Foreword by Carol Cooper, Chairman
The past year has been a time of great change within the Trust. We bade farewell to Andy Cutts (Countryside Officer), who set off on an adventure of a lifetime to Australia. Carrie Hallam our Community Development Officer went on maternity leave, Jackie Cornish joined us as the Volunteer Officer to run the volunteering programme for the year and last, but by no means least, we started building the Trust’s new office on Darby Road.
Veronica Cossons also stood down as a Trustee and we welcomed John Box, a local ecologist, in her place. Veronica was one of the original Trustees who helped establish the Trust on firm ecological principles and we are indebted to her for her many years of service.
Despite the changes much has been achieved over the year. The Telford Access to Nature Partnership has begun to deliver improved access throughout Telford, which has encouraged many more people to visit their ‘doorstep countryside’. The centre spread of this years’ review celebrates our work with local contractors. Over the past fifteen years the Trust has built up a good network of solid professionals who can be relied on to deliver high quality work. Being a
contractor often involves buying and maintaining a variety of machinery, getting trained in many different skills, providing insurances, dealing with the public on site, as well as the often unpredictable British weather. But it also may involve running a small business, learning about book keeping , VAT returns, tendering for work, ordering materials , managing people, updating skills such as first aid and applying for grants. Much of this has to be done in the evenings and weekends. So our warmest thanks are due to all of these people. Your hard work is appreciated.
The Trust has also been successful in its Higher Level Stewardship application to continue to manage its wildflower meadows to a high standard, and is working with local people to build up the native breed sheep flock which is proving a great success. With its fabulous new, highly sustainable timber framed offices now completed on Darby Road, the Trust is well placed for the future. There are financial challenges ahead, in terms of the downturn in the rental income we receive from some of our business properties so careful monitoring of next year’s budget will be vital.
We as Trustees will work with the staff to support them in meeting these challenges. Thank you to everyone- staff, volunteers, Trustees and all those who help us in so many ways. Your support is vital to the continuation of the work we do.