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Post Season Meeting Round Up

December 4, 2012

Last Thursday, as regular readers will know, was our volunteers post season meeting. A chance to get a broader view of what the season brought, across the whole property. Sometimes within a role, a volunteer gets only one view of how things are going, I think the meeting is a great chance to hear about other areas of the estate and see the unseen, as it were.

The day started with a presentation from Cragside’s General Manager, John O’Brien. Well that’s not strictly true, the day started as all good meeting should, with a cup of coffee! But then John followed with a presentation about the property business plan. He went through the reasons why we use property business plans (a focus for our efforts), what previous versions have helped us to achieve at Cragside (loads!) and our priorities for the next 3 years. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who found it very enlightening to hear about the plans for our future.

 We then heard from the heads of the various departments around the Estate, including the Head Ranger, the Gardens and Landscape Manager and the House team. They all gave updates on what has happened in their departments during 2012, with particular emphasis on how volunteers have helped them to achieve goals. That’s really the key message we try to convey in this meeting – Thank you to all the volunteers who work so hard, give their time up for nothing and show such passion and enthusiasm for the work they do. We couldn’t achieve most of what we do without them.

 The day was rounded off with a presentation from our Regional Conservator, John Griffiths. He gave a nice insight into how he came to work with the Trust, the work we as a property call on him to do and the other experts he can call upon to guide him. Again it was nice to get a broader view, to see that the whole purpose of what we do is to conserve our properties for ever, for everyone. Sorry, that was really cheesy…I’ll end there.

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