Notes of 27 July 2023 Jubilee Pond Working Group meeting

11 residents attended (listed below) and also Jake Wilde, the Clerk to the Parish Council.
Lee Webster (chairperson)
Helen Baker
Mike Whitley
Kerry Mortimer
Karen Young
Kellie Hawksworth
Isabella Hawksworth
Pete Buckle
Ian Young
Mark Lazenby
Adam Salisbury

No specific agenda had been set for this first formal meeting but it was stated that there was no Secretary for the group as they had resigned. This had previously been advertised on the Gilberdyke Parish Council website and Jake Wilde (Clerk to P.C.) noted that 3 people had expressed an interest, however 1 of those people was not at the meeting. The 2 other residents were asked to give a brief reason for interest in the role and then the group voted for Helen Baker of Flaxmill Walk to be the Secretary.

Lee had prepared some large arial photos with ideas on of what may go where from items that had been suggested and then voted on by the community in the Facebook poll. These photos were readily available for others to see.

The group was reminded of the £2500 budget allocated to the project which was for the 2023-24 tax year period. This budget was still remaining as it was initially thought that the aerator pump had ben purchased from this budget but Jake advised that the P.C. had purchased that item and was currently a work in progress of being installed.

Priorities were discussed and all seemed to feel that the island (which is now in a bit of a state of disrepair and floating loose) was important for the geese and the pond in general, and all agreed that nothing should be done to the pond or island that would stop the geese returning each year as they had been coming for a long period of time. A quote had been gained from somewhere for a comparable replacement which was approximately £1600. It was noted from the terms of reference that any amount over £250 had to be agreed by the Parish Council in the first instance. Jake added that this was not to say it wouldn’t be agreed but that a proposal had to be put forward with the rationale behind the request and that with all the working group feeling that the island was important and with valid reason, this should not be too much of an issue. Refurbishing the island was also discussed but most people seemed to suggest that they felt a new one would now be better as it should last again for some time to come. Pete Buckle commented that he knew of a certain type of material that would be good for the purpose. Quotes were to be gained so that the idea could be put back to the group for further discussion at a future meeting.

Fishing pegs were discussed and Kerry Mortimer stated that her partner could donate the fishing pegs to try to keep costs down. Pete, Ian, Mark and Adam that also fish on the pond said that there did not want to be too many pegs as it was only a relatively small pond and the concrete area was to provide inclusive access for fishing. Lee had also had a conversation with a professional who grows reeds and water lilies in several other ponds/lakes in the area who was willing to come and look at the site around September time when he was in the area to see if this could be viable. He would need to see where the best planting areas would be before the final positions of set fishing pegs could be decided, due to the reed planting being around the perimeter of the pond for increased wildlife habitat, refuge and water quality.

The subject of who would be willing to help with various tasks around the pond came up and several residents who lived on or near Flaxmill Walk (Helen, Kellie, Adam and Karen said Sammy may help) volunteered their services if they had enough notice and were available at the time.

Lee advised that Gilberdyke Garden Centre had agreed to donate some flowers in return for a sponsorship plaque being displayed at the pond. Also that a wishing well could be obtained for a gesture of goodwill of £50 from Selby (which was noted was significantly cheaper than others that were available to buy). Pete, who is also a Parish Councillor, said that he felt the P.C. would need to be consulted before a wishing well was put on the site. Jake said that this was not necessary but Pete wanted it noting that he thought that all suggestions should be taken back to the P.C as this may also impact on the cost of the person who cuts the grass around the pond.

The idea of having a wishing well was put to the group to vote for or against and it was agreed that a wishing well was wanted by those present. Mike Whitley offered to collect this from Selby as he has a trailer. Site of wishing well was discussed, initially suggested in the triangular piece of grass between the main path right angle between 50 Flaxmill and the rear of Station Road houses, and the narrower path that cuts across so had a good footfall passing it. It was thought that this would also be in view of CCTV if a donation collection was to be sited in it. However, Jake advised that the CCTV is not positioned to point directly towards any resident’s houses so that site would not be ideal as there are properties directly behind.

Jake advised that the bench situated at the road end of the pond site had a rubbish bin at either side of it and the old, concrete one was not required anymore. This could be demolished, if volunteers were gained to do this, and the base used to stand the wishing well on. All the group felt this was a good site as also an area with good footfall and would be covered by CCTV images.

Discussions were had around a donation collection in the wishing well and whether this would attract people to try to steal it. The outcome was that it would be trialled and if any problems with this, the donation collection could be removed and the well used just as a planter or herb container for use by residents.

Lee then asked if Jake could ask the contractor that cuts the grass to start to leave an uncut border around the edge of the pond, beneath trees and adjacent to the fencing that runs from the notice board, along the boundary with Station Road and along the back fence bordering the newer housing development. This is to encourage a more natural habitat, travel way and refuge for wildlife and should be approximately 12 inches wide (as advised by the Wildlife Trust expert that attended the site a few weeks previously). This can then have some wildflower seeds/flowers put into it. Also for the use of pesticides to be limited in these border areas. It was also discussed that if this does not work, then it can always be cut back again in certain areas if necessary.

Another discussion topic was the siting of bird boxes in trees around the pond. Discussions were had as to whether these would be bought from budget, donated or made by local residents to help keep costs down and be more ethically sourced. Karen Young offered to donate a couple of bird boxes but it was suggested that, as it was hoped the pond would be a community project, could it be advertised on Facebook to see if any residents could make these. Lee agreed to post this on Facebook to see if any interest and to speak to the RSPB first to see if any donations could be gained but also to enquire about the size/style of box depending on the birds that may use these.

Helen was asked if Facebook posts could be done by the Secretary. This was declined due to lack of social media knowledge as Facebook was not used personally so no knowledge of how to do this.

The topic was brought up about the amount of ducks this year and that people feeding them is keeping them in the area. Discussions were had around this and suggestions of signs to ask not to feed the ducks excessively seemed to be thought of as a good idea. Also suggested was that residents could politely speak to people feeding the ducks if they were seen to ask if they could only give a little bit of bread but possibly feed other items such as lettuce/corn which were not only better for the ducks but better for the water quality too (as suggested by the Wildlife Trust volunteer). Possible relocation of some ducks was suggested but some residents thought they would just return anyway. It was suggested that if Lee was speaking to the RSPB anyway then this question could also be raised with them. It was noted that the only real issue with the amount of ducks at the site was the mess created from the faeces and potential impacts of this on the water quality for other wildlife.

Jake added that it was still the responsibility of the P.C. for the safety, cleanliness and maintenance of the site e.g. grass cutting, repairs to fences etc. and that the pond working group meetings could be held whenever and wherever the group wanted. Tuesdays was suggested by Jake as he said he knew it was quieter in the village hall and that the smaller room was available which would be a cheaper hourly rate. Jake also offered to attend the next few meetings if he was available, to help get the wheels in motion and would advertise meetings on the P.C. website for the group. Lee and Helen agreed that they thought it a good idea to accept this offer of assistance.


  • Lee to speak to RSPB with regard to size, style and possible donations of bird boxes and any suggestions for reducing the amount of ducks.
  • Lee to post on Facebook regarding community members volunteering to make bird boxes after RSPB discussion and also any volunteers to help with demolition of concrete waste bin.
  • Helen to liase with Jake to find out how to book room for meetings and type up minutes to forward to Jake.
  • Jake to speak to the grass cutting contractor with regard to leaving a border of approx. 12 inches around the pond, base of trees and perimeter fencing and to limit use of pesticide weed killer in these areas.
  • Lee and Helen (with the help of Jake re advertising) to discuss where else to advertise meetings to allow more people to be included and decide on set agenda for next meeting.
  • First task to be carried out – removal of concrete bin to enable wishing well to be sited.
  • Agenda for next meeting to follow shortly.
  • Date of next meeting – Tuesday 8th August 7pm if room available.