For the next six months…

Friends of Chadkirk will be continuing with outdoor activities for the next six months (weather permitting).

Given advice that we can be Covid safe in the open air, with minimal mitigation (social distancing for example), there is the chance to join our volunteers gardening. All the information on how you might do this is on the previous item.

Now we are adding open air TaiChi on Monday mornings. Starting back on Monday 14th September at 10 am. Sessions last about an hour. You do not need to wear a mask while exercising, as you will be able to maintain a safe socially distanced stance. However you will need to bring a mask (for emergencies) and hand sanitiser. Please be aware that Chadkirk Chapel remains closed. This means that there will be no toilet facilities or refreshments. Please plan your visit accordingly.

Any of the indoor activities that we had planned pre-Covid will not take place this year. We are adapting as we go. As more becomes possible, we will put the information out here.

Guidance on gardening

While the team are working in the Walled Garden (between 2 and 4pm on the afternoon of September 5th and between 10 and 12 midday on Thursday 17th September) the Walled Garden will be closed to non-gardening visitors.

Although the Chapel will be open to allow a hose to run for watering the garden, Chadkirk Chapel remains closed to visitors and the amenities will not be available for use by gardeners and non-gardeners alike. If you are planning to join us, please be aware that there will be no drinks provided and no toilet facilities available. Please plan accordingly.

Here are some tips for the gardening team about staying safe in current covid times.

Please bring and wear your own gardening gloves.

Where possible, please bring and use your own tools.

Current Covid-19 precautions will affect the way we work.

Each individual needs to bring their own hand sanitiser and a face mask. (The face mask is advised for emergencies. It is not required that you wear this when gardening in the open air.**)

Please bring and wear your own gardening gloves.

Where possible, please bring and use your own tools.

If you use any of the tools that belong to the team please sanitise and disinfect before and after use. For this, a sanitiser spray and disinfectant wipes will be provided.

It is advised that volunteers socially distance and keep 2m apart.

2 people from the same household may work together.

Gardening in the beauty of the Walled Garden at Chadkirk is always a delight. It can be immensely satisfying. Despite any changes, there is the prospect of time well spent at Chadkirk. Something for yourself and something for others to enjoy. Whatever the weather.

Update: Gardening goes ahead

Friends of Chadkirk volunteers are back in action down at Chadkirk.

Weeding, pruning and planting has been resumed in the Walled Garden and the other flower borders around Chadkirk Chapel.

Having made adjustments to take account of safety advice around Covid, we are able to meet and enjoy the satisfaction and pleasure of time well spent in the open air in this lovely space . For anyone wanting to join in, you can see how you can take part and stay safe here.

The pattern of our gardening time is to be the same as pre-covid. We meet on Saturday afternoons on the first Saturday of the month and on the morning of the third Thursday of each month.

Our next Gardening Team Task day will be on

Saturday 5th September between 2 and 4pm

and there will be another opportunity to garden with the team on Thursday 17th September between 10 and midday.

While it is possible to continue to garden at Chadkirk, we are unable to hold the other events planned for September and October. For this year,  Batbox making and the Harvest Festival Supper will be suspended due to safety concerns.

Thursday 20th August 2020

Our gardening team leader is preparing for a task day later this month.

Between 10 and 12 on the morning of Thursday 20th August Friends of Chadkirk volunteers will be in the gardens. They will be watering and weeding, tending the plants in the Walled Garden and the long borders in the gardens of Chadkirk.

Please bring and wear your own gardening gloves.

Where possible, please bring and use your own tools.

Current Covid-19 precautions will affect the way we work.

While the team are working in the Walled Garden (between 10 and 12 midday on Thursday 20th August) this will be closed to non-gardening visitors.

Although the Chapel will be open to allow a hose to run for watering the garden, Chadkirk Chapel remains closed to visitors and the amenities will not be available for use by gardeners and non-gardeners alike. If you are planning to join us, please be aware that there will be no drinks provided and no toilet facilities available and plan accordingly.

Here are some tips for the gardening team about staying safe in current covid times.

Each individual needs to bring their own hand sanitiser and a face mask. (The face mask is advised for emergencies. It is not required that you wear this when gardening in the open air.**)

Please bring and wear your own gardening gloves.

Where possible, please bring and use your own tools.

If you use any of the tools that belong to the team please sanitise and disinfect before and after use. For this, a sanitiser spray and disinfectant wipes will be provided.

It is advised that volunteers socially distance and keep 2m apart.

2 people from the same household may work together.

Gardening in the beauty of the Walled Garden at Chadkirk is always a delight. It can be immensely satisfying. Despite any changes, there is the prospect of time well spent at Chadkirk. Something for yourself and something others will enjoy. Whatever the weather.

Butterflies in the meadows

and following on from recent messages about the butterflies in Coronation Meadow, I see it’s time for the Big Butterfly Count.

An extract from an email from Butterfly Conservation (16th July 2020)

The Big Butterfly Count is back tomorrow – and this year’s count is more critical than ever.

Following the fine spring weather we’ve seen the earliest average emergence of butterflies for the last 20 years. It’s vital that we understand how these weather patterns affect butterflies to help protect them for the future.

By spending just 15 minutes taking part in this year’s Big Butterfly Count, you will help us understand how different species are faring in your area, which in turn will help us target research and conservation work where it’s needed most.

So many of us have sought comfort, inspiration and hope through spending time in nature during the difficult last few months of lockdown, participating in the Big Butterfly Count is an easy way to give a gift back to nature this summer.

What’s new this year? 
This year we’ve upgraded the website and app to make it even easier to use. This means you’ll need to have the latest version of the app for your count to be included. Available via your App Store and Google Play

Coronation Meadow

Chadkirk has been very popular in recent months. Visitors have enjoyed the woodland walks, the Walled Garden and the fields of meadow grass. In spring and summer 2020 many more of the visitors have walked around Chadkirk Country Park, often daily, with some new visitors perhaps returning regularly. From spring to summer a transformation, evident throughout Chadkirk Estate. Trees coming into leaf, the gardens coming into flower and the meadows changing from green to russet and ochre as the grasses flower and ripen.

During June and July the flowering plants in the meadows attract insects and butterflies. These in turn attract bats and birds. As the summer moves on, the flowers begin to turn to seed and the butterflies will continue their life cycle. The nectar of the flowers provides food for the butterflies. To lay their eggs, butterflies will seek out plants, such as nettles, that will provide food for the caterpillars. In the next stage of their life cycle, caterpillars turn into pupae before emerging once again as a butterfly.

On summer days you might see meadow browns and gate keepers, small tortoiseshells, peacocks, brimstone, small skippers and speckled woods.

As the summer progresses, the meadows at Chadkirk will be cut.
By then the caterpillars will have moved from the nettles to where they pupate. The timing of the cut is always a balance between what’s best for wildlife and the right conditions for cutting. In a typical British summer, it can be a case of looking for a dry spell to get the work done. Whenever that happens, Coronation Meadow is the last to be cut. Until that then, looking out over the meadows, which butterflies can you see?

March 20th until further notice…

Friends of Chadkirk events planned are suspended.
Normal activities will resume when normal activities resume.

Until then? Cherish each moment. Sing , hum, laugh. Dance alone or together. Walk in open spaces. Notice. Moments of joy.

The month of March : what’s going on at Chadkirk

Our next event is the celebration of St Chad’s Day.
This will take place on Sunday 1st March.

In the Chadkirk Garden:
Our team of volunteers enjoy some fresh air, occasional rays of sunshine, movement and the delights of earth and tending the garden. Often too, cuppa and a chat, many times accompanied by cake.
You are very welcome to join us.
We meet by Chadkirk Chapel.
Every little helps. Maybe join us for minutes and moments or a longer spell.

March gardening days: Saturday 7th and Thursday 19th

Meetings of Friends of Chadkirk
Meetings take place on the second Thursday of every other month.
Time:10-00 hrs
Place: Chadkirk Chapel

March Meeting (AGM) Thursday March 12th 2020 at 10-00 am

Tai Chi
Tai Chi is held at the Chapel on Mondays (except Bank Holidays and August) 10am to 11am. Cost £3.50p per session. Tea/coffee after session.

Sunday 1st March Celebrate St Chad’s Day at Chadkirk

Looking to get out and about now that spring is officially just around the corner?

A stroll around Chadkirk and a visit to the Chapel might be just the thing. Perhaps a short walk, followed by a hot drink and a slice of cake in the shelter of Chadkirk Chapel? Just the right balance of fresh air and convivial comforts.

We are hosting our annual St Chad’s Day event on Sunday 1st March 2020.

There’s a presentation DVD on the life of St Chad.

The presentation starts at 2pm. Tray bakes for sale. Drinks from the kiosk.

From the car park, it’s a short walk to the Walled Garden and Chadkirk Chapel. All welcome. Join us for a visit. Chadkirk and St Chad. It’s all part of what makes this a special place to treasure.

A question answered…

Will there be anything happening at Chadkirk on St Chad’s Day, Monday 2 March? I am planning a walk for my Monday walking group past Chadkirk on that day. I remember that in 2015, the previous time St Chad’s Day fell on a Monday, we happened to walk past Chadkirk and were delighted to find coffee and cakes being served.

Good to hear from you Leslie.Thanks for your question.
We celebrate St Chad’s Day on the nearest Sunday to St Chad’s official day. So this year we will be in Chadkirk Chapel on Sunday March 1st 2020.

If your group are walking on Sunday 1st some of our Friends will be delighted to meet you and offer you a warm welcome and refreshments.

There’s plenty of short circuits around Chadkirk, so it’s also pleasant to just have a little wander towards Chadkirk Chapel and step inside for a cuppa, a cake and a chat. There’s plenty of interest in the history and art works too. And things are starting to wake up in the Walled Garden too. Join us when you can.