I am sure there will be few areas within the council that are not subject to change and re-organisation. This is where the problem lies.
I have been a resident near Chadkirk Country Park for more than 10 years and have seen many improvements to the Estate. When I first moved to the area, having only lived several miles away, I did not know it even existed. The estate, at the time had a tenant living in the house; the farm and surrounding fields were, to put it politely ‘un-kept’. Shortly after the tenant had moved out we were given an Estate Manager.
With the tenacity of the Estate Manager, John Rowland, we have overcome many problems and I say this as a ‘we’ because John has become very much part of the community, not just working the estate and seeing his position as merely a job but more of a vocation.
He is an integral part of the Estate; well liked and over the years has gained the respect of both visitors and resident alike. He has a holistic approach to Estate Management, involving all of the people who visit the Estate, offering help and advice, always having time to chat about future plans projects, wildlife etc. Some of the issues that have been overcome include: vandalism, arson, antisocial behaviour, fly tipping and dangerous dogs to name a few.
As already mentioned I have seen many improvements over the past 10 years, the Estate now is a Safe Environment – people feel safe, many people walk on their own especially ladies, one lady I met said she felt safer walking around the Estate than walking through Romiley.
The Estate has been awarded Green Flag Standard, the grounds and paths are well kept, wide enough to cycle and access for the disabled making the Estate a fully inclusive area. The increase in wildlife this could be due to several reasons – natural and man-made habitats, attracting rare birds, butterflies, moths and reptiles. I have also noticed over the years a massive increase in the number of people who visit the Estate. Many come from all over Cheshire, Lancashire and surrounding areas, so the Estate is obviously appealing to the wider community.
Also over the past 10 years the Estate has been designated a Local Nature Reserve, some parts have Conservation Area status, the whole estate is in a ten year Higher Level Stewardship agreement managed by English Nature (awarded for what has been achieved and the vision for the future) and two of the fields (Chapel & Wild Flower Meadow) have just been designated SBIs (Site of Biological Importance).
Without having a permanent resident on the Estate, with a vested interest in the up-keep of the Estate this would soon fall into disrepair, ruining all the hard work and monies the council has already put into place to make Chadkirk Estate a pleasurable place to visit. In short it will end up costing the council more money to correct/fix or pay for added security.
I feel it would be short sighted of the council to make drastic changes to this gem. It is truly a jewel in Stockport’s Crown and we need to fight to save it, for all to enjoy.