Minutes of BOG Business & Potato Day Sub-group meetings 


January 8th 2012    Sue Watts house, Berwick




Business meeting




Present: Robert Leetham, Jennifer Croall, Jennifer Britain, Liz Howell, Monica Bolton, Sarah Eno, Marina Catt, David Catt, Maggie Warner, Cheryl Grassam, Pam Boyd, Sandy Irvine, Susan Watts, David Griggs


1.Apologies: Roberta Carruthers, Judith Davison, Val & Bill Smith, Prue Pullen, Lesley Angell, Sarah & Blair Cummock, Liz Bennet, Liz Cameron, Graham & Rosemary Bell, Judith & Robin Wolfe.


2. Minutes of business meeting 20 09 11 held at Yarrowford (Sarah Eno’s). Proposed: Susan Watts. Seconded: Sarah Eno. Approved

3. Matters arising from minutes of business meeting 20 09 & BOG AGM 06 11 11


A donation to Garden Organic (GO) (national organisation based near Coventry) which BOG gives from time to time had not been discussed at AGM. There had been a donation of £500 in past and an offer for BOG to host GO AGM. It was not clear if  either of these had been acknowledged.  Sandy will clarify whether BOG has had any feedback from GO and will report at next business meeting.  Donations by BOG to be AGM item in future.


Wooplaw Community Woodland (near Lauder) –  BOG’s membership of this project had been suggested at AGM, but attempts to contact Whooplaw had come to nothing.  Agreed no further action.   BOG will make one off donation, if ever we want to use Whooplaw facilities.

Worm compost for sale.  Manufacturer has not been able to create any interest amongst BOG members.  No further action.

Kate Potts request for BOG support for providing prizes for organic growing at village shows.  Obvious overlap with Jim Cameron’s activities on behalf of BOG.  Sue has written to Kate Potts to clarify.  Maggie will contact Jim Cameron requesting that he enclose BOG membership application with prizes. Otherwise, no further action.

No information on fate of BOG donation to Paxton Walled Garden’ project. Sandy / Judith to clarify.

BOG membership fee to remain at current level.  Maggie to write piece for BOG News now & in autumn edition highlighting this, but reminding members that they can increase their voluntary contribution at any time by themselves altering their standing order.


Robert was asked to use BOG News to encourage greater use of BOG website.


Twelve members attended a very interesting & successful illustrated talk on wild flowers in November at Abbey Row, Kelso.


4. Literature report – Catherine will do a written report & stock take for next meeting – at moment books are safely tucked away from the building work & inaccessible.


5. Website:  Francis Tekkham will stand down forthwith as liaison with David Coyle (the BOG website manager).  Her impression was that we have a well constructed site (Cheryl agreed) & that we get good value for what we pay (£150 p.a.). However, we do experience some delays in getting things done, may not always be sufficiently compute savvy to direct him properly & there is no contract or written agreement with him. Monica Bolton’s husband Alan is offering to take over from Frances. It is not intended that Alan should be a webmaster at this stage, but be a computer literate intermediary between David & BOG and to monitor the operation of the site.

It was agreed that website had 4 core functions: 1) programme & events listing for members; 2) source of gardening information for members; 3) BOG’s shop window for general public, potential members, Googlers, etc; 4) means of e-mailing entire membership simultaneously, e-bulletins, etc. New developments are not precluded, but we need to establish that these core functions are entirely as we would wish them as a first step.


Sandy to organise a meeting between Alan and David Coyle, Maggie & Judith, the latter two, because they have most use of the website.  If Judith did not wish to be part of group, David Catt prepared to join.  Meeting to establish current set up and arrangements,  possible improvements, and a written statement of what David expects from us and what we can expect from him.


Function 4 above is now up and running & Maggie is able communicate with membership more easily.


6. Gardeners Question Time:  BBC Radio 4 contacted BOG late last year about a recording session. Too little notice for BOG to comply. Agreed need to identify potential venues and resources required, including people, before making further application to BBC. David Griggs has kindly offered to lead, with a small group to help him and report back to business meeting 12th May.

(see http://www.scotborders.gov.uk/a_to_z/V   for potential venues))


7. Allotments Exhibition Hawick for 2 months from 19th or 20thMay:  approached BOG last year with request for presence if possible.  Agreed that bookstall and display boards plus 2 people at least for the Expert Day on July 1st.   Need volunteers to be decided nearer the time.  Curator is Richard White and Monica Bolton is liaison with them.  Sandy to alert Catherine & John.


8. Workshops

Emma Emmerson of Woodside Nursery has offered to run workshops for BOG members but probably @ cost of £12.50 p.p.  Considerable discussion followed on methods of financing, the demand etc.  It’s a  general principle that BOG pays workshop costs where run as a non-commercial event though this does not preclude other arrangements.  Main issues are – is there a demand from the membership which can’t be satisfied from our skills, and if is a demand – for what?   Propagation / cuttings has been mentioned.   Sandy will thank Emma and respond with the gist of the discussion; also to offer Emma advertising space in BOG News at usual rates for any courses appropriate to BOG members.


9. Programmes for West and East – duly reported progress (Dave Catt, Sue Watts) and will be appearing in the Feb newsletter for events up to mid-summer.  Short of events for latter part of year so please offer ideas.  NB still no date for Berwick Green Festival, which may not even take place, or Roberton Show.


10. Woodside Garden – community involvement opportunity. One area of the garden is underused and Emma would welcome community involvement.  Agreed that a growing project not a priority and beyond the capacity of BOG at present.  Agreed offer Emma article in BOG News and suggest other potential users for site.  Sandy to contact.


11.  Any other business

Friends of Borders General Hospital.  Jennifer was able to send cheque for £100 proceeds from the manure that was sold to BOG members.  Many thanks.

Apple Project (Monica Bolton) – has not progressed this since the AGM but is going to a workshop at Todmorden about community orchards etc at end of January.   Some discussion about Crailing Community Woodland Orchard and whether BOG could support / help.   Felt not, since as usual is up to individuals. Maybe an opportunity to link with Apple Day at Harestanes since it is geographically close by? (I checked the website since the meeting and Crailing is managed by Borders Forest Trust as a community woodland and contact is via them.)  Some discussion over a point raised that BOG should be aware of local shops / small businesses and not encouraging things which might undermine them and /or being sure we are acting within our charitable rules.

Meeting ended to have usual excellent lunch. Thanks to Susan for hospitality.

Next business meeting with garden visit and plant exchange on 12th May 11a.m., Proctors Smithy, Kelso