Celebrating…

At the last meeting of the Friends of Chadkirk, Pat read out a letter of thanks. The letter told of the success of Chadkirk Festival 2014 and of the part that the Friends of Chadkirk had played in making that possible. More to follow on that. For now, a small celebration of that day with some photographs to remind us of summer sun and friendly fun down at Chadkirk.

across the generations
games, ancient and modern
and the band played on...
young dancers demonstrate
young dancers demonstration for the crowds
history in the making
balloon animal
health and safetymartial arts
martial arts stall
light refreshments and cream teas

Introducing the team…

Friends of Chadkirk

Plant stall at Festival

Cream Teas

Scones, cream and strawberries: a treat from the Friends of Chadkirk stall at the festival

Bird and Bat Box making : Saturday 13th September

The weather was warm. The families who came along had fun. And at least 8 new homes were made for some of our local wildlife. Especial thanks to John for cheerful and constructive tips on construction (and future occupants).

New Bat Box.  Proud owner/maker. Photo: Artemisia

New Bat Box.
Proud owner/maker.
Photo: Artemisia


One of each - bat box  and bird box. Each with a different entrance. Photo: Artemisia

One of each – bat box and bird box.
Photo: Artemisia

Family working together to make B+B boxes. Photo: Artemisia

Family working together to make B+B boxes.
Photo: Artemisia

One of Saturday's first boxes.

John offers some tips.

John offers some tips.

Bird and Bat Box making by the Chapel, Chadkirk. Photo: Artemisia

Bird and Bat Box making by the Chapel, Chadkirk.
Photo: Artemisia

Autumn Events at Chadkirk

It’s September, so this is the time for bat and bird box making down at Chadkirk.

Meet at the Chapel 1-30 to 4-00 pm on Saturday 13th September.

Please bring your own hammer.

The team of father and daughter finish their bat box       Photo: Artemisia

Bird Box                        Photo: ArtemisiaThey also serve....              Photo: Artemisia

News from the meeting…

Item one on the agenda: the footpath by Hatherlow Brook

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We were fortunate to have the Rights of Way Officer as an invited guest.

Ever since the rumour mill threw up information about the proposal to replace the footpath with a new bridleway, people have been wanting to learn more about the proposals. Basic information has been hard to come by.

Many visitors drive to the Country Park, park and then walk on the path by the stream to Little Wood, often following a circular route back to the Car Park. This is a well trodden path. Anyone who has used this path for a period of 20 years or more can apply to the Rights of Way Officer to have this path recorded and dedicated as a Public Right of Way.

Application forms can be obtained from the Rights of Way Officer. Completed forms can be submitted to him and , once they work their way to the top of the pile, the Rights of Way Officer will then assess the evidence. This part of the process can take unto 12 months.

This process may be a way to enable the current footpath to be kept.

However, what is not clear is how this process will play out given the current plan to put in a new bridleway on the other side of the hedge.

The Rights of Way Officer explained that the current plans for a Bridleway grew out of a national planning exercise, when all local authorities were required to put forward a Right of Way Improvement Plan in 2007/8. Consultation of users was required before drawing up the plan. Although many of the people present at the meeting have been involved with the Friends of Chadkirk group at the time, none recalled any consultation.

Had there been any more recent consultation?
We learned that the Rights of Way Officer has meetings with ‘user groups’. There had been a meeting earlier this year (who knew?) and there is another one planned for December. However since no-one from the Friends group had information about (or invitation to) these meetings, perhaps it would be fair to say that it would be impossible to make a contribution to the information gathering part of the process.

A commitment was made to notify the group of the next meeting. However, the timing of that meeting is unhelpful, given the suggestion that the bridleway is to replace the current footpath in the autumn.

After a discussion of this item there were many outstanding questions about the proposed bridleway. Here are a few:

How much will the new bridleway cost?

Where are these funds coming from?

Who decided that this was a better way of spending scarce resources than, for example, repairing the oft flooded car park and/or maintaining the present footpath?

How were the majority of users consulted about the plans?

How will a 3m wide bridleway affect the conservation goals of the Country Park? This will take up part of the Coronation Meadow.

Does a new bridleway require planning permission?

Although there were unanswered questions and matters remain to be resolved, a more senior representative (with responsibility for some aspects of this issue) employed by the local authority will be invited to attend next month’s meeting of the Friends of Chadkirk. This meeting will take place on Thursday 2nd October at 7.30 pm in Chadkirk Chapel.

Farewell footpath?

This is the path that will be closed if the proposed changes go ahead.

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New Bridleway? …and People Power?

I can now confirm that the bridleway is planned to be installed in the autumn and that architects are drawing up plans.

I apologise for some confusion in the last post about the bridleway.
The item is to be considered as the first agenda item on Thursday 4th September. The person responsible for the decision will be at that meeting. As far as I am aware, this will be the first consultation with the Friends of Chadkirk about this planned change to the environment at Chadkirk Country Park. If you use the Country Park , there is a good chance that you will be affected by the change.

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Do you walk along the path by the stream which links the car park to Little Wood? Then you will be interested to know that an Equestrian group has applied for a bridleway that will affect you. Have you been informed of the change? Have you been consulted? Were you given information and then an opportunity to express a point of view? Even if your current answer to these questions is ‘no’, there may be an opportunity for you to influence what happens to the foot paths of Chadkirk. Though you might be well advised to make your view known sooner rather than later. Off the radar, decisions seem to have been taken and the plans have been formed.

The plan, as I understand it, is to block off the path by the stream. Walkers will then have a new pathway which will be inside the field, the other side of the hedge. They will be able to walk on the other side of the hedge from the current path and will arrive somewhere close to the bridge over the stream and get into Little Wood that way. This path will be for horses as well as walkers: the new bridleway.

Although I understand that the plan has been approved, there may be an opportunity to have some input into the decision. Surely consultation is a requirement for a change like this? The Public Rights of Way may have given the plan the go ahead. However, there may yet be an opportunity for you to make an input into the decision making process and exert your democratic rights.

On Thursday 4th September at 7.30 pm there is a meeting of the Friends of Chadkirk. The first item on the agenda is the planned bridleway and the closing of the footpath by the stream.

There are a number of ways that you might make your views known:

Put your comments in writing and send them to the person responsible for making the decision.

Attend the Friends of Chadkirk meeting on Thursday 4th September.

Contact local councillors and other elected representatives.

Make your views known to other people who are able to attend the meeting on Thursday 4th September.