As adopted at a Special General Meeting that took place at The Highlands, Brightwell cum Sotwell, on Sunday 24 March 2013

Brightwell Village Orchard Group

50 years ago Brightwell cum Sotwell was characterised by its orchards - large areas of fruit and nut trees planted among grass full of wild flowers linked to each other by long stretches of mixed native hedgerows. In particular, plums, apples, cherries and walnuts were cultivated. Orchards provided employment opportunities, spaces for local people to meet and places where wildlife flourished. More recently, however, many of these orchards have been grubbed up and through lack of proper maintenance most of the village's native hedgerows have lost much of their diversity.

The Brightwell Village Orchard Group intends to raise funds to plant and subsequently manage one or more orchards within Brightwell cum Sotwell to enhance biodiversity, provide a place for people to come together and use as a focal point for community activities such as Apple Days and Wassailing events.

  1. To identify and consult on the location of suitable sites to establish one or more community orchards in Brightwell cum Sotwell
  2. To manage any community orchard as a resource for the whole parish to use and enjoy
  3. To raise the funds to plant and subsequently manage any community orchard or hedgerow
  4. To use any community orchard and hedgerow to provide or facilitate activities and learning opportunities for children and adults
  5. To use the community orchard and the village hedgerows as tools to encourage o wners of private orchards to adopt appropriate management techniques
  6. To promote a greater understanding and appreciation of the role that orchards, hedgerows and native trees have had in shaping the character of the parish its wildlife diversity and potential
  7. To encourage the planting of fruit, native trees and hedgerows throughout the parish in consultation with appropriate landowners
  8. To facilitate a series of community events based around trees and orchards
  9. To encourage the planting of wild flower meadows throughout the parish
  10. To plant and cultivate local and unusual varieties of fruit trees
  11. To use volunteers as far as possible in the establishment and management of any community orchard or hedgerow
  12. To use orchards and hedgerows as a tool for local people to learn new skills including fencing, wildlife watching, horticultural skills gained from pruning and maintenance of fruit trees and he preparation of wine, jam and fruit juice

  1. Membership shall be open to anyone interested in the establishment and management of a community orchard and the hedgerows in Brightwell cum Sotwell
  2. All members shall have an equal vote
  3. A Committee of members of the Group shall be convened to raise funds and manage the Group's affairs

The Committee
  1. A Committee shall be elected to carry out the business of the club
  2. The Committee shall be made up of a Chair, a Treasurer and a Secretary and up to 3 elected members
  3. The Committee shall be elected at the Annual Meeting
  4. Officers shall carry out the duties given to them by Committee Meetings
  5. The Committee shall meet not less than 4 times a year
  6. The proceedings of and decisions made at, Committee Meetings shall be made available to anyone who requests information
  7. Vacancies arising during the year can be filled by an election at a Committee Meeting
  8. Between Committee meetings vacancies can be filled temporarily by
  9. The committee will runthe Group in accordance with appropriate legislation and in line with best practice
  10. Any decisions made by the Committee should be reached by a simple vote of those committee members present but in the event of an equality of votes for and against any proposal the Chair shall have a casting vote

  1. All money raised by or on behalf of the Group is to be used only to further the aims of the Group
  2. A bank account shall be opened and held in the name of the Group. Cheque signatories will be nominated by the Committee, one of whom must be the Treasurer. There shall be three signatories. All cheques and instructions to the Group's bankers shall require two of the agreed signatories
  3. The financial year shall run from 1 April to 31 March
  4. The Treasurer shall produce a summary of income and expenditure for each financial year
  5. The income and expenditure summary shall be made available to members at the Annual Meeting.

Annual Meeting
  1. There shall be an Annual Meeting held every year (preferably within 3 months of the end of the financial year) at which the Committee will report to members on its work and present a statement of accounts
  2. The Secretary will notify all members of the date of the meeting.
  3. The Annual Meeting shall elect the Group's Committee for the following year
  4. The Annual Meeting shall vote on any recommendations and amendments to the Constitution

Other Committee Meetings
A Committee Meeting shall if possible be held at least every three months to report on current activities

  1. No Annual Meeting shall take place if less than 10% of members are present
  2. No Committee Meeting shall take place if fewer than one third of the Committee Members are present

Change to Constitution
  1. The Constitution may only be altered at an Annual Meeting or at a Special General Meeting called for that purpose
  2. Changes must be agreed by two thirds of the members present voting in favour

  1. Any member may make a proposal, which must be seconded or supported by at least one other member
  2. Only members present may vote
  3. No member may exercise more than one vote
  4. In the event of equal vote the Chair shall have the casting vote

  1. The Group may only be dissolved at a Special General Meeting called for that purpose
  2. A proposal to dissolve the Group shall take effect only if agreed by two thirds of the members present voting in favour
  3. Any assets remaining after the payment of all debts and liabilities shall be given to the Parish Council for the Parish Council to use as it sees fit for the benefit of Brightwell cum Sotwell

Signed – Robert Field – Chairman
Date – 25 March 2013