have had time to consider the situation.
It was requested that the car park be salted if we get more snow.
28th. November 2010
Report back from Bio-diversity Partnership Meeting :- There is to be some hedgerow planting at 3 sites and Three Sisters is to be one of these. Volunteers to help.
Partnership is objecting to the extension of peat cutting on Chat Moss- a letter is to be sent from FO3S.
Report back from Wigan Woodland & Wetland symposium:- JW, IGW & PM attended on behalf of FO3S.
Report on Hallowe’en Walks:- 120 children and families attended the walks. 4 Rangers helped with 14 Friends volunteers.
Problems encountered and to be taken into consideration next year:- The hour had not changed so it was not dark. We will need to check on this next time.
Older boys caused problems all around the walk:- limit age of participants to 11 years old max.
Change order of events or vary route so that previous attenders do not know what to expect.
The proposals for Wetland as given to the meeting by Graham Workman at previous meeting was discussed.
Many of the group were not happy at the idea of having two groups of Friends and could not see how it could work. It was felt that FO3S had fought against the Bike Park to enable the Wetland to come into being. The Friends had worked on the site and bid for money [via Groundwork] to bring in funds to create the site. The proposed plan appears to be Cherrypicking areas of the Three Sisters and it was felt that the proposals demeaned all the efforts the group had made.
Friends would attend the meeting that GW proposed and put forward our views.
Lines have not been painted on main road as weather has been too cold.
26th. October 2010
There are to be some road markings on the main drive as well as the ‘Playground’ signs in an attempt to slow cars down near the new play area.
AC thought that there would be problems with an outside drinking fountain. Friends sited drinking fountains in other places and asked the secretary to raise the question again.
Walk4life would like to put a peoplemeter on the Woodland walk. Secretary has sent info on to AC.
Halloween Walks:- The remainder of the meeting was spent discussing the organisation of the Halloween Walks. There are to be 6 walks starting at 5.15pm. The last walk will be about 6.30pm. Many children have already booked.
VG has bought 2 new radios and together with the 3 ones we already have these will enable people to keep in contact.
28th. September 2010
Graham Workman from Lancashire Wildlife Trust, spoke to the meeting about the aspirations for the Wetland Area. It is hoped that the Three Sisters will be designated as a Local Nature Reserve. The Management plan is now in draft form and it is hoped that a Friends group will be set up to help with the site. There will be a meeting in the next month or so to kick start the project.
GW explained the proposed remit of this new group and hopes that the two groups will work together.
He also informed the group that he is hoping that the Wetland site will get SBI status [ Site of Biological Importance]
Members were invited to attend Wigan’s Woodland & Wetlands Volunteer Symposium on 24th October. Secretary to e mail GW with names.
JOHN HILL, from LCT Community Development Team, spoke to the group about a PARK WATCH scheme. All were enthusiastic about this.
He asked members to complete a SKILLS AUDIT and left copies which are to be returned to LCT, secretary will collect these.
Benches on Arena Hill this matter has been resolved, no benches to be removed but none added. Other locations are to be found around the site.
JW remarked that she had noticed the sign was now in place along the Main Drive.
Bookings are now coming in for Hallowe’en Walks. 5 Rangers have agreed to lead walks. Arrangements for Walks were discussed.
Secretary to send thanks to AC for picnic benches. These were now installed 2 near Play area, 1 on hill in ‘old play area’, 1 in middle of Arena hill. It is proposed to cover the metal seats with wood as per last bench installed, as people do not like sitting on the metal benches, they are too cold. Friends to pay for this work to be done. VG & TO to complete work.
PM has priced wood etc for bird pontoons. £700. He proposes that we refurbish the one pontoon that is still floating and then build a new one to replace the one that has sunk. Work to be done over the winter. It was agreed that PM should buy goods to value not to exceed £700 for a new pontoon and.the refurbishment of the old pontoon would be at an additional cost to this.
WORK DONE AT LAST WORK DAY:- Some work done on boat in preparation for its use to refurbish pontoons.
Reeds removed from dipping pond have been planted along the borders of main lake at far end.
Warning sign to play area is now in place.
Are there to be road markings? JW to e mail AC.
Walk4life 3 walks are now on the site.
Letter received saying our application to be a Community Member of Township Forum has been accepted. JW can not attend next Forum Meeting on 25th October and asked VG to attend for the group.
Two items received from AC.:-
1 Boat club would like to use lake for their meetings. All in favour with two queries which JW will forward to AC.
2 Info about a new hygiene suite to be built. This was welcomed. Will ask if a drinking fountain can be installed at same time.
Tuesday 29th June 2010
Identification Badges did not arrive but an e mail has been received from AC saying they had been posted. JW made temporary badges for use at Fun Day.
High viz jackets were bought by PB, printed with Friends name and logo.
Money had been donated to go towards a bird hide in memory of Gilbert Bolton. We have been unable to comply with this request so an alternative has been agreed with his widow. A picnic bench and table has been sited by the Dipping Pond and a plaque has been added to it.
The signs have been ordered for Main drive to warn traffic of children crossing from car park to playground.
Decorating in Visitor’s Centre is almost completed.
BENCHES ON ARENA HILL:-Complaints have been received about the positioning of the Memorial benches on Arena Hill. The matter was discussed and the meeting agreed that we should pass on these complains and concerns to the management with our comments.
The Wetland was now partly opened to the public but there was confusion about where the public could walk. Notices were not very clear or had been removed. It was suggested that a plan or map showing where people could go would be useful. VG said he would try to find a map. AO is to put up new notices.
THE FAMILY FUN DAY had been a great success with fine weather and over 3000 visitors. The Friends thanked the Rangers for their help in erecting the gazebos. However it was felt that a lone Ranger on the site when there were so many visitors was not satisfactory. The meeting thanked Lisa for all her hard work.
The treasurer produced a very comprehensive breakdown of income and expenditure on the Fun Day. Around £1000 was raised much of this from the Raffle. Secretary to send letters of thanks to people who donated prizes or helped on the day.
This was the last meeting before the Summer break.
The next meeting will therefore be at the end of September unless any urgent business arises.
Workdays will continue through the summer and secretary will continue to send out notices.
Tuesday 25th May 2010 Fifth Annual General Meeting.
There were no new nominations for Chair, Treasurer or Secretary so the present holders of these posts were re-elected for a further 12 months:-
Chair Vic Greenwood
Treasurer Peter Browne
Secretary Joy Winstanley.
No changes to the constitution had been received.
Treasurer collected Membership fees.
General meeting followed the AGM.
A room in the former Visitors’ Centre is to be made available for us to book people into events for the Fun Day. We would like the Visitors’ Centre to be returned to full public use once all officers are working from Haigh Hall.
Quad bikes are once again using the site and causing damage especially on the Heather patch.
Fun Day is organised forThursday 4th June but there will be only one Ranger on site. Posters to be distributed to local shops.
Audited accounts were distributed to Members.
April 27th 2010
- A group of horse riders attended and told the meeting of their problem moving from one bridleway to the next. They offered to raise funds to improve the path within the Three Sisters that connects the two bridle ways. Anne Cockram agreed to talk to the Rights of Way Officer and get back to the group.
- Anne Cockram wished to correct the misunderstandings about the Ranger Service which had been voiced at the last meeting. The information given was one suggestion put forward some time ago and was not the organisation that was now in place. She went on to address some of the concerns raised by members about reduced staff numbers and how this affected the safety issues raised.
AC informed the group that The House will remain the venue for some activities as at present. The former Visitors’ Centre is to stay in use as offices for the forseeable future. Chair thanked AC for her input to the meeting.
- Treasurer’s Report - Treasurer informed the meeting that the books had been audited and were ready for the AGM on 25th May.
- A member is to find out about kits to build new Bird Islands and report back to the meeting.
- Work done at last work day were noted and secretary asked for any new items to add to work list.
- Last work day:- Work done at last work day were noted and secretary asked for any new items to add to work list.
- Items concerning the Family Fun Day were discussed.
Our AGM is followed by a general meeting on Tuesday 25th May 2010
at 7.30 p.m.
in The House at the Three Sisters.
March 30th 2010
- Ranger Service - Great concern by many members about the reducing number of Rangers employed by WLCT. It is now very difficult to find a Ranger on the site.
The new Play Area is very popular and visitor numbers have increased greatly. Secretary asked to write to WLCT to express concerns.
- Item to add to jobs list - Potholes due to frost damage need repairing.
- Treasurer’s ReportCheque for Dave’s bench has been given to LCT. Balance of £50 to be used to buy bulbs to be planted at appropriate time. Dave’s family have chosen spot for bench and agreed wording for plaque.Secretary reminded Treasurer that books need to be audited for AGM in May. A suitable Auditor will be found.
- Secretary’s ReportList given to members of jobs to be done on work days.
- Raffle:-Tickets at printers, many prizes donated by local firms.
- Volunteers- Letter received from group wishing to work with The Friends on any project planned. LCT have been informed that we would like to work with this group. Awaiting response.
- Last work day:- Clearing the Woodland Path from Main gate to Play area.
- Engineers Fund - Waiting for information from Township Manager. Plan B could be a picnic table suitable for use by wheel chair users.
Councillors have agreed to give a donation to help fund the Family Fun Day from their Brighter Borough Budgets.
Next Meeting will be back in The House on the Three Sisters at 7;30pm on Tuesday 27th April
.Secretary to send letter of thanks to Caledonian for their help over the winter months.
March 9th 2010
- Easter Egg Hunt 77 children completed the Egg Hunt
accompanied by either Mums and Dads, Grandparents or Carers. A good
time was had by all and prizes of Easter Eggs were given to the
March 2nd 2010
- Horses - On going problem with horse riders on the footpaths causing damage and danger to pedestrians.
- Visitors' Centre - Management are leaving their temporary offices in the former Visitors’ Centre. We would like to see the room revert to its former use as a Meeting Room for various Users of the Three Sisters.
- Treasurer’s Report -Secretary gave a cheque for £80 which was further donations towards Dave’s bench.
- Secretary’s Report - Three members worked on the last work day planting daffodil bulbs round the play area and clearing plastic and litter from Arena Hill.
Need to be more proactive about work done on Work days. Suggested that a list be drawn up of work we think needs doing, share this with Ranger Service, add jobs as people notice them on their walks round the site. Suggestions should be e mailed to Chair or Secretary.
- Easter Egg Hunt - Organisation is under way.
Fun Day Raffle:- Confirm main prizes so tickets can be printed. JW & SMK to ask local shops for donations.
- Membership of Township ForumNo decision taken.
- Engineers Fund - Township Manager to get cost of improving access from Car Park to Play Area. Secretary to progress this item.
Next Meeting:- 30th March at The Caledonian Hotel, Bolton Rd. 7:30pm
2nd March 2010
Jan 26th, 2010
The meeting started with a one minute’s silent reflection to the memory of David McKendrick 1942 - 2009, founder member of the group.
- Halloween Walk - There was much positive feedback by email and word of mouth for our efforts.
- Horses are a continuing problem causing damage to paths.
- Map - It is proposed to place a large map of the area on the notice board.
- Play Area - This is now complete and the Ranger Service thanked us for our part in making this project come to completion. An official opening is to be arranged and we will be invited.
- Fun Day will be the 3rd. June. Budget to be confirmed.
- Treasurer reported that £420 had been donated from members of the public for a bench to the memory of David McKendrick to be sited on the Three Sisters Recreation Area. Balance stood at £2280.27 of which £420 is for a bench and £300 is a donation towards a bird hide in the new Wetland Area.
- Membership of the Township Forum would be reviewed at the next meeting.
- Engineers Fund - two projects suggested. Refurbishment of the island in the lake and foot path markers were to be costed.
- Lotteries licence was applied for.
- Plan for work days was request of the Trust for tasks that are within the capabilities of the group.
October 29th, 2009
Over 170 adults and children took part in the annual Hallowe'en Walk round the site, with the aid of Rangers and the Friends. The event raised almost £60 for Friends' funds.
October 27th, 2009
- Centre car park. The signs were reported to be at regulation height, but it was still felt that shorter signs would be more appropriate and were in use in other places.
- Dog fouling. The rangers were now being supplied with bin bags and these were being emptied.
- Traffic calming. The yellow lines on Three Sisters Road had been discussed with the Council's safety officer and felt to be appropriate. However, racetrack traffic was still exiting the site at excessive speed and represented a danger to pedestrians.
- Play area. Work was progressing and the fencing was now being installed.
- Raffle. The Secretary had obtained costings for an extended raffle next spring. It was agreed that this should go ahead and a licence should be purchased.
- Winter venue. It was agreed that winter meetins would take place at the Caledonian Hotel.
- Noticeboard. The perspex had been obtained and the Chair was approaching a local firm to make the door frame.
- Horse riders. Some were still using unauthorised paths and presenting a safety hazard. The old stile at the end of Kestrel path leading on to Viridor Wood required a 'pinch point' to restrict access and signage was needed.
- Hallowe'en. The remainder of the meeting was taken up with discussing arrangements for the Hallowe'en fun evening to be held this Thursday.
September 22nd, 2009
- New wildlife pond. The pond is open but other footpaths are still dangerous.
- Site maintenance. AC said that work was now underway and several paths had already been strimmed.
- Dog fouling. Several members agreed that the new bag system had cleaned up many areas but felt that volunteers should not be supplying bags and emptying them. AC said she would arrange for a supply of bags to be made available. The Rangers were now doing some of the emptying and she suspected that the system would be reviewed by LCT in the near future. Several companies produce plastic bag clamps to turn a bag into a more secure bin. Each costs about £35. WLCT would have to agree to the clamps and lids being put on the site.
- Task days. The purchase of High Visibility Waistcoats was raised and AC said she could provide 10 of these. It is to be decided if we should get them printed.
- Ranger's items. Hallowe’en Walks to go ahead on 29th October, 5 walks starting 4.45pm, last walk 6.00pm. JW to sort out sweets as last year and prepare new Donations bucket. No raffle this year. Final arrangements to be discussed at next meeting, 27th October.
- Play area project. Since the last meeting there had been rapid developments. Funding had been secured by the Trust and work had commenced. The playground was expected to be completed by Xmas.
- Centre car park. Several members voiced their concerns about the car park, speed bumps and double yellow lines on Three Sisters Road. There were complaints about the new 'No Entry' signs on the car park, which are obtrusive. AC explained that these were not the correct signs and would be lowered.
- Refurbishing bird islands on lake. A boat has been donated but needs some work on it. It will be useful for work on the floating bird islands, but JW pointed out that all equipment needed to be ready and we need to know that members will be available to do the work. A specific date should be set.
- Treasurer's report. Funds stand at £1517.72. The Fun Day raised £470, but we needed an analysis of sources. No cheque has been received from Brighter Boroughs - VG to follow this up.
- Publicity. The group’s information has been entered onto the Wigan Libraries Database.
- Task mornings. JW and AC have devised a new system to alert Rangers to the next Friend’s work day. It had worked well for the last work day. JW asked if a list could be compiled of regular, seasonal work that could be done on the work days. This had been asked for before but nothing has happened.
- Raffles. JW expressed her concern about the Fun Day raffle. She felt that such good prizes should be bringing in more money. She will investigate the cost of having tickets printed and registering with Small Lotteries.
- Last task morning. JW and Jean White worked on the house garden. VG removed some broken bottles from dipping pond and then helped with gardens.
- Website. DMcK has asked if the Friends will now fund the website domain name. He has paid for it up to date and the fee is due shortly. It will cost £6.75 for 2 years. Meeting agreed.
- Horses. Complaints had been received about horse manure on footpaths and horses galloping along paths. The step-over stiles have been removed to allow disabled access and this has made access for horses easier. AC has written to the local stables asking horse riders to keep to the bridleway and not use the footpaths.
Family Fun Day: May 28th, 2009.
Volunteers from the Friends' group again assisted with the fun day, holding a white elephant stall and raffle, and assisting with badge-making, canoeing and car parking. The weather was dry but cloudy, and attendance appeared less than last year. Once again members of the public enjoyed the event.
May 26th, 2009
Annual General Meeting
All Officers were re-elected: Vic Greenwood as Chair; Joy Winstanley as Secretary; and Peter Browne as Treasurer. The constitution was amended to recognise that the management of parts of the Three Sisters could be carried out by other bodies besides Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust.
- Wetland. A meeting of the Leisure and Culture Trust and other bodies was due to take place to decide details of the management of the wetland area. It was noted that the public were still accessing the area despite it being a nature reserve, and it was suggested that an information panel was needed to educate people.
- Playground project. Joy Winstanley had now walked the paths with Ann Cochran. The next step would be to design and cost markers for the individual walks, and identify suitable paths for people with mobility scooters. Now that the main playground project would be funded from government monies, the Friends could seek funding specifically for the pathways.
- Dog fouling. Vic Greenwood had placed bags in an area which had been littered with bags of dog faeces and these were being used. It was felt that regular provision of a bin bag would save the Rangers work in clearing litter and should be adopted as part of their duties.
- Communication. Concern was expressed that there was an apparent lack of feedback from the Trust on matters raised at the Friends' meetings, which raised doubts as to the extent that the Trust valued the work of the group. It was agreed that the Chair and Secretary draft a letter to the Trust expressing this concern.
- Maintenance. It was felt that there was evidence of lack of maintenance of the site, eg. overgrown footpaths.
- Visitor Center. Although the loss of use of the Visitor Centre for the public had been described as a temporary measure, alterations being carried out suggested a more permanent use as an administrative centre for the Trust. The Chair was asked to enquire when the Centre would be again made available for public use.
- Notice Board. It was noted that a recent volunteer was a joiner and suggested that he might be commissioned to make the doors for the notice board. The Chair again agreed to follow this up.
- Fun Day. This was scheduled for Thursday, and Lisa Appleton outlined the programme. Plans were made for the involvement of Friends volunteers on the day.
April 28th, 2009
- Play area project. Next week Joy Winstanley and Ann Cochran were walking the proposed footpaths for the project to determine work and costings for the bid. Wigan Council had secured further funding from play monies for the project and it was expected that work would commence in the next twelve months.
- Litter bin. The Township Forum would fund the additonal bin once the rangers had determined the location and arrangements for emptying.
- Donation. A further donation of £270 had been received towards funding a bird hide on the new wetland area in memory of Gilbert Bolton.
- Edmund Arrowsmith school. The school had expressed an interest in participating in projects at Three Sisters.
- Wetland area. Temporary fencing had been erected to protect the area but arrangements for public access still needed defining. Also, some ponds appeared to be losing water.
- Rangers report. Jenny discussed the arrangements for the forthcoming fun day and sought volunteers from the group.
March 31st, 2009
- Three Sisters - Events. It was noted that the Easter Hunt was coming up, but the Friends hadn't received sufficient notice to request assistance, which meant that several members weren't available.
- Ashton Guides. A local Guides' troop was keen to assist in future events.
- Rangers' Report. No ranger was in attendance, but Graham Workman had asked that the group publicises that the new wetland area should not be used by the public until fencing was in place, as people and dogs were disturbing the wildlife.
- Footpath access from main car park. Work had been carried out to drop the kerb and install bollards to improve access. It was felt that the gravel surface at the footpath entrance needed a gritsand topping to avoid the gravel being scattered.
- Litter bin. The need for a litter bin at the far end of the main path was again emphasised.
- Notice Board. The Chair had still to obtain an estimate for the doors.
- Donation. Tony Oldfield gave a £50 donation to the group in memory of Gilbert Bolton, to be used to help fund one of the new bird hides. He asked if it could be named in his memory and all agreed that this would be a suitable gesture.
- Rumble Strips It was noted that the new rumble strips at the site entrance were causing concern to users because of the vibration even at low speeds.
- Play Area Bid. No progress had yet been made by the Trust in carrying out their necessary action in order to allow the bid to proceed. The Secretary agreed to take this up, as the bid was in danger of failing.
February 24th, 2009
- Play Area Bid. The Friends were still awaiting the approval of the Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust for the costings and layout of the suggested walks before the bid could be submitted. Concern was expressed at the delay.
- 2009 Fun Day. It was noted that this would take place on Thursday, 28th May.
- Safety measures on Three Sisters Road. Yellow lines and a rumble strip had been installed at the exit to the Three Sisters, but if anything this was exaggerating the problem of speeding cars leaving the site from the race track.
- Car Parks. These had been resurfaced, but there was concern that the surface was already breaking up.
- Wetland Project. The bid for fencing had been rejected. This was disappointing, as the wetland area was developing well. A question was raised about public access and it was noted that the sluices had been installed, resulting in deep water channels and ponds; therefore it was intended that the public had access only to part of the site, hence the need for fencing.
- New education pond. The plastic revetment was proving unsatisfactory and needed replacing.
- Dog waste. There was a continuing and increasing problem with dog waste. Although funding for an additional bin had been allocated from the Township Forum there was difficulty in arranging the emptying of the bin. The Friends had been unable to make progress on this issue, and it was suggested that members of the public concerned about the problem should contact their local councillor.
- Notice Board. Liz and Paul had obtained perspex for the cover. It was agreed that the Chair would contact a local joiner for an estimate for fitting wooden doors to the board.
- Partnership Convention. Joy Winstanley reported that she had attended this event on behalf of the Friends.
November 25th, 2008
- Rangers' Service. Ann Cochran, Parks Officer Central, attended the meeting and discussed her role as manager of Three Sisters and other parks in the Wigan area. She had experience of working with Friends groups and looked forward to working with FOTS.
- Officers' meeting with Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust and the Wildlife Trust. The Chair and Secretary had met to discuss the development of the wetland area. Plans are proceeding with a view to the area becoming a Local Nature Reserve, managed by the Wildlife Trust, and incorporating an education centre. The Friends had been invited to extend their remit to include the wetland area, and with the assistance of the Trust to apply for £10,000 funding to secure fencing and screens to enhance and protect the area. Tony Oldfield had agreed to join the Friends and to take on the recording of bird species using the new wetland area.
- Notice Board. Still awaiting materials for construction of the doors. Ann Cochran agreed to supply a map of the Three Sisters for the notice board once it had been completed.
- Play Area Bid. Joy Winstanley reported on progress of the sub-group. Final preparations were in hand for submission of the bids for funding. As part of the project the sub-group had prepared suggested walks in keeping with the bid, and maps of these were given to the Parks Officer for approval and outline costings. It was noted that orienteering maps were already in existence for the site. It was also noted that a priority for the walks and for existing users was the creation of disabled access from the Visitor Centre car park to the main path.
- Horse Riders. It was noted that inconsiderate horse riding was again taking place on the site, with horses being allowed to stray from the main bridle path and also galloping across the meadow from the arena path.
October 31st, 2008
Once again the Friends assisted the Rangers in providing a Scary Hallowe'en Walk. Over a hundred booked on this year's walk, which again proved a success.
The winning numbers for the raffle were:
Please take your winning ticket to the Rangers' office to collect your prize.
- 114 Box of chocolates
- 104 Box of chocolates
- 86 Jelly Babies
- 74 Rangers lucky bag
- 84 Rangers lucky bag
October 28th, 2008
- Playground Project. Joy Winstanley reported that the project would incorporate woodland walks, and the bid was being prepared for submission.
- Hallowe'en. Plans for the event on Friday were finalised.
- Wetland Project. It was noted that an interpretation board had now been installed by the new education pond. The Mayor would be attending an official opening of the wetland area on Thursday and Vic Greenwood was representing the Friends of Three Sisters.
September 30th, 2008
- Promotional banner. Now obtained.
- Footpath by septic tank. Requires resurfacing.
- Ice-cream van. Public were complaining that noise, fumes and leakage from the van were spoiling enjoyment of the area by the lake and suggesting that the van be moved further away.
- Old dipping pond. This was becoming overgrown with rushes, and a tree was leaning on the fencing.
- Car parking. People felt there was a shortage of spaces now that the Trust staff were based at the Three Sisters. It was suggested that the surfaces on the car parks off the main drive could be improved to encourage more use of these.
- Task mornings. It was agreed these be changed to the second Sunday in each month.
- Work to Centre. Sharon Saunders had replied to correspondence and outlined the work intended to take place at the Visitor's Centre.
- Playground. The Trust had written given formal permission for the playground to be sited at the Three Sisters.
- Engineers' Fund 2007. The fund had met the costs of the new woodland walk at the site entrance.
- Engineers' Fund 2008. It was agreed that the fund be asked to meet the costs of a new litter bin and an interpretation panel to be sited by the main car park.
- Council for Voluntary Service. The Friends were now members.
- Environmental Forum. The Trust had suggested that groups such as the Friends might welcome a forum to raise issues and aid communication.
- Hallowe'en. Jen outlined a programme for this year's event, to be held on the 31st October. It was agreed that the next task morning be used to prepare material.
- Trees offer. Kate Horgan from the Forestry Commission said she had had an offer of tree planting, and asked if any local groups would appreciate this.
- Apple Day. The Forestry Commission is running an event on Sunday 25th October for local children at Viridor Wood.
June 24th, 2008
- History booklet. No further progress. It was suggested that a heritage grant could be sought to make progress with this if the Leisure and Culture Trust did not proceed with it.
- Entrance footpath. This still required some finishing off, and Kath Godfrey had suggested that a grant could be sought for improvements to the surrounding woodland.
- Friends' banner. D McKendrick had prepared the artwork and P Smith would approach Copycats for a quote.
- Management changes at Three Sisters. It was noted that John Woodward had not been successful in the recent managerial appointments, and the group wished to meet the new manager of the Three Sisters in order to discuss future relationships and activities.
- Change in use of the Visitors' Centre. It was noted that the office alterations were removing the meeting room. The Secretary was asked to write to the Trust regretting the loss of this important educational and social facility, and also enquiring about the effects on disabled parking through office staff using the car park.
- Notice board. Liz Cook agreed to enquire about progress with the perspex covers for the board.
- Stubshaw Cross Residents' Group. This group was holding a local History Night at the Labour Club and had invited attendance from the Friends.
- Campaign for Ashton. Local MP Ian McCartney had written to the group inviting views on his campaign to bring investment into Ashton. The Chair agreed to reply.
- Playground project. The Secretary reported that the new Coalfield Challenge criteria might not include the bid previously prepared. She was checking this, and also sounding out alternative sources of funding.
- Township Forum monies. The Township Environmental Group was again making Council monies available to local groups, and the sum of £1,000 was being offered this year. On discussion, it was noted that certain areas of the Three Sisters were particularly gathering litter, and agreed that a bid should be made for two additional litter bins.
June 3rd, 2008
Annual General Meeting.
All officers were re-elected. The Constitution was amended to include the fact that the association is 'not-for-profit'.
- Ranger's Report (John Woodward):
- Fun Day. He expressed appreciation for the help afforded by the Friends and volunteers.
- Restructuring. The re-organisation of the rangers service was continuing, which would produce changes for the senior staff and temporary alteration of use of the visitors' centre.
- Booklet. The Trust were planning to produce information on the Three Sisters based on the information prepared by Ian Winstanley.
- New footpath. It was noted that the new entrance footpath through the woodland was complete and in use.
- Fun Day. Almost £500 had been raised by the raffles, tombola and white elephant stall. This would allow funding of projects to improve the Three Sisters, and the Chair asked members to bring suggestions to the next meeting.
- Big Thank You.. The Secretary showed the certificate for the award made to the Friends.
- Youth involvement.. The Secretary had approached a local youth group in order to encourage youth involvement in the work at Three Sisters.
- Banner.. After discussion it was agreed that the group should purchase a banner in order to help promote its work at public events.
- Playground Project. The Secretary reported that she was still pursuing possible sources of funding.