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.

New Bridleway?

There’s some confusion about plans for a new bridleway in the country park.
Has it got planning permission? Is there a conflict of interests? How will it affect other users and visitors to Chadkirk? ..or is it unfounded rumour?

Pat has invited a representative to talk about Public Rights of Way who can provide information about this issue. He will be in Chadkirk Chapel on Thursday 21st August at about 11.30 am. This time will suit the volunteers who are gardening in the Walled Garden on Thursday morning. It may also suit other interested parties to call in and listen.

The September meeting of The Friends of Chadkirk will be on Thursday 4th September in Chadkirk Chapel at 7-30 pm. Discussion of the bridleway will be on the agenda.

The friendly festival…

If the Commonwealth Games are the friendly games, then Chadkirk Festival is definitely the friendly festival. A few hours wandering in the sunshine, milling amongst the flock of visitors with my camera in hand provided the chance to chat with people. They came from near and far and spanned the generations, with something of interest for every one.

100 photos later…here’s a few highlights to enjoy:

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Chadkirk Festival 2014

Today’s Chadkirk Festival was a day with many of the usual ingredients which have made the event so popular, a mix of people and place that makes the Chadkirk Festival special for so many.

There’s an ease of access and well organised parking thanks to the combined effort of local authority and local adventure scouts. Then there’s that tucked away world a few hundred metres down a country lane off the A627: wooded slopes and meadows, walled gardens and ancient chapel.

Within the gardens a feeling of beauty and shared pleasures, as families throng around the flotilla of tented stalls. There’s amazement and delight as people watch with fascination at the birds of prey displays. Other aspects of our relationships with wildlife draw interested crowds at the beekeepers tent, or the barn owl stall.

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Plenty of skills on display at the craft stalls selling jewellery, cards…

This year that extra ingredient: almost perfect weather.
In the warmth and sunshine people relaxed, ambled around the festival and watched some of the local groups who performed and entertained. There were places to sit in sun or shade, in the gardens, or under trees and picnic and just enjoy.

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It’s on Sunday…Chadkirk Festival 2014

Sunday 27th July 2014

The last Sunday in July, is traditionally the day for the Chadkirk Festival and this year is no exception.

All the preparations are in full swing this week. The Ford field is being prepared to serve as a car parking area. Creative volunteers are spending time in the Chapel at Chadkirk and transforming the design for this year’s well dressing into an eye catching display that will be unveiled at the start of Sunday’s festivities. There are banners and posters reminding people of the event. From midday on Sunday there will be five hours of activities to enjoy.

The Festival begins with the Mayor of Stockport blessing St. Chad’s Well.

From 12 midday, you will be able browse over 40 stalls, indulge in some food treats and enjoy the sights and sounds of music and dancing, wildlife and craftwork.

By the entrance to the Chadkirk Festival there will be a chance to see the donkeys from the sanctuary,and around the lawned area there will be falconry displays and the balloon show from award winning artists Rachel and Jason heart. Local craftsmen such as Austin Neeves and Arnold Parrott have stalls, along with the local taekwando group, Mellor Trust and The Heritage Trust.

On the lawned area there will be performances by local dance groups and demonstrations of taekwondo by students from a local group.

The Stockport Silver Band will play traditional music in the courtyard area outside Chadkirk Chapel.

In Chadkirk Chapel are the craft stalls of Country Fayre, Elaine Redford, Christine Smith, Maggie Harwood, Samantha Taylor and Irene Clare. The Chapel is also the place to go to see and hear the Tin’stle Bells Hand Bell Ringers. They perform at regular intervals throughout the afternoon. (A special thanks to this group – in 2013 Tin’stle Bells generously donated their fee towards the Window Fund.)

Outside in the Walled garden there will be face painting, willow weaving and barn owls to interest and entertain, as well as food stalls.

In the corner of the walled garden under the awnings, Friends of Chadkirk will be serving scones and tea and places to relax and refresh under the apple trees. Other members of the Friends of Chadkirk group will be offering plants for sale. This is one of the way that The Friends of Chadkirk group is able to raise money that can then be used to maintain and improve the environment of Chadkirk, the Chapel, Walled Gardens and the Country Park.

This year look out for a new stall: Romiley Remembers.

Entrance to the Chadkirk Festival is £2 for adults, Chidren 5-15 years £1. Under 5s : entrance is free.

For a visual reminder of all the fun of the festival…
see some photos from previous years.

What’s new at Chadkirk ….

July 2012 – New bridge across the river
July 2013 – New East Window in the Chapel
July 2014…what’s new at Chadkirk?

Observant walkers and strollers will have spotted them. Wooden hares. Or rabbits? 12 of them. Markers. Low down near ground level. Jumping rabbits? Or running hares? There to spark the interest of curious youngsters as they move around the new Chadkirk Trail. And from Friday, any one a bit taller who can read will be able to learn a little bit more about Chadkirk at each Hare point or Rabbit stop.

The old signs on the Chadkirk Trail have become so weathered that they are virtually opaque. On 11th July 2014 new information boards will be set up around the Chadkirk Country Park. There will be 11 on the Chadkirk Trail and a 12th down by the ‘new’ bridge. Each of them providing some information that will , for many visitors, add to their enjoyment of the unique landscape of Chadkirk.

Regular visitors will have chance to see the new boards from Friday onwards. If you are one of the many people who visit Chadkirk for Chadkirk Festival at the end of July, look out for the hares!