Category Archives: Ecology

What’s happening at Chadkirk this weekend?

Bird and Bat Box Making

Saturday 9th September
1-30 pm until 4pm
Price: £6 per box

All children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
Please bring your own hammer.
Other materials provided by members of the team.
It’s a drop in activity, so no booking required.

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B+B at Chadkirk 9th September

That’s B+B for bats and birds.
Here’s your chance to build new homes for wildlife. This weekend. On 9th September

Stage 1: Pick up the flatpack

Stage2: The finished product

Friends will be there to help as you build your own box (or boxes).
The design for bat boxes is slightly different from those for birds. Often visitors like to make one for bats and one for birds.

A bird box is completed by a proud young craftsman:

This visitor is keen to add a home for bats and birds, making two boxes during the afternoon, ably assisted by the Senior Warden.

A bat box made by a father and daughter team out in the sunshine by the Chapel:

The bird boxes have small round entrance holes and the most likely occupants will be blue tits. During the winter family groups, perhaps with as many as 20 birds, gather together in the boxes to keep warm. This will help more of them survive the cold. In the spring most of these survivors will find a new place to nest. But if the owners of the new bird boxes are lucky, a pair will breed and bring up their brood in the box.

In comparison, bat boxes are of slightly different design. The bats land on the underside and then walk into the box through a gap. Bats make use of the box at different times of the year. Although any bats looking for a roost in the autumn may use the box now, it is more likely that they will wait until the spring. During the winter bats need more shelter and would look for some where offering more protection from the lowest temperatures – perhaps in a barn or a cave.

For visitors building a brand new bat box, it might be the spring time before bats move in. Then female bats will be looking for a roost to give birth to their young, usually one offspring to each female. All bats are protected species, so once there is evidence that a bat is using the box, it cannot be opened and the bats cannot be disturbed. This may help offset all the roosts that have been lost as people reduce habitats and roosts.

We look forward to hearing about any future inhabitants of the new boxes. Even better, perhaps, photos to share on the blog.

Bird and Bat Box Making on Saturday 9th September 2017

Saturday 9th September
1.30pm until 4pm.
Price: £6 per box.

All children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
Please bring your own hammer. Other materials provided by our team.
No need to book, just drop in.

Homes for wildlife

Make something new.
Provide a home for wildlife.
Have fun!

Bats and birds need places to nest and roost.
And you can do a little something to provide them.

Here’s the link to previous posts about this annual event at Chadkirk.
In the Chapel (if weather wet) or outside in the sunshine and fresh air.
People of all ages welcome. Making: by young ‘uns. With assistance from adults and Friends.

Bird and Bat Box making by the Chapel, Chadkirk.
Photo: Artemisia

One of each – bat box and bird box. Each with a different entrance.
Photo: Artemisia

New Bat Box.
Proud owner/maker.
Photo: Artemisia

Saturday 9th September
1.30pm until 4pm.
Price: £6 per box.

All children must be accompanied by a responsible adult.
Please bring your own hammer. Other materials provided by our team.
No need to book, just drop in.

B+B at Chadkirk

Autumn 2015

As the days slip and the light changes, autumnal hues are starting to flush the trees in the woods. Birds which are summer migrants have moved on and native birds feed on berries and hips, making the most of this time of plenty.

At Chadkirk, as elsewhere, these glimpses of the connections between all things can bring a deep sense of pleasure and these delights are enjoyed by visitors, many of them strolling round Chadkirk daily, others visiting at weekends, some more occasional visitors, coming to the Chapel, Walled Garden, woodland walks and country park for some of the organised events.

Our calendar of events follows the rhythm of the seasons and reflects the community and the environment.

On Saturday 12th September we had our annual bird and bat box making event. This year drenching drizzle drove us inside. Snug in Chadkirk Chapel, visitors were ably assisted by John, who helped them to construct winter homes for bats. The nesting boxes for the birds will be ready when for small birds when spring arrives. This is an ideal opportunity for people young and old to learn about the life cycles of these animals from some-one who knows. Fascinating and fun.

Please be aware that this is our only bird and bat box day this year.

If you missed this year’s event, here’s a glimpse of some of the activity from recent years.

Bird and Bat Box making by the Chapel, Chadkirk. Photo: Artemisia

Bird and Bat Box making by the Chapel, Chadkirk.
Photo: Artemisia

The team of father and daughter finish their bat box       Photo: Artemisia

September’s here again…

Yesterday the team of gardening volunteers were at Chadkirk. A delightful few hours, in fine company, beautiful surroundings, fresh air and gentle sunshine.

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Pulling out brambles, weeding and pruning, gentle activity and time for a chat and a cuppa (and Pat’s home made biscuits). The first Saturday of every month is always a gardening afternoon at Chadkirk. The time spent is well rewarded, for this time and the gardening morning on the third Thursday of the month, are the times when the volunteers do plenty of good work so that the gardens at Chadkirk flourish.

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If you like pottering in the garden and would enjoy time in the gardens at Chadkirk, why not join us? Spend as much time as suits you, minutes or hours, on both or either of the gardening days each month. Our team is a mixed bunch. Some know more about gardening than others. Together we can usually decide if the plant is a weed or not. Just ask. It’s a team effort!

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This September one of the most beautiful features in the Walled Garden is the bed of annuals. It’s stunning. In Saturday’s sunshine, the glorious flowers attracted some of our honey bees from the nearby hives.

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In the gardens and meadows, woodlands and ponds, there is a rich variety of flora and fauna. The plants provide food for insects and the insects provide food for the birds and the bats. And if it’s birds and bats that you are interested in you may want to build your own bird or bat box. Or maybe both. If so, join us next weekend for our annual bird and bat box making afternoon.

Bird and Bat Box making with expert guidance from John Rowlands
Saturday 12th September 2015
1-30 – 4pm.

There is a small charge for materials.
Please bring your own hammer.
We’ll be outside the chapel when the weather’s fine.

Local democracy

Recent elections have seen a change in the political landscape both locally and nationally. Locally that means that the individual members of the Werneth Area Committee have changed.

For the recently elected councillors, they will be required to make decisions on a range of issues – including the future of Chadkirk Country Park.

The council officer responsible for gathering information and views about recent proposals is in the midst of a consultation process.

It has been decided that given the change in personnel on the committee, there is a need to ensure that councillors learn something of the landscape and views of different user groups so that they can evaluate the plans to rescind the proposal for a bridleway at Chadkirk.

As a result, I understand that the matter is unlikely to come before the first meeting of the Werneth Area Committee since the elections. This means that the matter will not be on the agenda for the meeting on Monday 8th June.

The Chair of the Friends of Chadkirk was informed of this in the last few days. At the time of going to press with this item, there is no information about a new date for the proposal to come before the committee. However, it remains true that elected representatives will be called upon to make a balanced decision in the interests of all local people and users of the Country Park and Estate, as well as the clearly defined conservation goals of Chadkirk.