Cheshire Smallholders Association

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Event diary
Next meetings 
2021 - 2022 dates for your diary

Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2022 to you all from Cheshire Smallholders Association.

31st January 2022 - Clucking? Marvelous!

Veterinary Surgeon Melanie Chapman is a member of the CSA and she will be delivering her presentation 'A foolproof guide to Happy Hens and Crook Chooks’.

Many of our members keep small flocks, please do come along to get some expert input on poultry keeping and take the opportunity to consult with Melanie about hens and their welfare.

28th February 2022 - Dipping into your savings?

Pippa Johnson of Cheshire Wildlife Trust will talk to us about the creation of wildlife ponds, with the help of the CWT, for which funding can be given by CWT.  We understand the funding from Natural England for this scheme is due to end at the end of March 2022, but we are going ahead with this lecture: as well as practical knowledge, the funding window may also be extended. If you are interested in this scheme, it may be prudent to contact CWT sooner than later.

To find out more from Cheshire Wildlife Trust - click here

28th March 2022 - "This time next year Rodney..."

Rostons is an independent firm of Chartered Surveyors and Agricultural Valuers, with particular expertise in land, property and rural matters. We are delighted they have agreed to talk to us about the proposed Agriculture and Environmental Bill and how the proposed grant schemes could impact on smallholders with limited acreage.

There will also be a second part to the talk advising on planning applications, again with smallholdings in mind. We are very fortunate to have secured this lecture, which will be a great benefit to us all and will undoubtedly be popular.

For the 2021 -2022 lecture series,  we are meeting in the Lecture Theatre at Reaseheath, located in the Lord Woolley Centre.

To find us, enter the site at the main entrance and park in front of the Philip Leverhulme Centre, as we have done in the past. Then walk away from the main entrance, further up the main drive.
Where the road turns right take the route to the left towards the Lord Woolley Centre.

Please do come and join us at 7.30 for tea, biscuits and a chat, prior to the usual 8:00pm start.

Reaseheath currently request that all visitors should do a lateral flow test before attending any meetings, CSA will also be providing hand sanitiser in the meeting room.

Future lecture dates for your diary, further details to follow :-

25th April 2022
23rd May 2022 - likely date for outdoor trip / visit

If you are an existing member and interested in joining the committee, please contact Neil.  All meetings 7.30pm for 8.00pm at Reaseheath - see 'Lectures' link above.
Event diary
What's happened previously?

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.

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.

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

Margaret and Neil work hard on their lovely garden and it was open on the above dates as part of the National Garden Scheme open days for charity. Keep a look out for the 2022 dates - Well behaved dogs and children are welcome, refreshments and plants will be for sale.

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.