Our thanks to everyone who attended our first 'ZOOM AGM'; just short of 30 of our partners, members and volunteers were in attendance. We successfully mastered the necessary protocols and requirements, and for that we thank you.
The last 12 months have been like no other and a challenge for all. The Chair of the Sandstone Ridge Trust gave his Annual Report in the light of Covid-19.
- He reported on 'What Might Have Been' as we were (at that time) on the cusp of new applications for funding in line with our 5 Year Strategic Plan; funding which would have facilitated new projects to meet our key priorities.
- In the light of the pandemic, however, he then reported on 'What We've Been Doing', not least in unpicking Government Policy relating to the Green Industrial Strategy, the Agriculture Bill and the (now postponed) Environment Bill. In particular, the Chair welcomed 'Tarporley' to the meeting (members of Tarporley PC were in attendance) as we seek to develop 'Heart of the Ridge' status and local economic benefits for this settlement. Some projects were able to continue (albeit socially distanced when the 'rule of six' applied), notably our 'Beneath the Ridge' and our 'Pictorial, Then and Now' projects. Several desk-top exercises have also been undertaken and volunteers have researched some tremendous topics regarding the rich and varied heritage and bio-diversity of The Ridge. It was also reported that Edward Timpson MP has been involved in discussions with us, supporting our campaign for Sandstone Ridge AONB status. Regular SRT Zoom Board Meetings have continued throughout the pandemic; we have appointed a new Book-Keeper, and our Website has provided a variety of news stories affecting the Ridge, thereby keeping everyone connected in these uncertain times.
- Finally, the Chair outlined 'What Next' as we move forward (hopefully beyond the pandemic).
Our new Book-Keeper, Alex Roberts, presented the Accounts; Dr Peter Winn gave a fascinating report on our ongoing projects relating to 'Beneath the Ridge', not least the discovery of a pristine Adit; and those in attendance were given a short update on The Farmer Network (the Rural Payments Agency having been approached to roll over funding which is in place until 31 March 2021, for another year).
Re-election of Trustees took place and a new Trustee was appointed to the team, Dr. Nick Holmes — our congratulations to him.
Many thanks to all who attended and for your continued support.
Best wishes, Andrew Hull, Chair.