Website Contact: Paul Turner, Editor (01256 381269) Ellisfield’s Community Website
We are a non-
We act as contractors for the Parish Council for the regular grass cutting of the Lower Common, Gravel Pits and Parish Burial Ground. Some of the volunteers also undertake regular clearing and maintenance of Ellisfield's footpaths.
Grass cutting is usually done every two weeks during the growing season. The year’s Schedule shows the cutting day as being a Saturday but volunteers can decide when they actually do the work (for some a weekday evening is best whereas others, especially those who have retired, may find it more convenient to do the work during a week day). The only restriction is that work at the Burial Ground is not permitted on a Sunday.
For general information please contact our secretary Janette Bacon on 01256 381234.
The current committee comprises:
Coordinator for Lower Common
Coordinator for the Gravel Pits
Vacancy (G. Simpson)
Coordinator for the Burial Ground
EVG's Representative on the Memorial Hall Committee
Virtual Annual General Meeting
The Annual General Meeting of the Ellisfield Voluntary Group was held on Zoom on Friday, January 29 2021. Here are the Meeting’s Minutes.
EVG Article: First appearing in the March 2020 edition of Hill & Dale
New to Ellisfield?
Want to find out more about village life?
Interested in volunteering?
Find out how with the Ellisfield Volunteer Group (EVG)
The Ellisfield Volunteer Group (EVG) maintains the grassed areas of the Burial Ground
(behind St. Martin's Church in Church Lane) -
The work is mainly grass cutting and a year-
The EVG is made up of a committee including a coordinator for each of the three areas plus as many Ellisfield residents who are willing to volunteer. The Group is financed by an annual grant from the Parish Council, which for this year is £1,450, and that covers the cost of fuel, machinery maintenance, insurance, garaging of the mowers and strimmers, capital depreciation (to fund replacement equipment) and a social evening of wine, cheese and nibbles after the Annual General Meeting.
The EVG has been running since around 2003. At the time, the cost to the Parish Council (and, obviously, then on to every Ellisfield household via the annual Parish Council Tax) of a contractor cutting just the Lower Common was about £2,000 a year. So, allowing for 17 years of inflation and that we now also maintain the two additional areas, the Group certainly pays for itself. And, without the volunteers, the Parish Council Tax for all Ellisfield households would be much higher than it is at the moment. Also, the areas are cut more frequently and kept neater. Cowslips appear in the spring at the Gravel Pit and we take care to ensure these are left to flower and flourish.
The work generally takes between an hour or two, usually on a Saturday but it can be any day (other than a Sunday for the Burial Ground only). There are always at least two volunteers at every cut (for safety's sake), with each volunteer committing to cutting the grass just once or twice a year. The more volunteers we have, the fewer sessions each volunteer has to commit to.
However, there is more to volunteering than keeping the Parish Council Tax lower. Volunteering is good for encouraging pride in living in Ellisfield, good for galvanising the community and good for integrating new residents into village life.
So, if you’re new to Ellisfield and would like to get involved in village life, or if you have (or not!) volunteered in the past and would now like to do so, please contact either:
Graham Simpson, Chairman (381381 / email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Janette Bacon, Secretary (381234) / email: email@example.com)
You can also find out more by visiting the Group's page on the Ellisfield Community
Friday February 7, 2020: Annual General Meeting and Social
Here are the Meeting Minutes (including Graham Simpson’s Chairman’s Report of 2019).
Friday February 1, 2019: Ellisfield Volunteer Group's AGM
Here are the Meeting Minutes (including Andy Swanston’s Chairman’s Report of 2018).
Friday February 23, 2018: Ellisfield Volunteers Group’s AGM
As always, the AGM went smoothly and, as per last year, lasted just 25 minutes.
There were no changes to the committee and the grant requested of Ellisfield Parish Council remained at £1,450.
Here are the Meeting Minutes (including Andy Swanston’s Chairman’s Report of 2017).
Friday February 24, 2017: Ellisfield Volunteers Group’s AGM
Friday evening’s AGM took 25 minutes to complete the formal business (but then it DID start 2 minutes early!), thus failing to beat 2015’s record of 18 minutes.
There was only one committee change. Hannah Houstin-
It was decided to keep the grant requested of Ellisfield Parish Council at £1,450, the same as has been asked for the last three years.
The Lower Common and Gravel Pit mowers will be replaced before cutting starts this year.
A new grass collection “pen” for the Burial Ground will be created, accessible from the Burial Ground itself. Also, with the recent clearance of the flood pit at the rear of the Lower Common, a new area will be designated for dumping grass cuttings. Signage will be installed, indicating that the area is for cuttings from Lower Common only and not to be used for resident’s garden waste.
Here is Andy Swanston’s Chairman’s Report of 2016. The 2016 Accounts will be available here soon.
Sat December 10, 2016: Year End Clear-
The following residents volunteered to do a Year End Clear-
Paul Brown (coordinator)
Graham Simpson (coordinator)
Andy Swanston (coordinator)
Gavin (or Janey) Park-
Tue January 26, 2016: Ellisfield Volunteers Group’s AGM
Monday evening’s AGM took 23 minutes to complete the formal business, thus failing to beat last year’s record of 18 minutes.
There were a few committee changes. Margaret Evans stepped down as co-
January 25, 2016: 2016 Cutting Schedule
The 2016 Cutting Schedule PDF (V4 / January 26, 2016) for Lower Common, Gravel Pits and Burial Ground has now been published.
January 16, 2015: Ellisfield Volunteer Group's AGM
Another record broken!
EVG's well attended annual general meeting lasted just 18 minutes-
As expected, the group voted to continue the maintenance of the Lower Common, Burial Ground and Gravel Pit for another year. It was also decided to not increase the charge made to the Parish Council for the work. The committee members remain unchanged.
A PDF of the Chairman’s Report for 2014 is HERE.
AGM and Social Evening, held on Friday Jan 24, 2014
The well attended Annual General Meeting of the Group took take place on Friday, January 24, 2014, starting at 8pm. As usual, it was held at the Memorial Hall, Church Lane.
The formal proceedings (including Any Other Business discussions at the end of the meeting) took just 32 minutes. An excellent example of the efficiency of the Group (and, as it was pointed out, three minutes faster that last year!).
All current committee members were voted back on except for Steve Brown who had decided to stand down after a number of years of service to the Group. Graham Simpson was elected (proposed and seconded, with extraordinary alacrity, by Steve Brown and Paul Turner) as coordinator for the Burial Ground. Ray Reed was also elected to serve as EVG's representative on the Memorial Hall Committee.
The formal proposal that “EVG shall continue operations in 2014” was passed unanimously.
The meeting was followed by refreshments. A PDF of the Chairman’s Report for 2013 is HERE.
A PDF of the group's Constitution is HERE.
The three Instructions & Risk Assessment documents for work done at Lower Common, Burial Ground and Gravel Pits are available by clicking on the relevant links, as follows:
Lower Common Instructions & Risk Assessment document (V7: March 9, 2021)
Burial Ground Instructions & Risk Assessment document (V10: March 9, 2021)
Gravel Pits Instructions & Risk Assessment document (V9: March 9, 2021)
Ellisfield Volunteer Group (EVG) is fully covered by a Public Liability Insurance policy. If you would like details of the policy, please speak to the Secretary or Chairman (contact details above).
The open grass area on the north side of Lower Common is mown as often as needed.
The high period of activity is from April to July when the grass needs cutting every
14 days or so.
The grass takes around two hours to mow, using two mowers -
In the Autumn, the wildflower strip is strimmed and the cuttings taken off site to stop the soil becoming enriched.
There are two distinct jobs, strimming around the graves and mowing the grass. It's been found to be easier (and safer) to keep the two things separate, but this does add to the difficulty of scheduling volunteers.
Because of the difficulty of strimming and mowing around graves, it takes two volunteers at least an hour to strim (which is only done periodically, when needed) and another hour to mow.
In the Autumn, the fallen leaves are cleared away.
Because of the size of the open grass area, this is the easiest site to keep maintained.
An experiment took place whereby areas of grass were left to naturalise with paths in and around these areas being close cut.
However, the residents living near to the Gravel Pits did not like this idea and the area is now mowed the same height.
The edges and ditches are cleared every Autumn.
The PDF of the 2021 Cutting Schedule for the Lower Common, Gravel Pits and Burial
can be displayed by clicking on this box.
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