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Everything posted by dennisB

  1. dennisB

    CPS Issues

    Hi If you don't know me my name is Dennis Balsdon and I was Mrs Bell's predecessor as Chair of the CPS. In the past few years: We have hosted the European CP Exhibition and Exchange. We have hosted the International Plant Society Conference at Kew Gardens which was attended by Sir David Attenbdorough and over 160 of the leading botanists and growers from around the world at which we made a profit in excess of £5000. We have introduced new CP events and shows at RHS Wisley, RHS Harlow Carr, RHS Rosemoor, RHS Tatton Park, The National Botanical Garden of Wales and at Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Members of the committee have given over 200 talks at garden clubs and at other institutions including the RHS. For the last two years we have been invited to the RHS Chelsea Garden Show at which we won silver gilt medals. We have made grants from our conservation fund to 6 organisations both in the UK and overseas which are involved in plant/habitat conservation. We took over the CPUK forum when it was in danger of folding. We have tried to promote our relationship with the UK's commercial growers. We have maintained our membership numbers at over 300 for the last ten years at a time when many specialist plant societies are shedding members. All this has been done by a dedicated group of volunteers who give of their time, expertise and in many cases their own money in order to enable the Society to achieve its objectives. Some of these volunteers have served on the committee for decades. For part of this time Mrs Bell filled a number of minor roles on the committee. We have always had difficulty in recruiting new members onto the committee (particularly for the position Chair) but in the last year we have managed to recruit a new membership secretary, a new seed bank organiser and a new conservation officer (Loakesy). Late last year I decided that due to my advancing age and health issues it was time that a younger person took over from me. Mrs Bell volunteered to be Chair and was elected by unanimous vote of the remaining committee. I was elected by the committee to be a non-executive trustee of the Society. Mrs Bell was appointed as a trustee by virtue of being the Chair. Following her appointment as Chair I pointed out to Mrs Bell administrative issues which I thought needed to be improved and she had the support of me and the committee in making those improvements. Mrs Bell then undertook a review of the Society's procedures but rather than make those changes in cooperation with the committee she decided to write to the Charity Commission in which she claimed that the Society was so badly administered that she wished to dissolve it and form a new organisation to replace it. She has stated on many occasions that the Commission had approved this action but has not been able to produce evidence of this approval. She then proposed that a Special General Meeting be held with the aim of dissolving the Society. It was at this stage that opposition to her arose from the committee members. She then persuaded me to resign as a trustee implying that this was supported by the committee. This was not true. She also persuaded Tim Bailey (my predecessor) and Flick Foreman (a past treasurer) to also resign as trustees. The only other remaining trustee was Phil Wilson (the current treasurer) who refused to resign. In this letter she made a number of accusations to the effect that the Society was so badly administered that it should be dissolved and replaced by a new organisation, that there were financial irregularities, that decisions were improperly made and that we had no records of those decisions. Taking these points in turn: I and the committee accepted that some changes to our administrative practices needed to be made; there have been NO financial irregularities, all expenditure has been made in furtherance of the Society's objectives, receipts are held for all expenditure and the accounts are published at the AGM and End of Season meetings; the committee is spread out across the country and 99% of all decisions are made via email. We have these emails going back at least 10 years. During her time on the committee Mrs Bell took part in these decisions. We have the minutes of all AGMs except for 2017 and 2018. This was a recognised oversight. As a trustee Mrs Bell had access to the the Society's file on the Charity Commission website. She changed the password to this file so that the other trustee could not access it. Despite not having any agreement from the Charity Commission for her actions she wrote to the Commission stating that she was appointing four new trustees (one of whom is not a member of the Society) and that she and they would form a "board" to takeover the Society. She has repeatedly stated that she has approval for this action from the Commission but has but is unable to produce it despite many requests. The committee passed a vote of no confidence in Mrs Bell and removed her as Chair. She was replaced as Chair by Phil Wilson who will serve until we can find permanent replacement. She has ignored this vote and now describes herself as de facto chair and de facto trustee. Her actions have brought the Society into disrepute to the detriment of its reputation, its members and the achievement of its charitable objectives. I know that the committee is determined to defend the Society. Dennis
  2. Hi some time ago I downloaded from somehwere a video of tadpoles grazing on S. psittacina. Due to my own ineptitude I cannot now find it on my laptop or in my backups - I probably inadvertently deleted it. I've searched every likely site I can think of to no avail. Does anyone have it or know where I can find it? thanks Dennis
  3. Hi Folks here is a list of CP events for the next couple of months. Details of open days are shown on our website ( JULY 14th - Stephen Morley Open Day 19th - Chester Zoo National Nepenthes Collection has been cancelled because of on-going building work. 21st/22nd - Hampshire Carnivorous Plants Open Day 10th-12th - Great Yorkshire Show (WacksWickedPlants) 18th-22nd - RHS Tatton Park Flower Show (WacksWickedPlants) 19th - Driffield Show (WacksWickedPlants) 24th-26th - New Forest &Hampshire CountyShow (The Flytrap Plants) 28th/29th - Chorley Flower Show (WacksWickedPlants) AUGUST 4th - Paul McKeown Open Day 4th/5th - P&J Plants Open Day 2nd-5th - RHS Hyde Hall Flower Show (WacksWickedPlants) 10th/11th - Shrewsbury Flower Show (Mike King) 11th/12th - RHS Harlow Carr CP Weekend (The CPS & WacksWickedPlants) 16th-19th - Southport Flower Show (WacksWickedPlants) 17th/18th - RHS Rosemoor Flower Show (WacksWickedPlants) 18th/19th - RHS Wisley CP Weekend (The CPS & Sarracenia Nurseries) 26th/27th - Edenbridge & Oxted Show (The Flytrap Plants) Enjoy! Dennis
  4. There will be - it just takes a little time to put an obituary together and get it right. It will also be in the next edition of Planta Carnivora and the ICPS Newsletter. Dennis
  5. dennisB

    CP Events this Weekend!

    John Sirkett - Open Evening Saturday 16th, June 2018 - 5pm- 10pm A fabulous collection with a vast array of plants. Home built grow areas adorn Johns' vast garden. John also grows many other plant species. Must be seen to be believed! Contact Details: Address: Carn View, 46 Lanner Hill, Redruth, Cornwall, TR16 6DA Join Us / Renew Contact Us Members Log In Home >> Events Dennis Balsdon - Open Day Sunday, 17th June 2018 - 10am onwards The main attractions are large sarracenia and Heliamphora collections, but there are two 12 x 8 and one 8 x 6 greenhouses stuffed with CP's as well as numerous cold frames, mini bogs etc. There will be many plants for sale in aid of the CPS Conservation Fund at bargain prices/swap and I hope that other people will bring plants along too. A buffet lunch will be served by my catering manager. Contact Details: Address: 13 Stella Road, Preston, Paignton, Devon, TQ3 1BH Email: [email protected] cheers Dennis
  6. dennisB

    UK CP Events in June

    Hi here is a list of CP events in the UK this month. Details are shown on the Society website ( under events. Mike King - Shropshire Sarracenia Open Day 2nd June 2018 The CPS visit to Kew Gardens 9th June 2018 S.purpurea conservation/clearance at Wareham, Dorset 14th June 2018 John Sirkett - Open Evening 16th June 2018 - Cornwall Beaver Meadow - Open Day 16th June 2018 Lincolnshire Dennis Balsdon - Open Day 17th June 2018 Devon National Botanical Gardens Wales - 2 DAYS 23rd June 2018 Carnivorous Plant Talk - Looe Garden Club 27th June 2018 Cornwall EEE - Bonn, Germany - 29th June 2018 Ian Salter and Dianne Riddiford Open Day 30th June 2018 Wales Let me know if you know of any others. Cheers Dennis
  7. Hi this year's visit to Kew Gardens is on Saturday June 9th. We will be meeting at the Elizabeth Gate at 1pm. The visit includes a behind the scenes tour of Kew's extensive CP collection glasshouses which are not normally open to the public and a visit to the Herbarium. The visit will be led by Dr Martin Cheek of Kew Herbarium, our journal editor. Please note that this a member's only event and is free. Remember to bring your membership cards. cheers Dennis
  8. Sorry for the error - the correct date is Saturday 9th June. The website will be updated by the volunteer events organiser asp. Dennis Dennis
  9. You don't have to book - just turn up with your membership card.. cheers Dennis
  10. Hi just a reminder that the society is holding its Annual General Meeting at Reading University, Harborne Building, White Knights Campus, Pepper Lane, RG6 6UR at 1pm on Saturday May 5th. In addition to the formal business of the day, there will be talks on CPs, plants will be available for sale/swap and a plant auction in aid of the conservation fund will be held. Refreshments will be available. The meeting is open to members only so remember to bring your membership card. You can join or renew your membership prior to the meeting. regards Dennis Balsdon Chair The Carnivorous Plant Society
  11. dennisB

    Kew Gardens- Behind the scenes.

    Hi we are waiting for a response from Kew. I'll let you know as soon as I know anything. CDennis
  12. dennisB

    CPS new membership

    The membership secretary has been away from home on a training course and is now catching up. Dennis
  13. Thanks Christian Dennis
  14. Any further news of this year's EEE? Dennis
  15. dennisB

    A Bristol Carnivorous plant group

    Hi the Carnivorous Plant Society arranges around 15 open days each year across the UK. We haven't had an event around Bristol for some years and would welcome one now. If you are a member of the society your event(s) would be advertised on our website (, in our newsletters and on this forum. There may even be some financial support available. In addition we provide grants to other CP related conservation organisations, have stands at RHS Chelsea flower show, other RHS shows and CP weekends at RHS gardens, our Journal Planta Carnivora is published twice a year and our Newsletter also twice a year, we have one of the world's largest seed banks, arrange talks at Horticultural Societies and Garden clubs and fund this forum. You can join via our website. UK membership costs £20 pa. cheers Dennis Balsdon Chair, the Carnivorous Plant Society
  16. Hi the latest edition of Planta Carnivora (the journal of the UK Carnivorous Plant Society) was mailed yesterday. If you don't receive your copy please contact me by PM or through the contact page on our website ( regards Dennis Balsdon Chair
  17. Hi The Carnivorous Plant Society is holding its End of Season Meeting on Saturday 16th September from 1pm to 5pm at Birmingham Botanical Gardens, Westbourne Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 3TR, . (Note: this is a different location to Winterbourne Gardens we have held previous meetings at). Entry to the gardens is free to CPS members with an up to date membership card. The society will have a large plant display which will be open to the public. Talks will include Mike King on his new greenhouses and his use of Melcourt products, a video of a talk at the ICPS conference entitled "The Search for Carnivorous Seaweeds"(!) and one on Spiders and Ants and Termites and Bats and Tree Shrews and Nepenthes. Chris Crow will have a comprehensive range of plants for sale. On Sunday the Gardens are hosting the Edgebaston Tricentenary Festival. In conjunction with the festival the plant display and plant sales will be open to the public and we will be giving public introduction to CP talks. Entry to the festival is free but you must apply for tickets in advance to cheers Dennis
  18. Hi this weekend the CPS is putting on a CP event at RHS Wisley this weekend. The Society will be putting on a comprehensive plant display, the Society and Chris Crow will have a large selection of plants for sale and there will be introductory level talks on CPs generally. Carnivorous Plant Society members get free entry on production of a membership Card. cheers Dennis
  19. dennisB

    CPS Charitable Activities

    Hi Mark the CPS' charitable objective (which are shown in our society rules on our website) is: To advance the education of the public in the study of carnivorous plants and to promote the conservation of such plants. We do this by having a website with lots of information, having stands at major RHS shows (Chelsea and Tatton Park this year), holding CP weekends at RHS and other gardens (RHS Rosemoor, RHS Harlow Carr, RHS Wisley, the National Botanical Garden of Wales and Birmingham Botanical Garden this year), giving talks to garden clubs and other organisations, publishing journals and newsletters and participating in media programmes/events. We also have a conservation fund which was considerably boosted following our hosting last year's ICPS conference at Kew. We use this fund to make financial contributions to various conservation activities. In the past these have included a grant toward the maintenance of the S. rubra Ark (held by Mike King) and we have made a largish grant to the Nepenthes Ark and expect to provide further grants to it in the future. We also provide advice to and source plants for other charitable institutions who are seeking to create or expand their CP collections including most recently the Eden Project. A list of some of our other conservation activities is shown on our website under conservation. The vast majority of the work associated with meeting our charitable objectives are undertaken by the small group of enthusiasts who form our committee. If and when you decide to rejoin the Society we would welcome your participation. best regards Dennis Balsdon Chair, the Carnivorous Plant Society
  20. I'm obviously out of date then. Dennis
  21. Hi what people like Mike King are using is Melcourt's composted fine bark. Dennis
  22. dennisB

    Bug sprays?

    Bug Clear vine weevil killer is very effective against mealy bug, and other nasties on sarracenia. The only problem is that it is a systemic insecticide, and will kill flies going for the nectar - often before they fall into the trap. Dennis
  23. dennisB

    nurseries around newquay cornwall

    Hi I guess you will be travelling down the A30. In which case you could call in at Chris Crow's near Okehampton on the way down/back. If you wasn't to do this, PM me as I'll give you his contact email address. cheers Dennis
  24. dennisB

    RHS Harlow Carr CP weekend 13 & 13th August

    Great stuff Stephen! Dennis
  25. dennisB

    Hiya, from Glasgow

    Welcome back. There are quite a few members from Scotland. Dennis