Cheshire Smallholders Association

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Event diary
Next meetings 
January 2024 - April 2024, we are meeting again at Reaseheath, in the Leverhulme building, in our "old" room, L3, that we frequented for many years.  

The Leverhulme building is near to the entrance to the Reaseheath site on the right, details of how to find the Leverhulme Centre are included on the "Lectures" tab above.
We will still meet at 7.30pm for tea / coffee, biscuits and a chat, prior to the usual 8:00pm start.

Monday 29th January 2024 @Reaseheath

Ask the Vet - Jen Quayle, Rose Cottage Veterinary Centre

We are delighted to share the news that Jen Quayle will be joining us again for our "Ask the vet" seminar.  As well as the usual Q&A, Jen will be exploring contemporary issues in the use of wormers in our stock and the wider impact this has on pasture.

Click here for Rose Cottage Vet Centre website.

Please come along and support the Association, at the fourth of the 2023 /24 series of meetings, looking forward to meeting you all again on Monday 29th January 2024 at Reaseheath.

Future dates:-

Monday 26th February 2024 @Reaseheath

Monday 25th March 2024 @Reaseheath

Monday 29th April 2024 @Reaseheath

May 2024 – Site visit.

We meet at 7.30 for tea / coffee, biscuits and a chat, before our speaker at 8.00pm.  

Event diary
What's happened previously?
27th November 2023 - Wiltshire Horn Sheep Society - Paul McAvoy

The Wiltshire Horn Sheep Society exists to promote, preserve and improve the Wiltshire Horn breed, to define the breed standard and record pedigrees. It came into being on the 13th January 1923. Paul gave us a fascinating insight into this versatile, non shear sheep.

Click here for Wiltshire Horn Sheep Society website.

30th October 2023 - Poultry Welfare Code - David Golding

Even a humble backyard poultry flock is subject to a welfare code of practice. The aim of tonight’s presentation was to pluck the knowledge from the relevant codes of practice and identify some key pointers that we might take away for our own interest or for our own flocks.

Prior to the presentation we held our Annual General Meeting.

25th September 2023 - British Breeds Revival Trust - Chris Ball

The founding of the British Breeds Revival Trust (BBRT) provided the UK with its second farm animal Charity Commission registered conservation organisation, with Chris and his contemporaries at the helm.  In some cases, the trustees have already demonstrated success in saving and reviving native farm breeds such as the Northern Dairy Shorthorn that was poised on the brink of extinction.

30th January 2023 - Ask the vet - Jen Quayle

We were joined again this evening by our wonderful expert veterinary supporter, Jen Quayle from Rose Cottage, who spoke about the latest thinking and knowledge about avian flu and other topical issues. Jen has an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of veterinary medicine and her visits to CSA are treasured.

28th November 2022 - Wilkesley Vegetable Hampers

Iain spoke with us about how he and Jane began their business, how they established a market and the experiences they gained over the years.

31st October 2022 - AGM and presentation on Pasture Management

Our annual AGM took place, followed by Elaine Dukes from "Soil Sense" who shared advice on how to best manage pasture.

26th September 2022 - The making of RHS Bridgewater

Tracy Snell, Garden Manager of the woodland and estate at RHS Bridgewater- explained how the 154 acre garden was created. Bridgewater is one of the largest and most spectacular gardening projects undertaken in Europe in recent years.

28th March 2022 - Rostons Chartered Surveyors and Agricultural Valuers

Rostons is an independent firm of Chartered Surveyors and Agricultural Valuers, with particular expertise in land, property and rural matters. We were delighted they agreed to talk to us about Agriculture and Environmental initiatives and how the proposed grant schemes could impact on smallholders, plus also sharing their insights around rural planning applications.

28th February 2022 - Dipping into your savings?

Pippa Johnson from Cheshire Wildlife Trust spoke with us about the creation and restoration of wildlife ponds with the help of the CWT and the possibility of grant funding being provided, with the aim of providing habitats for endangered species.

If you are interested in this scheme, it will be prudent to contact CWT sooner than later.  Cheshire Wildlife Trust - click here

31st January 2022 - Clucking? Marvellous! A foolproof guide to Happy Hens and Crook Chooks with Melanie Chapman

A fabulous interactive exchange with Melanie, who provided expert input on poultry and their welfare.

29th November 2021 - Hard Graft?  Fruit tree management, with Katie Lowe, Heathfield Nurseries

Katie Lowe of Heathfield Nurseries conducted ad excellent presentation about orchard management, grafting, pruning and varieties of trees to plant.  Katie spoke with the CSA a few years ago and reminded us how we should be looking after our trees.

25th October 2021 - Ask the Vet / AGM

Rose Cottage Veterinary Practice have always been very supportive of the Cheshire Smallholders Association and this year we started our lecture season with a talk by Elliot Kirwan of Rose Cottage, followed by a question and answer session.

27th September 2021

We had our first meeting for a long time after we had managed to work out how to turn the lights on in the lecture theatre.  A general discussion covered topics as wide as cutting IBC containers in half for composting containers, to future lectures and catching up on what we had all being doing during the various lockdowns.

18th July & 1st August 2021 - National Gardens Scheme.

Margaret and Neil work hard on their lovely garden and it was open as part of the National Garden Scheme open days for charity. Keep a look out for the 2023 dates - Well behaved dogs and children are welcome, refreshments and plants will be for sale.

5th July 2021 - Visit to Bickley Hall Farm, hosted by Cheshire Wildlife Trust.

A walk around the hay fields to to see and hear how the hay fields are sown, managed and cut and how these methods are balanced with running a commercial farm. The trip will take about an hour and a half.

24th February 2020 - Land management with working horses - Barbara Haddrill.

Working horses were a common site in the not to distant past and Barbara Haddrill keeps this method of land management alive.  Barbara traveled from Wales to give us an informative and interesting talk about the work she undertakes across the country and for clients such as the National Trust.  We wanted to organise a trip to see her farm and the horses but Covid intervened.

30th September 2019 - Small scale sheep keeping - Bill Mellor, NFU NW Livestock Board Chairman

Bill has a 120 acre farm in Hazel Grove, Stockport keeping pedigree British Simmental cattle and Texel cross sheep. An informative evening, from a well connected and expert local farmer.

28th October 2019 - CSA Annual General Meeting, followed by "Soil Sense Ltd" - Elaine Jewkes.

Elaine agreed to present a lecture on the science of soil and the management of soil nutrients, covering the management of grazing, such as resting paddocks and over grazing and the benefits of harrowing, aeration and good drainage.

25th November 2019 - Pollinating Cheshire and Grassland restoration - Joe Pimblett, Cheshire Wildlife Trust

From below ground last month, to above ground this, Joe focussed on the management of grassland and the creation of wildlife meadows.  Is it the beginning of the end for intensive monoculture?  

December 2019 - no meeting

2nd December 2019 -  Skittles and meal evening at the Bickerton Poacher, Bulkeley.

Won this year by our incoming Chairman, Neil, in the absence of last year's winner Andy Walker.  Four champions have lifted the imaginary trophy so far, can one of our past winners make it a double in 2020 or will a new face enjoy the limelight?  

Rest assured, if the web editor wins, there'll be a plastic trophy from eBay on the very next plane from China.  

Who knew smallholders were such a competitive bunch?

Monday 27th January 2020 - Ask the Vet.

With our loyal and longstanding supporter, the incredible Jen Quayle from Rose Cottage Veterinary Centre.

2018 - 2019 lecture series

2017 - 2018 lecture series

2016 - 2017 lecture series

2015 - 2016 lecture series

2014 - 2015 lecture series

2013 - 2014 lecture series

A very warm welcome to you from the Cheshire Smallholders Association.

We are a dynamic and enthusiastic group of small scale and hobby farmers, horse enthusiasts and countryside lovers. 

We were established in the 1980's and the livestock interests of our members include sheep, goats, pigs, cattle, chickens, ducks and geese, 

Some also keep horses and ponies, and others have kept llamas and alpacas. 

Other interests include bees, fruit and vegetable cultivation and land management.

Please contact us for more information on joining the association or for any other enquiries

We hold regular meetings throughout the Autumn, Winter and Spring - Please see the "Lectures" tab for details of how to get to one of our regular meetings.

We are always keen to meet new members who share our interests and passion. 

Our forthcoming events are listed on this page and to give you an idea of the sort of events that we have run in the past, please see the links at the bottom of the page.