Monthly Archives: July 2012

Friends of Chadkirk

Friends of Chadkirk meet on the first Thursday of every month.
One month it’s a business meeting , the next it’s a social get together.
On August 2nd they’ll be relaxing with a post festival picnic.
Bring and share/ pot luck supper.

Members welcome.
New members welcome.
Membership Fee is a one off payment of £5.

Opening Ceremony 2012 …Chadkirk Bridge

Not an extravaganza.
There were no fireworks or dancers, no cast of thousands.
it was a very British event.
Sunshine and showers. Brollies up. Brollies down.
A gathering of the mildly interested mixing with enthusiasts and passers by.
Lots of dogs and their walkers.*

There were speeches, of course. Though for most of those assembled odd words drifted…and…you…thanks… the rest was carried away downstream. Still, we waited patiently, with gentle anticiaption. I gather there was a Big Cheese from Sustrans and a local sporting hero. Though no ribbon to cut or bottles of bubbly to smash, once the speeches ended there was the pleasure of being amongst the first across Chadkirk Bridge and a new view upsteam.

Given that the project was envisioned by Sustrans it was fitting that a group of cyclists from Chorlton were amongst the first wave.

Standing patiently, horse riders wait their turn. In future the traffic will flow and passing places on the bridge allow room for horses, bikes, walkers and dogs to cross.

As Ted said…No Red Arrows..though high up two Herons wheeled by in one of those lovely spells of blue skies and sunshine.
All quietly satisfying. In a very British kind of way.

*Dogs (and their walkers) are also a big part of the pleasure at the Chadkirk Festival. Whether they are as well behaved as they appear, I’ve no idea. A visit to Chadkirk Festival would have you think that they are all biddable and friendly.

Friends of Chadkirk… get ready for action

Planning for the Well Dressing starts in Spring. Then there’s a week of activity in the Chapel with volunteers creating a work, making the designer’s plans manifest. On the day, there’s something of beauty for all to enjoy.

The Well Dressing kicks off a busy day. So much to see and do. The Friends of Chadkirk seemed a little swan-like. You know what I mean? Relaxed and laughing, enjoying themselves. You’d never guess how much they had done to help the festival flow so smoothly.

At midday there were 500 freshly baked scones; halved and served with a generous dollop of cream and strawberries on the Friends refreshment stall. This stall was popular from the start of the festival. Apologies to those who came after 2.30pm. By then we’d sold out! Fortunately there were plenty of other goodies to be enjoyed. Tables clustered in the walled garden and outside the Chapel were busy throughout the afternoon.

In the morning sunshine over 30 stalls clustered in the walled garden and lined the lawn.

All the fun of the festival

Chadkirk Festival 2012

The festival , a short stroll along from the bridge, already has a lively and convivial feel. No shortage of demand for tea, scones and strawberries.

Many of those who came to see the bridge opening are also enjoying the festival.

Chadkirk Bridge: Opening Ceremony

It’s official.
The opening ceremony is to be at 11.30 am on Sunday 29th July 2012.
This means that visitors can enjoy the ceremony before strolling along for the start of Chadkirk Festival at 12.00 midday.
As Ian Fletcher might say…so that’s all good then.

Let’s celebrate the small stuff

On Monday the fair weather meant that work on the bridge was able to proceed on plan. This means that the waterproof membrane could be laid and then the non-slip coating applied. Some of the site cabins have been moved; during the rest of the week the site will be cleared up ready for the opening on Sunday 29th July at the Chadkirk Festival.

Additional parking for the Chadkirk Festival is usually in the Ford Field. This is where the contractors have been based during bridge construction. Frequent deluges in recent months meant that the field was, well, a bit of a quagmire. On Friday, I think most people would have been pessimistic. How many days of dry weather would be needed for it to dry out? What were the chances that would happen in time for the festival? The answers are: fewer days than you might think and better than most would have guessed. Remarkably, after a dry and warm weekend the Estate Manager has been able to cut the meadow, the ground is dry enough for parking and another of piece of the jigsaw falls into place.

Although the Bridge opening is a few days away, visitors to Chadkirk are already benefiting from some of the work that has been carried out this summer.

This new footpath is open which means that pedestrians now have a hedge between them and passing cars. It’s safer and there’s a better view of the meadow and grazing livestock.

So a little bit of good news. In fact, three bits of good news. Yeh!
Oh and there’s also some beautiful flowers in the Walled Garden looking good despite the worst summer in 100 years.

Chadkirk Festival 2012

Rarely has the prospect of a move in the Jet Stream been so widely reported or so eagerly anticipated. After the wettest June on record, July has continued the trend. Now, they say, that is about to change. The Jet Stream is shifting, warmer and drier weather is on the way. Headline news: it might feel like summer.

Throughout the country hopes are raised that outdoor festivities can be enjoyed in the sun. Frankly, while we’d all like some blue skies, most of us would be relieved if it just stopped raining. For the Chadkirk Festival, there’s the hope that the better weather will help to dry out the field ready for visitor parking. And on the day, weather like last year would see us all smiling in the sunshine.

This year it’s a one day celebration. On Sunday between 12.00 and 5pm there will be many of the activities that have drawn people back year after year. However, in addition to The Blessing of St Chad’s Well (12 midday) and activities such as Willow Weaving Workshops (in the walled garden throughout the day), for this year the Olympic theme means that there will be Fencing Demonstrations and and a Martial Arts Display. Lovers of wildlife will be able to enjoy the return of the Birds of Prey and animals from the Donkey Sanctuary.

Music will be provided by Stockport Silver Band. In contrast, there will be a continental flavour when Opanka entertain visitors in traditional Romanian costumes and perform Romanian folk dances. Both the Stockport Silver Band and Opanka will perform two or three sets throughout the afternoon. Not to be missed!

Puppet show and face painting, handbell ringing, a plant sale and a deli…there’s something for everyone.

And for people looking to learn more about what’s going on locally, look out for information about Stockport’s lottery bid, Mellor Trust and Connect2. Which reminds me…that bridge we’ve all been watching …the opening ceremony will take place on festival day. Rumour has it the ceremony will be at 2pm. For confirmation…watch this space.

Chi flows through Chadkirk

Earlier today in warm sunshine…the baton, the chi and the cheerful folk of Chadkirk flowed through lane and lawn, garden and woods

Then the equestrians carried the baton onwards….

The baton moves on…and after the fun…tea and cakes back at the chapel…

Thanks to Colin for these photographs.

Bombus who?

Curious to learn more about the bumble bees sighted in the walled garden,
I emailed Dawn Ewing at the BBCT. I wanted an expert opinion about the identity of the bees in the photos. And to see if I could join volunteers to learn more about Bumble Bees on a one day workshop. Below the photo is her reply (included here with her permission).

Thank you for your email and for posting about bumblebees on your blog. I would agree with Barbara that it was most likely the Red-tailed bumblebee that you spotted. If you want to check any future images then please try uploading your bumblebee photos to our BeeWatch survey –

Your community sounds like it is doing some great things for wildlife and I hope that we can furnish you with the skills and enthusiasm to further promote the humble bumblebee at our training day in Liverpool.

I look forward to meeting you then.

The Bumble Bee Conservation Trust is holding a series of day events.
I’ve already booked my place but there are places left.
It isn’t too late to apply.

Training dates and locations:

21 July RSPB Headquarters, Sandy, Befordshire
22 July RSPB Newport Wetlands reserve, Newport
28 July National Wildflower Centre, Liverpool
29 July Wolseley Centre, Stafford
5 August University of Stirling, Stirling
11 August WWT Washington, Newcastle upon Tyne

If you would like to join us at one of the workshops, please email and include the date and location of your preferred event in the subject line of the email,
e.g. “Training day registration – Newport – 22 July”.


If you are unable to join in an event there, then it’s worth a look at their website.
The photos of the bees are stunning.

Bumblebee Conservation Trust.