Welcome to the fourth Annual General Meeting of The Friends of Ingrebourne Valley and Hornchurch Country Park.
The Friends Group was officially formed on 21st April 2012 following an initial period of consultation with park users and local residents undertaken by the Ingrebourne Valley Project, a partnership between the London Borough of Havering and Essex Wildlife Trust. The Friends Group has five key aims and objectives:
1. To promote the wide and responsible use of The Valley.
2. To enhance The Valley for the benefit of the whole community.
3. To improve the recreational, environmental and educational facilities of The Valley.
4. To enhance, protect and promote the natural environment of The Valley
5. To protect and promote any historical artefacts and the heritage of The Valley.
This year has seen the opening of the much anticipated Essex Wildlife Trust Ingrebourne Valley Visitor Centre. As anticipated, this has proved to be extremely popular and a big boost to The Valley.
One issue that we have long recognised is the lack of a permanent memorial to commemorate the role of the site in both the First and Second World Wars. Our Historical Group have been working hard with both Havering Council and Essex Wildlife Trust throughout the year to rectify this. I’m delighted that our joint application for funding has been approved and that work on this project will commence shortly.
Throughout the year the Friends Group have been an active partner in the Rivers Roding, Beam & Ingrebourne Catchment Plan (RBI Catchment Plan). This initiative stems from the European Water Framework Directive which aims to improve quality in all water bodies in Europe. The RBI Catchment Plan is co-chaired by Thames 21 and the Thames Chase Trust and it's members includes local London Boroughs, Wildlife Trusts, Thames Water, RSPB, Environment Agency, Forestry Commission and ourselves.
The Friends Group have attended a number of workshops and field surveys designed to identify potential problems and find possible solutions with the ultimate aim of improving the water quality throughout the Ingrebourne Valley. Additionally, members have also undertaken additional work with the Environment Agency, Essex Wildlife Trust and the Havering Wildlife Project on field surveys to identify potential sites where water levels, water quality and invasive species may be monitored and recorded, again with a view to identifying potential problems and solutions that may effect the River Ingrebourne.
This is the start of a series of collaborations which we believe will have a significant long term beneficial effect on our Valley
Whether your interest is in history, nature, cycling, walking or just enjoying our great Country Park, we look forward to seeing as many people as possible joining us to contribute to what promises to be another very busy and important year.
Finally, after 4 years as Chairman I have decided to stand down and let someone else take the Group forward. I’d like to thank all our members, particularly our Committee members, together with Havering Council Parks Department and Essex Wildlife Trust for all their help and support over the years and I wish you all every success for the future.
Dave Cook: Chairman.
Friends of Ingrebourne Valley and Hornchurch Country Park