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Estate Update

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Contents: 

Formal reports from the Chair, covering all relevant Estate activities, will be produced subsequent to each annual AGM, which is usually held in June. Supplementary reports will appear when specific events or activities occur requiring communication.

(Click on a heading to go directly to that report)

 

AGM 2017 Report: Chair 

AGM 2016 Report: Chair 

October 2016 Report: Chair 

July 2016 Report: Chair 

January to June 2015 Interim Report: Chair 

December 2014 Report: Chair

December 2014 Report: Environment

December 2014 Report: Maintenance & Infrastructure

November 2014 Report: Maintenance & Infrastructure

November 2014 Report: Environment

October 2014 Report: Chair

 

AGM 2017 Report (August)

Judith Ellard, Chair

At the AGM I reported that 2016/17 had been another good year, both for the Estate and Allhallows Ltd. The Board of Directors had met on 10 occasions during the reporting period and were stewarding the smooth running of company finances, invoicing, general maintenance, management of woodland areas, general housekeeping and, most crucially, safely maintaining the efficacy of the filtration plant.

It was confirmed that the Board had confidence in their ‘fitness for purpose’, a statement that would be borne out by the excellent financial performance that Robin Daniels (Finance Director) would present to the meeting. I explained that one of the Board's key objectives was to manage the expectations of shareholders, whilst ensuring that service charges levied are acceptable to the majority of homes, thus keeping costs to a minimum whilst ensuring that the look of the Estate is enhanced for all to enjoy.

The Chair went on to thank Barry Moore (Director, Maintenance and Infrastructure) and his team of volunteers for the work undertaken by the in-house team including repairs to beach steps; repainting the front gates, lamps and posts; renewing decorative chain-links; pothole repairs; resurfacing of car parks; iron fencing repairs and the installation of new slate signage.

I referred to the major tasks of managing company finances and legal commitments and the huge amount of work undertaken by Robin Daniels in discharging these responsibilities. It was explained that sadly Robin had decided to step down at the 2018 AGM due to other work commitments, so in order to ensure operational continuity it was the Board's intention to recruit and co-opt a replacement director(s) ahead of Robin’s resignation taking effect. Suitable nominee(s) would be formally voted onto the Board at the next AGM. 

Reference was made to a question that had been raised by a shareholder who could not be present at the meeting which required minuting. This question related to the amount of tax that Allhallows Ltd pays to HMRC. The questionwas addressed as follows: -

  • REM Ltd is a separate company and is governed by both covenants and service charge law, it cannot make a profit and so does not pay any tax at all. There is however a reserve fund within REM Ltd; its use is severely restricted and is utilised to reduce the impact of major maintenance expenditure including road resurfacing. This fund currently stands at £37K. 
  • Allhallows Ltd (the parent company) benefits from income streams including rent charges for agricultural land, operation of the foul drainage system, maintenance services and from various other sources including legal fees and administration services charged through REM Ltd. Furthermore, the sale of several parcels of land has enhanced Allhallows Ltd. financial position, thus its outgoings are significantly less than its income.

The Board will continue to look for ways to minimise the level of corporation tax paid including claiming capital allowances; this has already been achieved through purchase of a chipper and latterly a generator. However, a suggestion that Allhallows Ltd. should utilise funds for additional estate maintenance or making charitable donations would, in the Board's view, be both unfair to shareholders and an inefficient way of saving tax. The Company’s strategy is to generate profit to service the £100,000 debt, incurred during 2014 to complete the purchase of the Estate; profit that must inevitably incur corporation tax.

The meeting was advised that the Board welcomed shareholder input and would seek to represent the majority view in developing future strategies. I concluded by thanking the Board for the considerable time and energy that they had each invested during a very successful year.

Company Accounts - year ending 5 April 2017

Robin Daniels referred the meeting to Allhallows Ltd. accounts . He advised that it had been another very good year, explaining that as this year’s results were fairly similar to last year he did not propose to explore the detail at the meeting; all shareholders had received a copy of the accounts with the AGM notice and further copies, together with any necessary explanation would be provided on request. He reported key aspects of the results: - Revenue (comprising agricultural rent, foul drainage, admin charges and maintenance work) rose 6% to £51,470 but maintenance costs were slightly higher, so profit before tax was almost identical to last year at £31,454. 

The Company has managed to use some capital allowances on the purchase of the generator, so corporation tax payable has reduced by £2,000 to £6,197.

In October 2016, the Company paid off a further £30,000 of the loans taken out to purchase the Estate, leaving the balance remaining to be repaid at £50,000. Cash at the year-end stood at £31,241 with the only creditor being corporation tax. Robin asked if there were any questions on the accounts before he updated the meeting about the financial position since the year-end; there were no issues arising.

Robin advised that a small parcel of woodland has been sold to a resident shareholder; this land is adjacent to their property and has raised £15,000.

The foul drainage charge for the current period has also been collected and transferred to Allhallows Ltd. He reported that the bank balance now stood at over £60,000 and that barring unexpected expenditure over the next few months, the Board intended to repay the remaining £50,000 of outstanding debt during October 2017 (NB: this was paid late October); thus, all of the £100,000 loans originally scheduled for repayment over 10 years will have been repaid within 3 years. All of this has been achieved whilst stepping up the maintenance programme around the Estate and keeping the foul drainage system in good order.

Robin reported that strong cash flow is expected to continue and the Board has looked at a number of options for the future, including payment of shareholder dividends or other shareholder benefits, options that will be kept under review. However, it is felt that a priority should be to purchase back the fields within the Estate boundary that were purchased by generous individual shareholders In October 2014 to enable the Estate purchase to go through.The Company cannot insist on the buy-back of land but it does have a right of first refusal.

Now that loans have been repaid, it is felt that this should be explored and the Board will consider this in the next few months. Robin invited questions from the floor and the following questions were asked: -

  • Would HMRC changes to the frequency of reporting impact on the company?
  • RD did not anticipate any issues with this.
  • Did Allhallows Ltd. secure the loans through a mortgage agreement?
  • Although the answer was no, the company had retained a field (known as Henry’s Field) as security against the loans.
  • Does the company accountant provide advice about minimising tax liability?
  • RD assured the meeting that the accountants diligently advised in this area but he then reiterated that the simplicity and transparency of the accounts, together with the requirement to generate profit for the purpose of servicing the loans meant that opportunities in this area were severely limited.

There was some general debate about share value and several shareholders asserted that they had no desire to see a return on their shares in the company but chose to adopt a more altruistic approach to share ownership. It was however noted that the value of shares would notionally increase with increasing land values, a subject that has arisen during conveyancing transactions. The need to ensure up-to-date land valuation ahead of any buy-back of land was also raised and both Judith Ellard and Robin Daniels reassured the meeting that revaluation would take place in a timely fashion and certainly before any buy-back of land was considered.

 Woodland Management

Although (apart from the nutritional value to adjacent land) waste treatment was not a part of his bailiwick, Mike Hughes (Director of Woodlands and Environment) chose to open his report by thanking Mary Hansell (Director in charge of Waste Treatment) for her unstinting service to waste treatment. The meeting concurred that Mary did indeed have a large job on her hands, at which point Mary took the opportunity to thank her small but fragrant band of helpers. 

 

AGM 2016 Report

Judith Ellard, Chair

This is a brief update on the company’s key activities over last 12 months – we have had a very busy year and jointly our efforts are bearing fruit - everything is in good shape!

A special mention to Frank and Valerie; after 18 years they have finally moved in – ex founding member of ROAR, 9 years as Chairman of Allhallows, and one of our generous creditors – welcome back!

Over the last year five properties have changed hands and we have three new shareholders – Peter and Christine Barradell, Emma Wilkinson and Terry Ramsey, and Brod Bass.

We have sold a total of four parcels of land adjoining gardens and collected £18K towards repayment of debt. Last year we repaid £20K of the £100K borrowed in October 2014 to buy residual land. This October we plan to repay a further £30K – reducing our debt by half.

The area that has seen huge improvements on the estate is Woodland Management – laurel clearance and the felling and harvesting of dead trees is hard work – made lighter by many hands, and I would like to pay tribute to all the volunteers who have made this time consuming job possible, pleasurable and saving us all a vast amount of money by doing it in-house. Mike Hughes, Barry Moore and their throng of helpers have generated interest in our woodlands by creating a community around it. Our stunning woodland walks have beautiful new pathways lined with chippings which make them wildlife friendly and less muddy – we even have a new roundabout! Whist it is difficult to pick out individuals to thank, a special thank you must go to Martin Healy – our very own professionally trained enemy of laurel! I am sure you all will have noticed the wonderful light that is now penetrating much of our woodland – Martin has spent many days making this happen and it is transforming our beautiful Estate. Thank you Martin.

Recent and planned purchases to help with all this work include the orange chipper, a new log splitter. A new generator is being sourced together with a MIG welder so that some of the Estate railings can be repaired in-house. These tools together with the use of various trucks and vehicles loaned by Barry and Warwick are essential and with all the volunteer labour it all adds up to a mean team! Thank you to all the helpers.

Mary Hansell looks after our filtration plant and manages the hygiene and upkeep of the plant and ensures the right levels of reed growth around the reed bed system. A series of blockages of the main sewer over the last year has required some strong stomachs, but thanks to Mary, Barry, Graham and Mike Hansell, it was resolved - another in-house success.

We have also re-fenced the filtration plant area as it was deemed unsafe for children wandering that way and scalpings have been laid to ease access for the large emptying lorries. If we paid external contractors to do all this work our service charges would be off the scale.

Service charges are being carefully managed and this is only possible due to all the volunteers. However we need to prepare for some major road resurfacing in 2018; by then major building works will be complete at the Water Towers and the extension to the Paddocks. We will try and divert some more funds over to the reserve account to help pay for this over the next 2 years.

A new five year tenancy with the Colliers will run to 2021 with an increased rental income at £110 per acre. Our thanks to Anne and Nick Collier for their continued support to our Estate in the maintenance work they do for us, especially given Nick’s numerous health issues this last year.

The very recent dislodging of the Main Gate pillar cap by a lorry entering the estate has highlighted how precarious it can be. In future we will request that anyone having building work done that requires vehicles over 8 tonnes to enter through the gates must arrange for an escort to guide them through. Thanks to Barry and Julian et al for managing to reposition the stone. Martin Healy’s video of the operation is now available on You Tube.

The Board has supported various donations over last 12 months: - Donation to Grayson Newton’s collection to the hospice. - Funding for the electrical connection to the defibrillator. - £250 donation to the archive group.

I would like to end with an invitation. To encourage collaboration we welcome suggestions for things you would like to see, or have us do. We also need to consider succession planning; in the future we will need people to step forward to replace Board Directors as they become so exhausted that they need to step down! It remains for me to thank everyone who gets out there and puts in time and energy to make our piece of England a better place to live. And a huge thankyou to my fellow board members, without whom none of this would be happening.    

 

October 2016 Report

Judith Ellard, Chair

 

As our wonderful Indian Summer draws to a close and the next set of service charge and foul drainage bills are due, I thought a short summary of Summer activities and jobs to be done over the next six months would be of interest.

Laurel clearance and woodland management have been much in evidence: the woodland walks lined with wood chippings are looking beautiful and the laurel baskets of logs give a very tidy appearance. Thank you once again to all the volunteers who make this possible and who give their time and energy in such good spirit.

The recently planted hedging is all looking very healthy and as it matures, it will help to form the continuous corridor for wildlife around the estate. 500 more hedging plants were delivered on 7th November and were planted that week. Thank you planting volunteers!!

With so much work going on and so much of it being undertaken in-house, health and safety has become ever more important. All volunteers have been/will be issued with high viz jackets, safety goggles and ear protectors and with all the various vehicles and motorised equipment now being utilised, it is imperative that professional work practices are upheld and appropriate risk assessments are carried out.

General repair work carried out over the last period has included stone wall repairs along the bridle path, redressing of various car parks with scalpings, the realignment of the capping stone on the entrance pillar, which was dislodged by a lorry entering and the normal maintenance tasks carried out by Nick Collier and his team. Repair to some of the beach path steps is in hand and a programme of repair work to some of the Estate railings is being scheduled.

We will soon be erecting some new signage to help identify various parts of the Estate for visitors and deliveries. The signs are being made in slate and will be appropriately positioned on walls and pillars with the various owners’ permissions agreed.

OHF and The Gardens have been identified as areas where the exterior of some properties need remedial work. For OHF the recommended solution is either a fungicidal wash to remove the algae or, as a longer-term remedy, the application of Weathershield. The Board can advise and provide suitable guidance if required. Please ensure that any application of colour is in line with the existing scheme and consistent with neighbouring properties.

Finally, an Autumn planting along small sections of the main drive of small daffodil bulbs has been done, so February will have a splash of yellow cheer when entering the Estate! Particular thanks to Jane Gibson and her horticultural team.

Have a great Winter everyone, and please remember to pay us within 28 days and preferably by BACS, as cheques incur bank charges!

Judith 

 

July 2016 Report

Judith Ellard, Chair

 

A review of summer activities and jobs to be done in the next six months

Laurel clearance and woodland management have been much in evidence. Thank you once again to all the volunteers who make this possible and who give their time and energy in such good spirit. If you would like to join the woodland groups just talk to Mike Hughes and get on his email register.

There has been some concern registered about how many trees are being taken down so some clarification of our policy may be useful:

1 Trees will be felled if there is a danger to any person or property. EDDC will be duly notified.

2 Trees will be felled following consultations with EDDC as and when they become causes for concern and need to come down.

3 Trees will be felled according to a management plan guided by EDDC and The Forestry Commission.

There are few other reasons for Estate trees to be felled.

The thinning of the area close to the Water Tower site falls into category 3 and is part of the plan for that small area. The large sycamore tree that was felled and tidied by the team on 8th October, was one of the last trees to come down in that area. It will now be left alone for a year to see how it develops with a view to planting new trees during the 2016/17 planting season.

Mike has 5 applications in the pipeline for EDDC to come and examine trees under category 2. We await their advice.

We have to expect that winter will bring further unforeseen problems upon which we will need to act. We will always ensure that, no matter how many trees come down, we will always plant more.

The recently planted hedging is all looking very healthy and as it matures, it will help to form the continuous corridor for wildlife around the Estate. 500 more hedging plants are due to be delivered on 7th November and will need to be planted that week – so look out for the email if you are happy to help.

With so much work going on and so much of it being undertaken in-house, health and safety has become ever more important. All volunteers are being issued with high viz jackets, safety goggles and ear protectors. With all the various vehicles and motorised equipment now in use it is imperative that professional work practices are upheld and appropriate risk assessments are carried out.

Martin Healy has posted videos of community logging on YouTube, if you want to see the team at work. Please see https://youtu.be/5d42ZHoSiik for the latest effort.

General repair work carried out over the last period has included stone wall repairs along the bridle path, redressing of various car parks with scalpings, the realignment of the capping stone on the entrance pillar which was dislodged by a lorry entering, and the normal maintenance tasks carried out by Nick Collier and his team.

Repairs to some of the beach path steps is in hand. We will soon be erecting some new signage to help identify various parts of the Estate for visitors and deliveries. The signs are being made in slate and will be appropriately positioned on walls and pillars - thank you to Nick V-S for organising.

Old Home Farm and The Gardens have been identified as areas where the exterior of some properties need remedial work. For OHF the recommended solution is either a fungicidal wash to remove the algae or, as a longer-term remedy, the application of Weathershield. Barry Moore can advise and provide suitable guidance if required.

Please ensure that any application of colour is in line with the existing scheme and consistent with neighbouring properties.

Finally, an Autumn planting along sections of the main drive of small daffodil bulbs will be spearheaded by Jane Gibson and helpers, so February will have a splash of yellow cheer when entering the Estate!

Have a great Autumn!

Judith

 

January - June 2015 Report

Judith Ellard, Chair

As we have concluded our first accounting period and approach the first AGM of the new era, I am pleased to be able to give the following account of our activities since the purchase of the estate management company last December.

Your Board of Directors (Robin Daniels, Mary Hansell, Mike Hughes, Barry Moore and myself) have had Board Meetings each month in order to put in place the processes and systems necessary for efficient management of the Estate. Each Director has a defined role and associated responsibilities and a thorough review of the issues facing us now and in the future, has begun in earnest.

In the last few years it has been clear to many of us that aside from the excellent work carried out by Anne and Nick Collier and their team on the Estate much needed maintenance work has been neglected: dangerous trees have not been felled, Estate walls have fallen into a state of disrepair, the filtration plant has become overgrown with brambles and excessive willow, to name but a few. In addition, several maintenance requests from the ROAR committee had not been actioned by the previous management and a number of assurances given had not been delivered.

In an attempt to improve this we have embarked on an active programme of works to bring the Estate back on track. In 2002 an Estate Management Plan was commissioned by the previous owners; written by Nicholas Pearson and Associates and submitted to EDDC as an essential plank for achieving the planning permissions for much of the new build on the Estate. It is a valuable document with its guiding principles remaining equally relevant today and it will be hugely influential in the preparation of our own ongoing Estate Management Plan.

You will have undoubtedly heard a lot about trees in the last several months! ROAR has led tree initiatives, ‘The Rousdoner’ has reported a number of tree related articles and Mike Hughes with the help of Glynis Preshaw and others have made trees a priority on all our agendas. So, in a nutshell, without repeating what others have already said, there are dead or diseased trees that need to come down and new ones that need to be planted and then there is the problem of being overrun with laurel! We are dealing with it.

Since December several large and potentially dangerous trees, condemned by the EDDC Tree Officer, have been felled. The wood has been stored and is being sold to residents for log burners, with all proceeds going to a ‘tree fund’ for replanting. Costs have been kept to a minimum with a huge amount of the work carried out in house. The community is working together to organise family days for attacking the laurel and there is a real sense of shared responsibility emerging from these initiatives. Thank you to everyone who is helping.

The following is a list of some of the works that have been carried out since December last year:

- Redressing of two carparks and verges on Old Home Farm with scalpings
- Installation of a french drain on middle section of estate road where flooding occurred
- Re-siting and bedding in of bollards
- Brambles & willow removed from filtration plant, reeds cropped ready for new Spring growth
- Successful inspection and certificate renewal for filtration plant from Dept. of Environment
- Removal of leylandii in West Lodge car park and preparation for new planting
- Cleaning of front gate pillars and total refurbishment and re-installation of the iron gates
- Work programme started on main bridle path for repair of estate walls
- Cleaning and de-mossing of Stable Courtyard
- Wood chippings laid down on extensive areas of the woodland walks

In addition to the above, a totally new invoicing system has been created with care taken to ensure the process reflects existing procedures. We will continue to get accounts audited every six months and send these out with bills and estimates for the following period. The hand written ledger/cashbook that we inherited will become a museum piece! There are too many names to mention, deserving our genuine thanks and gratitude for the help and time they have devoted to making this venture work. In the best altruistic spirit, when we all take responsibility, everyone benefits.

You will see from your last bills that we have de-registered for VAT. We still have to pay VAT on certain costs and now cannot claim it back. This decision provides us with a small gain overall. Actual costs for the last six-month period are higher than those given in the estimates last October because of the amount of work that has been undertaken. Much of the work has been carried out in house and we should acknowledge that costs necessarily reflect the amount of work completed.

We have taken some real care, expertise and enthusiasm to the task at hand. We all want this Estate to be the best it can be without costing us a fortune. I am confident we have started that journey with a spring in our step!

We would like to request that your service charge and foul drainage bills be paid by BACS/Electronic Banking payment where possible. Please ALWAYS quote your property as a reference when sending payment this way. It significantly reduces costs and the time required to process the payments.

For your information, both bills can be paid directly into the same bank account: Rousdon Estate Management Ltd Sort code: 20-06-05 Account No. 30245968  

 

December 2014 Report: Chair

Judith Ellard, Chair

Some 14 years ago when we first bought our house on the Estate, the concept of owning the entire estate was not even on our radar. Nearly ten years ago when Barry and I persuaded a handful of Rousdon owners to join us and dig deep to purchase the 104 acres that were suddenly 'For Sale' on the Estate, to be honest owning the whole Estate was still a very distant ambition. But here we are at the end of 2014, collective owners and now managers of this beautiful place.

We have only owned it for two months now and the new sense of community is astonishing. If you have a stake in something, you will care about it and so It is fantastic to see groups of people creating Tree Management plans, taking down dead trees and providing logs for sale, we have a team working to ensure the all important filtration plant is working correctly and a maintenance plan to ensure the place works and looks as good as it can.

From here I believe we have a responsibility to keep this place as a living and working estate, to keep it looking beautiful for residents and visitors to enjoy. We encourage those who haven't bought in to Allhallows Ltd to express an interest and we welcome suggestions and ideas from everyone to make appropriate improvements.

Thank you to everyone who is helping. Thank you to all shareholders who trusted our vision back in 2005 to buy the asset. We have achieved so much and now we can enjoy our self managing status and continue to build a community that shares so many common interests.

I believe our original remit still stands the test of time: to own it, to protect it and to love it.

Wishing everyone a very convivial New Year.

Also see: Waste Water Treatment by Director, Mary Hansell

 

December 2014 Report: Maintenance and Infrastructure
Barry Moore, Director

In my role as Director of Allhallows and Rousdon Estate Management, I take responsibility for general site maintenance and safety of the Rousdon Estate.

It has been my intention to be proactive rather than reactive to the necessary Estate works, always with the view of keeping the maintenance and improvement costs reasonable and realistic and negotiating the best value for money from subcontractors.

As reported last month, there are various projects that remain work in progress. Notably and you may have seen various strategically placed piles of gravel, the car parks are the subject of current attention. This project is expected to run into late January or early February. You may also have noticed a number of new concrete stub posts appearing along the main drive. These are designed to encourage drivers to remain on the road and off the verges, which have suffered consistent damage.

One particularly boggy and waterlogged section of the main drive, just past the east road turn off, has has a large french drain installed and I hope that this will solve the perennial winter problem of water ponding in that area.

Don't be alarmed if you notice that the main Estate gates have disappeared! They will be removed on or about 8th January and taken to be refurbished. It is expected that this might take as long as two months to complete.

Mary Blick (Hansell) and I are working together to maintain the Estate Filtration Plant to ensure compliance with current legislation.

 

December 2014 Report: Environment

Mike Hughes, Director and Glynis Preshaw

Also see:

Briefing Document: The Future of Trees on Rousdon Estate by Director, Michael Hughes

Video: Tree felling on the Main Drive (Dec 14)

Rousdon Estate Tree Felling Video from warwick bergin on Vimeo.

Just lately it seems that my and Glynis’ sole topic of conversation concerns trees and related matters. For the Estate this is such an important matter as, for many years now, the tree belts have been sorely neglected. Well, we have now begun the difficult task of putting this right.

The first thing we did was to identify those trees that presented the most danger to humans. Accompanied by the East Devon Tree Officer, David Coleman, we roamed the Estate examining as many trees as possible and came up with a list of trees. Some were dangerous and needed immediate attention, some less dangerous but need attention in the near future, and some that were dead and should be removed when time allows.

At the time of writing we have removed three trees that were dangerous due to their condition and proximity to the Estate roads. (The hard work of a team of trusty volunteers has proved invaluable in this regard and their efforts are to be applauded.) The remainder are yet to be dealt with.

The second part of our approach is to take steps to appoint a tree agent who will create a tree plan for the Estate. This is a detailed and complex document that will focus our efforts for the next 5, 10 and 20 years to improve the health of our tree belts. This document is also essential if we are to apply to the Forestry Commission for a felling licence. This will allow us to remove a set amount of trees to help with overall development without having to apply to East Devon every time a tree needs attention. The plan is also necessary if we are to be considered for any grants that might be available.

Having a felling licence does not mean we will slash and burn haphazardly across the Estate. No trees will be removed unless they are dangerous, diseased, or need to be thinned as part of the wider picture. Occasionally one will need removing that has self-seeded in exactly the wrong place (e.g. the ash in the filtration plant), but these strict criteria will apply throughout.

Up to now it seems that it is all about cutting trees down, but we have completed our first new plantings. Thanks to the foresight of Ann and John Broom, who collected seeds and developed saplings, about 15 new Monterey pines have been planted to ultimately replace the group by the side of the Pavilion (Again, the wonderful contribution of volunteers cannot be overstated). The silhouettes of these beautiful trees will continue to paint themselves across the skyline for the next 100-200 years.

This report can only offer a flavour of what we are trying to achieve. If you have any views, questions, expertise, or time and energy to offer, please feel free to chat with Glynis or me. As many of you know, we are only too happy to talk about trees.

 

November 2014 Report: Maintenance and Infrastructure

Barry Moore Director

Works in hand:

New Gravel for various car parks: The Hillhead quarry from whom we previously sourced the gravel is now closed, Samples from a different quarry are on their way to us with costings. These will be proposed to the Board to approve funding.

Estate Front Gates: The Board has a quotation to remove the two main gates and carry out repairs and repaint off site. This is a substantial cost and will need Board approval.

Main Drive Drains: Instruction was given on 31 October to clean out all drains on the main drive. This will be done annually.

Beach Path: The steel ladder at the base of the old path has been disassembled and removed from site. All ropes going down to the beach on the old path have been removed. Work was completed first week of November.

Speed bumps: The repaintings can be done in house as contractors see the job as too small. Timescale to be agreed when triangular frame is available.

Exterior Estate Walls facing the A3052: In the next few weeks spraying of the walls will be scheduled.

Estate Walls: A quotation for doing this repointing work has been received and approved. For the first phase, repairs will start between now and March 2015 on the wall on the Bridle Path west of the green house and down towards the Paddock. Future repairs will be staggered to absorb the cost and will be communicated in advance.

In addition to the above, the following works have also been completed:

Main Drive: Stone bollards around the main drive have been straightened and reset.

Bridle Path: Stone bollard has been placed in the verge to stop the gas truck driving over grassed area and damaging the lawns.

Rear Mansion Drive: Two bollards placed in verges to protect grassed areas.

Drains: From Bridle Path to Venning cleaned out.

Trees (see following Environment report): We have been instructed by East Devon Tree Officer to fell a number of dangerous trees. This is a legal obligation. So far two have been felled. Costs of felling will be paid for by REM as it is a safety issue which affects all owners.

The Board is in the process of developing a full maintenance programme for the Estate and will progress things where urgency takes priority.

 

November 2014 Report: Environment

Mike Hughes Director

Report by Glynis Preshaw (Glynis is co-ordinating the development of the Estate's Woodland Management Plan)

On Tuesday 28th October I emailed David Coleman at EDDC to inform him that the purchase by Allhallows was complete. I further advised that we were now in a position to contact him regarding the removal and works to be carried out on some of the trees that were identified by him on our walk along Lovers Walk and the main driveway on Tuesday 17th June.

I received a response from him on 30th October confirming those trees which he considered dangerous and in need of removal. On Sunday 9th November the beech tree by the entrance to Lovers Walk was taken down, this having been originally identified as the tree which was the most serious health and safety risk.

David visited the Estate again to look at the other trees along Lovers Walk that had been identified and also to look at some trees off the main driveway which were potential health and safety risks. Mike and I accompanied him.

As a result of our meeting the following trees have been identified as in need of works and Mike and I have listed them in order of priority.

1. Remove Red Cedar from woods bordering the eastern side of the main drive which is leaning badly. This is an urgent matter as when it falls it will land across the main driveway. I am pleased to report that Mike and his team have taken this tree down..

2. Remove the Beech, close to the Red Cedar which shows serious decay. Again as a matter of urgency. This has been removed.

3. Remove the Beech by the track going towards The Water Tower. The urgency of this will increase as time goes on and more traffic heads towards The Water Tower.

4. Remove the Ash adjacent to the 2 Yews on Lovers Walk. Although not urgent, it needs doing when time allows.

5. Remove the dead Copper Beech from the Main Drive. Not urgent but to be done when we can.

6. Remove the dead Sweet Chestnut from the top end of Lovers Walk. Not urgent but needs doing to reduce the impact of disease residue.

7. There is an Ash on the Main Drive which will need to be removed but it is not urgent. Mike will submit a notification of tree works to David under the 6 weeks procedure.

8. Consider having the 'Beech with ears' on Lovers Walk braced. This is for the future when we have a management plan.

We have permission to go ahead with items 1 to 6. We have also been looking towards employing an agent to help us to draw up a Woodland Management Plan. I have made a number of phone calls and Mike and I met with a possible candidate who already has a good knowledge of the Estate having been a former Allhallows pupil.

We also now have an Estate wood chipper, a major piece of machinery which will be very useful and is under Barry Moore's care.

I will keep you all up to date with how matters progress.  

 

October 2014 Report: Chair

Judith Ellard: Chairman's October Report - Estate purchase completion.

Dear Allhallows Shareholder,

For those of you who couldn’t attend the 18th October AGM, I am delighted to tell you that Allhallows Ltd exchanged contracts on the purchase of the residual parts of Rousdon Estate on 17th and completed the sale on 27th October.

This is the culmination of many years of good intent and hard work - we are now masters of our own destiny. I would like to thank everyone who has supported this venture and to encourage everyone to support us going forward.

A new board of directors has been voted in, they are: Barry Moore, Mary Hansell, Mike Hughes, Robin Daniels and myself. A huge thank you is given to outgoing directors, Frank Ponsford and Paul Cleaver for their support and time as directors over the past eight years - it has been much appreciated and much valued.

We will communicate with you all as soon as we can regarding matters of Estate management - our first board meeting is scheduled for the end of October. For now, please celebrate this huge achievement and continue to enjoy this fabulous estate!

With best wishes.