Easter Bank Holiday Weekend at Chadkirk

Yesterday’s vernal equinox marks a change. From now, until September, days will be longer than nights. At first, by minutes and then by hours. As we move into spring and look towards summer, there are more daylight hours to spend out and about.

This coming weekend, there’s even more to celebrate. Our clocks spring forward by an hour at midnight on Saturday 26th March, so there’ll be an extra hour of light in the evening.

Plants affected by the lengthening daylight add new growth, or open into flower. A recent spell of dry weather, some blue skies, sunshine and warmth, all encourage growth and blossom in the woodland, meadows and hedgerows of Chadkirk.

By the time the weekend arrives, there’ll be newly invigorated bees and butterflies visiting the flowers in the garden, searching for food. A little something to energise them for their spring activities.

Bees and butterflies will feed off the nectar of the spring flowers. Meanwhile, there’ll be something sweet on offer for the young of our own species on Bank Holiday Monday.

On Monday 28th March between 2pm and 4pm, volunteers from the Friends of Chadkirk offer a bit of fun and a sweet treat for participants in our popular Easter Egg Hunt.

Hidden eggs in the garden and grounds wouldn’t be much fun for anyone – they might melt in the sun, get washed in the rain, eaten by animals. So as an alternative there’s a game of scrambled eggs. Follow the clues and at the end, there’ll be a creme filled egg for each child taking part.

Entry is 50p per child.
The game is suitable for children upto 8 years of age, accompanied by adult carers.

In 2015 this was one of our most popular events, organised by volunteers, in a spirit of generosity. They made a choice. The emphasis is on attracting young ‘uns. Time enjoyed here means that they, like us , will have a special connection with this special place. For the Friends of Chadkirk, while this event may not add much to our funds, it spreads the joy… what Easter, holidays, friends and Chadkirk are all about.

There’ll be a different kind of delight for those who join our Easter Sunday service on 27th March at 3pm which will be led by Rev Jon Lyndsey-Scott of St Chad’s Church in Romiley. At this service there will be an opportunity to donate to a local charity. All money collected will contribute to Romiley Arc.

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A is for Access : A tale of two footpaths

Do you remember Autumn 2014? And, among other things, the surprising news that somehow someone had the idea to close one of the most popular footpaths at Chadkirk? The footpath threatened with closure was the one from the main car park, alongside the stream, over the bridge, through Little Wood and out on the lane by St Chad’s Well.

the start of the path...

One way it seemed possible to save this footpath was to apply to have it dedicated as a footpath. Any footpath that is dedicated and recorded on the Definitive Map showing public rights of way could not be closed. So Friends of Chadkirk started the ball rolling….

The appropriate forms were filled in and submitted to the appropriate officials. Most of the land is owned by Stockport MBC. A small part of the path is not. Establishing that walkers have used the path as a right of way for many years can be a way to have a footpath dedicated. Setting this process in motion seemed vital, given the proposals to close the footpath. The application has been in the hands of Public Rights of Way officials since June 2015.

In the event, after a series of meetings, the Werneth Area Committee rescinded the plans. The footpath remains open. For now. But what of the future? As an application has been submitted and supporting statements made by regular users, might it be best to continue to see if the footpath can be dedicated and thus protected for future walkers in Chadkirk Country Park?

If you visit Chadkirk and have been walking this path for a period of years, then this experience can be the basis of a brief user statement. This can then form part of the evidence that would be part of the case for footpath dedication.

The link to the form to be filled in is here:

http://www.stockport.gov.uk/services/leisureculture/walkinginstockport/publicrightsofway/

Completing a form (under Form tab) and passing it to the Friends of Chadkirk is one way that you can take part in the process of protecting this footpath for future generations.

Issues of Access in Chadkirk Country Park Estate.
Come along to a Friends of Chadkirk meeting.
New friends welcome.

April meeting

On Thursday 7th April Friends of Chadkirk will gather in Chadkirk Chapel at 7-30pm. There’ll be tea, coffee and cakes. Cake contributions welcome.

This will be a social gathering. A chance to chat. And together we’ll browse through some of the material in our archives, gather together photographs, maps and other records. Our intention is to put together display boards which will give visitors information about, and some insight into, the development of Chadkirk Chapel, the Walled Gardens, Chadkirk Farm and Country Park Estate.

What are friends for?

Resourceful and energetic, friends can help us make the best of life.
At last night’s AGM you’d get a clear sense of the difference that Friends make.

They make a difference through their funding of projects on the Chadkirk Country Park, Farm Estate and in Chadkirk Chapel. In the past that has included the design and installation of the East Window. Later this year, footpaths in the Walled Garden will be repaired and re-surfaced, funded by the Friends of Chadkirk. There are many ways that funds raised and donations are used to benefit the environment and the community here.

While raising funds for Chadkirk is a big part of what we do, Friends of Chadkirk also raise money to make donations to a wide range of other causes. Our treasurer reported back at the AGM about money donated to charities local and global. At the Carol Service in December, the collection raised nearly £300. The collection of £296-64 was donated to the British Red Cross fund, this small contribution to a global fund to take compassionate action within the refugee camps of Syria. In previous years, similar donations have been made to funds to support those affected by the flooding in Cumbria, Guide Dogs for the Blind and other diverse organisations.

It is a reflection of the place that Chadkirk occupies in people’s hearts, that along with funds raised at events, we also receive donations and bequests. At the meeting last night, we were moved to learn of a bequest from a special friend of Chadkirk who had travelled by bus to help us get our beehives established and to take good care of them. Although that baton has been passed on, the continuity of his affection for the bees and this place has been movingly expressed. If Wilf’s family read this, we’d like to say a very special thank you. Please get in touch. Together we might be able to tell a little of his story and honour his achievements, the part he played in helping create the Chadkirk we enjoy today. Many visitors would be interested to learn more about our hives and his work with the bees.

Moving through the agenda from the happenings of 2015 there was talk of plans for 2016. The events, which generally have a monthly pattern, start this weekend.

On Saturday 5th March the gardening team will be active in the Walled Garden (as long as today’s snow has melted away).

On Sunday 6th March Friends of Chadkirk will be offering something a little bit different by way of treats, entertainment and convivial chat. For this year we’ll be doing what we can with our existing technology to show our little in-house life story of St Chad, back by popular demand. By next year we hope to be able to use an upgraded system which we are currently checking out and plan to install soon. This upgrade has been made possible by a significant donation from a member of the local community.

No upgrade is required for our popular Easter Egg Hunt. Last year this attracted many youngsters and their carers and at 2pm on Easter Monday – 28th March – there’s another chance to seek out what’s hidden in the gardens of Chadkirk.

A different kind of delight for those who join our Easter Sunday service on 27th March which will be led by Rev Jon Lyndsey-Scott of St Chad’s Church in Romiley. At this service there will be an opportunity to donate to a local charity. All money collected will contribute to Romiley Ark.

For Friends of Chadkirk there’s a familiar seasonal rhythm to the activities, though with a little twist each year. Things change, so there’s also adaptation to make the best of what’s going on here and further afield. As a result there has been a change to the pattern of some of our regular activities.

This year, for one year only, there’ll be Well Dressing Blessing on Saturday 30th July. . With the Blessing at 1pm, an opportunity for refreshments in Chadkirk Chapel, and the plant stalls and Friends of Chadkirk stall with a range of small treats on offer. Outside the Stockport Silver Band will play.

At the AGM, the retiring Chair passed round a letter from the organiser of the Chadkirk Festival which stated that:

The council will be working with the Friends of Chadkirk on the format for the festival for the weekend 29th/30th July 2017.

This means that we’ll be celebrating our 20th Chadkirk Festival in 2017.
Our expanding team of enthusiasts have plenty to look forward to.

Down at Chadkirk, Friends of Chadkirk make a difference to all most every aspect of this special place. It can be life enriching, community enhancing, ecologically sustaining, landscape protecting. Beneficial. Be-friending.

Want to make a difference? Take part. Join in. Be-friend.

A different kind of Mothering Sunday treat…

Looking for a different kind of treat?
This Sunday, for one day only?
In Chadkirk Chapel?
….meet St.Chad?

Well…sort of…

Between 2 and 4 pm
Chadkirk Chapel will be open.
There’ll be a Friends of Chadkirk stall offering a variety of comestibles.
Tea, coffee, hot Vimto.
Traybake treats: flapjacks, lemon drizzle cake, caramel and chocolate slices for £1

In addition there’ll be the chance to watch a short ‘film’ about St. Chad, the Chapel’s saint. A short stroll, an interesting building full of curiosities, an opportunity to see something of the lives of people in the past. And cake. Something a little different for Sunday.

Sunday 6th March St. Chad’s Day in Chadkirk Chapel 2-4pm

Please note that the council run kiosk will not be open (no staff available).

The start of Spring…

March 1st is officially the start of spring.
This weekend is the first spring weekend of 2016.
The first Saturday of the month: March 5th.
It’s time for the good folk on our gardening team to be in the gardens by the chapel. They’ll be doing what needs to be done.Tidying up after the winter and getting ready for new growth.

You can join us for a few minutes or a few hours.
Open air, the gentle beauty of the Walled Garden, available to all.
A shared joke, a shared activity and a deep sense of satisfaction.

Meet by Chadkirk Chapel at 2pm.
A cuppa and a little something delicious to eat at the break.
Tidy up and tools away by 4pm.
Over the year, you’ll see the garden change through the season, starting with the green shoots in spring.

Volunteer weeding one of the beds in the Walled Garden.

Volunteer weeding one of the beds in the Walled Garden.

Dates for your diary

Please note that the Gardening Team will not be meeting on Thursday 18th February.

On Thursday 4th March our monthly meeting will take place in Chadkirk Chapel.

The meeting begins at 7-30pm.

This is the Annual General Meeting.