Silence! The chairman affirmed that, contrary to the impression given in the agenda, the public is not allowed to speak at conservators’ meetings. She didn’t explain why: the board frequently invites non-members to address its meetings.

Habitat Management Plan: modifications to address the management needs of the golf course area will now go ahead, funding having been secured (meaning, we hope, that scrub control will be improved, and the burden shared with the golf course management).

Byelaws: the consultative committee’s request that the conservators consider the possibility of including byelaws on cycling and dog control in proposals for new byelaws on radio-controlled cars was noted. It was thought that byelaws might not be appropriate for enforcing dog control, but advice on a byelaw controlling cycling would be presented to the October meeting.

Dog control: Sam Whitehead updated the conservators on proposals for Surrey-wide changes on dog control (see paper 4).

Metal detecting: a new map showing areas in which metal detecting is permitted was circulated: oddly enough, it coincides almost exactly with the hack areas. Odd that metal detecting is considered acceptable on the hack areas, but not on the training areas.

Training Grounds Management Board: met on 7 July, and as reported to the consultative committee meeting earlier in the month, discussed the use of the hatched area, but concluded that ground conditions did not permit use by hack riders.

10% increase in horses in training on the downs. The fibresand track has been refurbished, and a sinking fund is being built up for future work. Rupert Trevelyan has been appointed as the new managing director of Epsom Racecourse, to replace Nick Blofeld: his background is commercial rather than racing.

The Derby: the racecourse view is that it will not wish to reinstate the Tattenham Corner fair next year, but a final decision will be taken by the incoming managing director. Several conservators implied that the suppression of the Tattenham Corner fair had changed, for the worse, the atmosphere around the replacement fairground on the Hill. Andrew Cooper acknowledged that the racecourse would need to take this effect into account. Surrey Police’s report was criticised for being anodyne and failing to address conservators’ concerns. Policing was said to evaporate after the racing had concluded, leaving the local community victim to continuing disorder. The clerk will write to Surrey Police with the conservators’ concerns.

Charging for cleaning up after events: following poor arrangements for the Race for Life earlier in the year, a reinstatement bond is planned (to cover the costs of a clean-up if the organisers fail to do it themselves), which will be presented as part of the events strategy to the October meeting… .

Events strategy: preparation of the strategy has been delayed owing to staff sickness, and will now be received at the October 2009 meeting, but several pending applications were presented for approval, including the St Ebba’s TREC 2010. Simon Dow had written saying that the downs were under huge pressure, and that the conservators should not sanction increased use. One member sensibly asked whether the policy was ‘first come, first served’, at least until the strategy was in place. All the pending applications were approved.

Downskeepers’ hut: consultation with the downskeepers had identified reservations about the relocation to a converted toilet block. Further work would be required.

Horseman’s Sunday: there was a lengthy discussion about the decline of Horseman’s Sunday, and whether gypsy trotters would turn up in September 2009 even though the event was not taking place.

Golf ball washers: the golf club had asked for permission to erect these in various places on the golf course. There was a consensus that the purpose of the washers was essentially commercial, in providing space for advertising, and that the washers were too bulky and intrusive, and so permission was refused.

Date of next meeting: 14 October 2009.