Dave Purnell: Report to Parish Meeting, Stinchcombe Hill Trust
I am the Parish Council’s representative to the Stinchcombe Hill Trustees and have held the position for a number of years. North Nibley Parish covers the smallest part of the hill, the rest of it is covered by Stinchcombe, Cam and Dursley parishes.
For legal reasons, to protect themselves, the Trustees are now directors of the “Stinchcombe Hill Trust“.
The meetings are normally held twice a year to consider the smooth use of the hill etc. During the past year the meetings have been primarily concerned with two issues:-
the ongoing need to renegotiate a new lease with the Golf Club;
The ongoing issues surrounding the conservation of the Hill, both on the flat top and the slopes of the Hill.
The Golf Club has just 16 years left of its lease and it is in the interest of both parties (Trustees and golfers) to agree a new lease. As far as the Trustees are concerned a new lease will mean we have a realistic annual income. (Currently we only have £13.00 per annum from the lease) from which to manage the Hill. The Golf Club would get a new security of tenure to enable them to plan their future.
The conservation issues involve management of the Hill. Although much of the work on the top of Hill is managed by the Golf Club, the slopes are a great concern as without management the encroachment of scrub would change the Hill completely. For several years the Trustees have been working with Natural England to create a grazing scheme for the slopes, funding being the biggest issue. This is still awaiting progress, however from the latest understanding we may not now be successful and once again it will be “back to the drawing board” as far as funding is concerned.
We were pleased, however to learn that the scheme for management as put forward, has been approved.