Do you want the good news or the bad news?
It's May already - where did the time go? We'd hoped to be busy doing things on the land by now but that will have to wait a little longer. Let's get the bad news out of the way first:
Boooo, bad news!
Our first bit of annoying news is that we've got rather a lot of Japanese knotweed on the land. This isn't a surprise as it pops up all over the place and loves to grow by railway lines. If you're not familiar with knotweed it's a right pain - it was introduced here as an ornamental plant before people realised that it's a bit of a bully. It can regrow from the tiniest scraps of root which are often buried up to 7 feet deep. It's considered controlled waste so we can't touch it or really do anything on the site until it's been treated and - despite our best efforts - the spring window of opportunity to treat it closed before we could arrange things with the council. A little bit of good news though is that the council will treat it in September and have kindly offered to roll our site into their general knotweed treatment plan. With consistent treatment it'll hopefully be under control in three or four years.
The bigger bit of bad news is that another application to a major funder has been unsuccessful. However we are not disheartened as we understand how massively over subscribed grant givers are and we've had some really useful feedback which will give us a better chance of success when we resubmit. We've got other funding bids lined up to go too and we'll let you know as soon as we know anything.
What about the good news?
This is actually GREAT news - when we first began discussions with the council about the lease for the land we expected to get a fifteen-year lease - we've now secured twenty! The legal documents are currently with our solicitor and should be finalised shortly. Although we can't start work on the land before planning permission is secured this news brings us one step closer to getting things moving.
Finally, we were so happy and touched to receive over thirty applications for the project steering group - thank you. We'll introduce you to our new group as soon as we possibly can.
Thanks for reading and do stay in touch with ideas, feedback and comments.