I first became aware of the Friends of Chadkirk in June 2011.
A keen gardener, I was drawn to the plant sale that took place on the lawn outside the walled garden.Within minutes I had a couple of carrier bags bursting with healthy plants. I selected several strong specimens of Verbena bonariensis that were a fraction of the prices elsewhere. Ornamental grasses are a favourite and I was spoilt for choice. As I chatted about the plants with the stall holders, I realised that they were all Friends. Friends of Chadkirk. There were people here who knew a lot about plants and they’d germinated and propagated many of those on the stall. Enjoying the banter, and talking some more, it became clear that they did more than just grow plants, or raise funds.
Like many people who live in the area, I’d visited the Chadkirk estate often over the years. Yet somehow I hadn’t picked up on the signs that this group existed.
I suppose I was enjoying the wildlife and the garden; I mustn’t have lingered to read the notice boards.
True, I’d noticed that the garden had once appeared to be rather neglected and now it was flourishing. Perhaps 10 years ago when I visited the chapel, I’d appreciated the strong sense of history, while sensing a whiff of neglect that seemed rather sad. Now there are works of art and regular activities in the Chapel; it has come alive again. Noticing these improvements, if I wondered how it had happened, I must have assumed that the council had got to work and could take the credit.
Certainly Stockport MBC have been involved and the warden of the estate and other staff do stirling work. However, much of what has been achieved has only been possible because of a group of people with good ideas and a passion to see this space flourish.
Now that I knew about the group, I joined on the spot. Handing over my £5 note, I too became a Friend of Chadkirk. Money well spent and another bargain to be enjoyed.
Saturday 16th June is your opportunity to get some healthy plants at bargain prices.2.30-4.00pm on the lawn besides the Walled Garden.
It is also an opportunity to meet Friends and get involved.
Now is a good time to volunteer to take part in the Chadkirk Festival.
The Festival will take place on the last Sunday in July between 12 and 4 pm.