Friends of Etchinghill A Rugeley Landmark Etchinghill offers good views and can be seen from Cannock Chase in Staffordshire
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The Big Meeting Information

The meeting of 10.4.2014 was well attended with 60 people present. This shows that there is a great sense of community spirit in the area and interest in Etching Hill and it's future.

The officials who attended were- Paul Bradbury from the local police, Guy Corbett Marshall from the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, Geoff Martin, Danny Davis, John Rowley and Ray Jones who are all councilors Brian Bottomer, who is one of the Trustees as well as being  the  chairman of the environmental committee of the local council. ( Geoff Martin has provided us with funding for our group and the Rugeley Town council also have supported us financially in the previous years)

The actual invitation list to officials was sent much more widely. We invited the fire service, as the fire cadets help us on litter picks, the Staffordshire ranger who has helped us with path clearance previously, the forestry ranger, Natural England, the AONB who have supported us with advice, help with litter clearance and funding, the Regional Geomorphic interest Site  person as the area is a declared RIGS site, the neighborhood watch co coordinator who has supported our group, the Landor society who have provided us with history of the area, the  Friends of Cannock chase organiser who has supported us, the local councilors from Staffordshire, Cannock Chase and Rugeley Town, the Trustees from the charity that manage the hill and have responsibility for everything overall.

We had apologies from the Landor Society, Natural England, the AONB and Andy Lovell who is one of the Trustees. In addition Paul Adams, another Trustee said he would not be attending.

The Reverend Kevin Bilson opened the meeting with a thought for the day. The meeting was then expertly chaired by Austin Manifold from the Rugeley Rotary club.

Geoff Brookes chairman of the Friends of Etching Hill discussed the work and achievements of this group over the past 3 years. He also put forward various ideas for discussion. The ideas were all things that had been suggested to the Friends of Etching Hill by various individuals and local agencies, not  simply Geoff's personal views.  

Paul Bradbury then spoke about how the local police will respond to anti social behavior and take this seriously, but they need people to report it by ringing 101 the local police contact number.  They will also respond to reports of Fly tipping. See below for a further update on this

Brian Bottomer spoke a little about his role, Guy Corbett Marshall advised us of his support and the other local councilors joined in the general discussions that followed.

The general consensus of those present who joined in the discussions,  and those who sent in comments slips after the meeting, was that the trees need to be thinned out to restore the views towards Derbyshire, reduce the risk of fire and leave fewer hiding places for the youths.  

There was also a general feeling that although the Trustees of the hill have carried out some excellent work, their plans are of interest to the residents of the area  who are keen to know what is happening or planned to happen and there is a hope that they will  be able to share this information at some point in the future. Other than this no one felt there was any need for changes.

The Friends of Etching Hill were encouraged to continue with litter picking as this was seen to enhance the area which in turn discourages anti social behavior.