I have been involved with Friends of Chadkirk for a few months.
Even so, in that time, there has been a chance to see enough of the work of the resident Senior Ranger to be able to guess at the impact of his loss. The photos on the blog illustrate some his involvement with the local community. There’s all the evening meetings. Setting up the the pond dipping through his contacts with the Cheshire Active Naturalists. Liaising with SKMBC representatives to organise the meeting down by the river after the Bridge opening.
It was his daily presence that enabled a watchful eye to be kept on external contractors. Whether bridge building or hedge cutting, it can be that some one who cares passionately about Chadkirk will help steer activity towards the best outcome for the local community.Together with Alan, a member of the Ranger service, who plays a valuable role in the daily management of the Country Park, they make an effective team.
The renovation of the Walled Garden is a community enterprise illustrating the merits of co-operation between local authority and volunteers: it is the resident Senior Ranger who is on hand to manage that process. He knows which tasks to attend to, has the expertise to advise on planting schemes and ensures that the practical aspects of the job are set up when volunteers arrive to garden on task days.
Beyond that, his daily presence and diligent, cheerful vigilance can be seen in many smaller actions. Ever noticed how litter free Chadkirk is? In part that’s thanks to John. Daily he picks up litter. Daily he cleans the toilets at the car park. And as the need arises he talks with the people who visit the Country Park. Sometimes this involves a timely intervention, when a few rowdies might be upto mischief. Often it involves responding to an alarm in the middle of the night. It might be that wildlife set it off but he will not take that chance. By keeping careful watch, he safeguards Chadkirk for the rest of us.
If you have attended an event at Chadkirk, whether it is the Chadkirk Festival or the Bird Box Building, those who simply enjoy a daily walk, and those who like to sit and take in the beauty of the herbaceous borders, you will have seen and benefited from the work that John does.
Of course he might do more. But then he has a number of other parks, including Bramhall, in his job description. I’d like to see his role at Chadkirk expand. I’d like to see schools and other users benefit from his skills and unique local knowledge.
In the meantime, there are proposals that might see the days of a resident Senior Ranger in Chadkirk come to an end. And come to an end soon. The consultation exercise has begun.
Have your say. The invitation is out. A chance to influence decision makers.
Have your say…
Use the internet. Leave letters at the library for local councillors. Talk with elected representatives.
Watch this space.