Spot the connection – Banking, Bulbs & Coffee

Those lovely Spring bulbs that we all enjoy each year on our roadside verges have caught the imagination of the staff at Barclays Bank in Knowle. They have invited everyone to join them for a coffee morning at the bank, behind the bus shelter on Knowle Green, from 10am on Friday 8th May. They will be serving coffee and cakes that they have baked themselves in aid of The Knowle Society’s project to plant up the verges of all the main access roads into Knowle. Thank you to the bank staff for their kind support of this project.

A Host of Golden Daffodils…(and crocuses and snowdrops) for Knowle

We are planning to plant bulbs in the grass verges along all the main road entrances into Knowle to provide a colourful and welcoming scene every spring. Our vision is that, by extensive planting of spring flowering bulbs we will create an impressive and beautiful annual display lasting several months.

The proposal is, that over a four-year period, all five of the main entrances to Knowle, will be planted with a mixture of snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils.

We ask you to support this ambitious project to enhance our beautiful village. We are very fortunate, as Amey, main contractor to Solihull Council, has offered to undertake the necessary groundwork free of charge. However, we do need donations to cover the purchasing of the bulbs.

We have estimated that the cost of purchasing the bulbs required to complete the four year project will be approximately £15,000, £3,500 each year.

All donors will, unless they request otherwise, be acknowledged in the Knowle Society Newsletter. If you would like to donate in memory of a loved one, we can include their name. We can accept donations by cheque, by bank transfer, online or by cash.

For further details of the Knowle Entrance Enhancement Project and how to donate to this project see the Natural Environment page. Alternatively you can give here through our direct link to CAF Donate.

Good news for the Park

SMBC has informed the Society that the water running across the path in the park is thought to be from a naturally occurring spring rather than the result of a leak and the Council’s drainage team is looking at a solution to divert the water away from the path.

The park will also show signs of Spring in another way shortly as the tennis courts whose year round use always increases in the Spring, are to receive a new playing surface and new posts. Notices will be erected when the start date is known.

WANTED! – Persons with an interest in the Natural Environment of Knowle

Your Natural Environment Committee is very active and has plenty of plans to look after and enhance the green spaces in and around Knowle. What it is short of is people to help. We’d be very pleased to receive enquiries from anyone interested in helping. If you can help occasionally and can be called on when needed for a ‘litter pick’ or bulb/flower planting session that’d be great. If you are willing to be more involved and join the committee, even better. What we are really need is a chairman for the committee. It’s not a talking shop but a committee that does things.

If you are interested please contact me (Leighton Jones) at chairman@knowlesociety.org.uk or 01564 773894.

Matters discussed by the Trustee Directors in February 2012

1. A meeting was expected shortly in which Kimberley Developments will explain to the Society’s Planning committee representatives what steps it is taking in response to the objections raised by the Society to its latest planning application for a Waitrose store et.al.

2. Yorkshire Tea was reported to have made a generous donation of teabags and decorative paraphernalia for use in the Village Tea Party to be held in celebration of the Society’s Golden Jubilee on 5th May.

3. Any Questions? – This event has been oversubscribed, the name of the fourth panellist has yet to be announced. All arrangements with Arden Academy are now in hand for this prestigious event.

4. AGM – Gary Masters announced that he will be retiring at this AGM and therefore there will be a further vacancy for a Trustee Director. The name of a possible new nominee was discussed. It was agreed to continue with previous practice and have a tea/coffee break after the formal business.

5. The two councillors present provided updates on the Solihull Local Plan (the final version to be submitted for approval by the Secretary of State is out for discussion – the Society will be making a submission on the intended advancing of plans to build housing in Four Ashes, Hampton Road and Grove Road); the removal of protection of the Relief Road Line (aka the by-pass land) [*see further detail below]; the Royal British Legion building will be used again for a polling station instead of Arden School; an area of the Borough (not Knowle) will try reducing street lighting hours on an experimental basis; the Conservation Advisory Committee (CAC) will be brought out of mothballs for consideration of the Kimberley/Waitrose planning application – SMBC decision on this application is expected in late March; a free parking period in Borough car parks will continue – the hours are subject to further discussion; Tilehouse Green Lane is due to be resurfaced in the Spring.

6. No 8 Wilsons Road (the last one in residential use in that block) has been approved for conversion to office use.

7. Copies of a report on an aircraft noise monitoring exercise in Knowle were circulated; the Society is pressing for further clarification on the data about flights made at the extreme edge of the allowed corridor where these pass closest to Knowle.

8. Planting of a tree, possibly in Jobs Close (Knowle) Park in commemoration of the Society’s Jubilee was discussed. Details of the Streamside Trust (land by Wychwood Avenue) were explained by one of the local councillors and the Society expressed its continued interest in being able to contribute to the future trusteeship/management of that land.

9, A very successful guided tour of Knowle for a local cub pack was reported. It was recognised that this sort of activity was important if youngsters were to be encouraged to take a future interest in civic matters; the Society being keen to develop a youth interest within its structure.

10. A new committee of the Trustee board was under consideration that would combine the current one-man-bands of publicity, membership, newsletter, distribution and the website.

11. A member had expressed an interest in moving forward the Knowle Green Community Project (the old toilet block) and the Society would be meeting with him to explore his interest.

[* Reasons given for removal of protection on Relief Road Line were: a) The Highways Agency says that it is no longer needed as the M40/M42 have proved to be effective in carrying traffic away from Knowle, b) a by-pass might prevent people from coming into Knowle to shop, c) the route would cut right between residential areas and cut them off from the village centre and d) a by-pass wouldn’t actually be put on that line today anyway.]