More Botany Walks!
Following on from the success and popularity of the previous walks, another two walks were arranged.
On Wednesday 10th August, Martyn Stead lead another look at identifying plant species on the Meadows.
And we also had an early Autumn walk! Details below:
Chester Heritage Festival - Walk on the Earl's Eye Meadows
Monday 27th June at 5pm
Led by Julie Savory of the Friends of the Meadows, the ¾ of a mile route takes you along a footpath by the side of the River Dee and across parts of The Meadows.
The footpath is mainly good: it is a bit rough in places and the stretch across the middle of the Meadows is not suitable for people with mobility restrictions: it can be muddy in places, calling for suitable footwear.
Booking of this free event opens at the end of May.
Public Events in 2022
The Deva Triathlon starting from Grosvenor Park has its run routes through the Meadows and will take place on place on Sunday 12th June 2022
The Chester Raft Race will take place on Sunday 3rd July 2021. The theme this year will be "100 years of British Television"
The Deva Divas Triathlon will take place on on Sunday 10th July 2022
The Dee Mile takes place on Saturday 6th August at 5:30pm.
2021 Annual General Meeting
We returned this year to holding an AGM in person!
Held on Thursday 18th November 2021 at 7.00pm
at St Mary’s Handbridge Centre, St Mary Without-the-Walls, Handbridge, CH4 7HL
The minutes and accounts presented at the meeting can be found here
Our AGM talk and presentation was by Mike Shaw on Sundials. Please see Newsletter 224 for more details.
Public Events in 2021
The Chester Raft Race was due to take place on 4th July 2021 but was cancelled
The Deva Triathlon starting from Grosvenor Park has its run routes through the Meadows and took place on Sunday 13th June 2021
The Deva Divas Triathlon took place on Sunday 11th July 2021
The Dee Mile took place on Saturday 7th August.
Works on the Meadows
From Greenspace Officer Stephanie Hefferan
Severn Trent Works - September 2022
Severn Trent works to replace the pump start on the 29th September and will last one week. It is planned that public access will remain open and the work site will be protected by fencing for the duration of the works.
Welsh Water - March 2022
A minor leak was reported to the storm drain on site. This has been repaired but the contractors are a little behind so will be clearing the site over the next few days and should be off site early next week at the latest (31st March 2022)
Pathworks on Bottoms Lane - March 2022
We were successful in our grant bid for pathworks and Bottoms Lane path was resurfaced w/c 21 February. It's now looking good and will look even better when it is bedded in.
Interpretation Boards are installed on The Meadows
Boards with information about The Meadows are now in place at the two main entrances. They highlight the environmental value of the Meadows, their history, the wildlife they contain and the debt owed to Phyllis Brown, who with her husband, Harry F Brown, purchased the land for public use.
Friends of the Meadows devised the design and undertook the initiative, with a grant of £2000 from the People’s Postcode Lottery and help from the budgets of Councillors Razia Daniels and Neil Sullivan. Officers of CWaC also gave their support, particularly the Greenspace Officer, Stephanie Hefferan.
From left to right in the photo: Stephen Savory, Julie Savory, Rachel Cross, Cllrs. Razia Daniels and Neil Sullivan.
Works on the Meadows - Update January 2022
The latest from Stephanie Hefferan, Greenspace Officer
Path resurfacing – In October I received news that the grant application had been approved.
The paths are to be resurfaced on a cyclical basis over subsequent years. The highest priority areas will be addressed first. The path by the riverside forming a loop with the main access point, was identified as high priority and so resurfaced to improve access and provide more comfortable access for wheelchair users or those with mobility issues. Bottoms Lane will be the next priority area to be addressed.
Trees – Following Storm Arwen, there are still some large trees to deal with on Bottoms Lane. This is in the hands of the Tree Officer who is making suitable arrangements with contractors and neighbouring land owners to resolve.
Coppicing – Following a hiatus due to Covid, the area opposite Deva Terrace has now received its annual coppice completed by local residents. It was a good morning's hard work but the weather was beautiful. The area opposite the sailing club, is due to be coppiced by volunteers from the club and will be completed before the start of the nesting season.
Cut and collect – In October the bales were still on the Meadows; which should have been removed. I am concerned that if they are removed now there will be unacceptable ground damage so they may have to remain until the ground is accessible to remove safely. I will keep in regular contact with the new contractors to ensure that this gets done as soon as it is safe to do so.
Welsh Water works - Update May 2021
Welsh Water has announced that the reinstatement works scheduled for the weekend are now moved to Monday to avoid the forecasted heavy rain. The work will be monitored and inspected by myself and Welsh Water.
A full description of all the works and updates from November 2020 and since February 2021 can be found here
Financial Report 2019-20
As we were unable to present the accounts at our AGM last year, a financial report was included in the Winter 2021 Newsletter (Issue 221) - see Newsletters
Detailed accounts together with that report can be viewed here (as a pdf file)
Environmental Strategies Consultation
The Council is currently consulting on its Environmental Strategies which comprises the Wildflower and Grassland Strategy, Parks and Open Spaces Strategy and the Play strategy review. The consultation is a chance for you to play your part, and tell the Council how you would like our landscape to be managed in the future.
Although this was launched before Christmas, we have been trying to get clarification on the issue of conservational grazing on The Meadows, which we understand will not be reintroduced this year (more in the next newsletter)
This consultation will be open until 25th January 2021, so please take the time to have your say!
You can have your say here: Complete the Survey
Watersports Hub - Planning Application Withdrawn
On 12th October 2020, Cheshire West and Chester Council Planning Dept issued a letter stating that Planning Application 16/05188/FUL had been withdrawn on 14th September 2020.
This marks the end of the proposals to build a Watersports Hub - for now anyway.
Go here for an archive of all articles relating to this proposal since 2016
In early May 2020 we had the sad news that Adele Edwards, who was one of the founders of Friends of the Meadows, sadly passed away. She died from cancer in a hospice in Wiltshire where her daughter lives. Her health had not been good for several years now.
Adele was on the first committee in 1994 as Membership Secretary and Editor of the newsletter. She took over as chairman from Richard Smart, the first chairman and continued to work for many years for Friends of the Meadows as both chairman and editor.
We extend our condolences to all her family and friends.
5th May 2020
Read David Holmes' article for Chester Chronicle:
"Guardian of Chester Meadows dies age 79"
(published 1 June 2020)
Bankside Fencing installed in July 2019
Fencing was installed on Thursday 11th July 2019 to address bankside erosion. As the bankside is a SSSI and a SAC it requires protection. Small gaps were placed for dogs and access for management. This will also prevent erosion from cattle if grazing takes place next year! A gate was later added for access by events participants when required.
Blue Plaque on Town Hall commemorates Phyllis Brown
Planning permission for a blue plaque on the Town Hall to commemorate Phyllis Brown and Kate Clarke has been granted.
FOM Members will know that Phyllis Brown was a resident of Curzon Park and with her husband Harry F Brown gifted The Meadows to the people of Chester. She was also the first female councillor and first female mayor in Chester.