As adopted 7 November 2001 incorporating Amendment No 1 dated 1st December 2014.
This constitution was adopted on the 7th day of November 2001 and relates to the site known as
Foxglove Covert Local Nature Reserve (referred to in this document as Foxglove Covert), an area consisting of 39.7Ha (98.1 acres) of Ministry of Defence land on Catterick Training Area, North Yorkshire.
Foxglove Covert and its property shall be administered and managed on behalf of the Ministry of Defence in accordance with this Constitution by members of the Executive Committee, hereinafter referred to as the Management Group, constituted by Clause 6 of this Constitution.
i) To promote the preservation, enhancement, and conservation of habitats and species in and around Foxglove Covert Local Nature Reserve.
ii) To encourage and facilitate research for advancement of knowledge in the natural sciences and local biodiversity.
iii) To promote and foster the educational value of the site.
In furtherance of the Objects, the Management Group will or may exercise the following powers:
i) adopt and implement a Management Plan;
ii) maintain and enhance key habitats;
iii) maintain and enhance populations of protected and other notable species;
iv) maintain Foxglove Covert as a Constant Effort Bird Ringing Site;
v) promote the monitoring, recording and research of habitats and species;
vi) develop visitor and interpretation facilities open to the general public;
vii) promote and develop links with the local community to raise environmental awareness and advance leisure time activities;
viii) power to raise funds and to invite and receive contributions;
ix) power to invest funds as necessary on behalf of Foxglove Covert for the achievement of its objects;
x) power to buy, take on lease, or exchange, any building, equipment or materials necessary for the achievement of the objects;
xi) power, subject to any consents required by law, to borrow money;
xii) power to employ such staff as are necessary for the proper pursuit of the objects;
xiii) power to co-operate with other charities, voluntary bodies, and statutory authorities operating in the furtherance of the objects or of similar charitable purposes and to exchange information and advice with them;
xiv) power to establish any charitable trusts, associations or institutions formed for all or any of the objects;
xv) power to appoint and constitute such advisory bodies committees as the Management Group may think fit;
xvi) power to do all such other lawful things as are necessary for the achievement of the objects.
Membership of Foxglove Covert shall be open to any person over the age of 16 interested in furthering the objects as defined in Clause 3 of this Constitution. The Management Group may by “unanimous vote” terminate the membership of any individual provided that the individual concerned shall have the right to be heard by the Management Group, accompanied by a friend, before a final decision is made. There is also a facility for Junior Membership at the discretion of the Management Group.
Management of the site, on behalf of the Ministry of Defence and Commander Service Delivery Training North, shall be vested in a Management Group of up to ten persons representing the following interests:-
• The Ministry of Defence (Defence Infrastructure Organisation)
• Richmondshire District Council
• Natural England
• Commander Service Delivery Training North
• Foxglove Covert Conservation Volunteers
• Scientific Recording
• The British Trust for Ornithology Licenced Bird Ringing Scheme
Members of the Management Group shall not have a personal financial interest in Foxglove Covert or any property belonging to Foxglove Covert (other than as a member of the Management Group) or receive remuneration or be interested in any contract entered into by the Management Group (other than as a member of the Management Group). The interests of the respective organisations may be served by all elected members and a tied member may be considered desirable but is not essential.
7. Management Group
For the purposes of section 97 of the Charities Act 1993 (or any statutory re-enactment) the following persons are the trustee body:
i) The Management Group shall manage Foxglove Covert and the assets of the Management Group in accordance with this Constitution and the Management Plan, which forms the basis of the site’s designation as a Statutory Nature Reserve by Richmondshire District Council.
ii) The Management Group shall appoint a Chairperson, Treasurer, and Secretary.
iii) Members of the Management Group shall be appointed for a two-year period but may be considered for re-election. A shorter period may be negotiable if considered necessary.
iv) Each member of the Management Group shall be entitled to one vote, but at all times the Chairperson shall retain a casting vote.
v) The Management Group shall ordinarily meet at least three times annually upon notice of not less than 21 days and any five members shall constitute a quorum.
vi) Management Group members who fail to attend three consecutive ordinary meetings may be asked to stand down.
vii) A special meeting of the Management Group may be called by the Chairperson upon no less than four days’ notice to all members of the Management Group.
viii) The Management Group may, as necessary, co-opt members from the organisations and interested parties listed in Clause 6, but such co-opted members will not be entitled to vote. Additional non-voting members may be co-opted for duties such as fund raising, grant-seeking, education, minute taking.
ix) The Conservation Volunteers or any other interested party may raise issues with the Management Group.
x) A published agenda shall be raised for all ordinary meetings and a record of the proceedings shall be distributed to all members of the Management Group and Foxglove Conservation Volunteers.
xi) The Management Group shall produce an annual report, which may include details of scientific data, finances, visitor numbers, etc.
xii) Any matter not provided for within the Constitution may be settled by the Management Group. Ultimately the Management Group shall be responsible for all decision-making related to the running of the site.
i) The Management Group shall be an independent fund-holding body and shall comply with the Charities Act 1993 or any re-enactment or modification.
ii) The Treasurer shall keep account of all income and expenditure and shall submit accounts duly audited to the Management Group annually as at 31 December each year.
iii) The funds of the Group, including all donations, contributions and bequests, shall be paid into an account operated by the Management Group at such bank as the Management Group shall from time to time decide.
iv) Withdrawals shall be made in the name of the Management Group on the signature of at least two members of the Management Group. Approved signatories shall be determined by the Management Group.
v) The accounts shall be available for scrutiny by the Management Group at any time.
vi) The accounts shall be maintained using the standard military system for non-public accounts and shall be audited annually by an independent company of auditors.
vii) The Management Group shall seek and spend grant aid and other relevant funding on the management of the Local Nature Reserve.
viii) At no time shall any individual member of the Management Group commit to any expenditure, which has not been approved by the Management Group.
ix) Should the Local Nature Reserve designation be revoked at any time, the remaining assets, after satisfying any remaining debts and liabilities, shall continue to be expended for the benefit of the Foxglove Covert site as directed by the Management Group.
9. Annual General Meeting
i) There shall be an Annual General Meeting of Foxglove Covert Local Nature Reserve, which shall be held in the month of January each year or as soon as practicable thereafter.
ii) The Annual General Meeting shall be called by the Management Group and the Secretary shall give members at least 21 days’ notice of the meeting. All members shall have the right to attend and vote at the meeting.
iii) The Chairperson to preside over the meeting shall either be the Chairperson of the Management Group or in his/her absence a person appointed by those present at the meeting.
iv) The Management Group shall present to each annual meeting the report and accounts of the preceding year.
v) The Annual General Meeting shall elect the Management Group in compliance with Clause 6. Members elected to the Management Group shall be eligible to serve for a period of two years and may be re-elected.
10. Alterations to Constitution
i) Subject to the following provisions of this clause, the Management Group retain the right to alter the Constitution as required, but no alteration may be made without prior distribution of a formal agenda to a meeting called for this purpose.
ii) In relation to any charitable status, no amendment may be made that would have the effect of making the Charity cease to be a charity in law.
iii) In relation to any charitable status, the Management Group should promptly send to the Charity Commission a copy of any amendment made under this clause.
11. Dissolution of Charitable Status
If the Management Group decides that it is necessary or advisable to dissolve any charitable status it shall call a meeting of the Group, of which no less than 21 days’ notice shall be given. If the proposal is confirmed by a simple majority, any assets shall be disposed of in accordance with Clause 8 (ix) above. A copy of the statement of accounts for the final accounting period shall be sent to the Charity Commission.
The Management Group shall abide by the general principles of conduct which, underpin public life. These seven principles are: selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership.