Due to COVID-19, the Forum had not held an AGM since November 2019. It finally did so on 22 February 2022. It was pleasing that around 60 people came along and, before the formal business began, listened to a talk from local farmer Steve Conisbee, who also spoke to the 20217 Forum AGM soon after commencing farming in Pyrford.
Steve farms many of the fields around Pyrford, including the two fields either side of Upshot Lane, to provide meat for F. Conisbee & Son, quality butchers since 1760 based in East Horsley. It is the oldest family butchers in Surrey and is run by the ninth generation of the Conisbee family.
Steve covered many of the challenges he and his 27 staff face in farming his many acres. These included:-
impact of rights of way across fields and the tensions caused between walkers, dogs, and livestock. He mentioned that in one area the issues had become so bad, that one member of the public was prosecuted and fined.
financial; balancing rising costs and lower returns since Brexit and COVID. He was currently reviewing the implications for future activities
climate change and how best to respond. Steve mentioned that there were fewer ruminants now than 200 years ago. In Pyrford, the loss of around 1 in 15 newly planted trees, mainly due to the local soil type
The Chair thanked the Committee for all their support and hard work and the financial support from the Resident’s Association, Cllr Liz Bowes, and members of the “200 Club”.
He also reported on the key milestones since November 2019:-
- the redesignation of the Forum in December 2020 for five years; approval of the site Allocations DPD in December 2020 and its consequences for the Forum Area;
- The Wild Side Tea Party (which was so popular that the fifty places available sold out within 48 hours);
- transfer of ownership of 100 acres from Traditions Gold Course and
- release of £14,000 of Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy to assist the Pyrford Cricket Club in refurbishing their pavilion.
Other activities reported on included; mending a bridge on footpath 81; a litter pick on Pyrford Common; Wild Pyrford episodes, Pyrford Portraits interviews and sale of the Heritage DVD.
The last topic was to report on proposed activities in 2022, such as:-
- Another Litter Pick
- Another Big Night Out
- A second Wild Side Tea Party
- A Heritage Walk around Pyrford led by Ian Wakeford
- Nature Surveys
The exact date & times of these events have yet to be agreed, but details will be published in the Monthly Newsletter. If you are interested and don’t currently receive the Forum Newsletter, then Register to Join the Forum in the panel on the right hand side of this page.