In the circumstances restricting social gatherings, the 2020 Annual General Meeting (due to have taken place in November) was cancelled. A Chair's Annual Report appeared in the Autumn Newsletter and the Accounts will be made available on this website (see News opposite)
All Public events in 2020 were cancelled
The Chester Raft Race was due to take place in June 2020 and was cancelled. The 2021 event is scheduled for 4th July.
Deva Divas Triathlon scheduled for 12th July 2020 was also cancelled. The 2021 event is scheduled for 12th July.
The Dee Mile scheduled for 8th August 2020 was also cancelled. No information yet for a 2021 date.
Annual General Meeting 2019
Thursday 7th November, 2019 at 7pm
at St Mary’s Handbridge Centre, St Mary Without-the-Walls, Handbridge, CH4 7HL
This year’s AGM talk and presentation was by Jill Burton on: Erddig’s “Thief Cook” – Fact or Fiction?
Public Events in 2019
Sunday 30 June 2019:
Chester Raft Race - Chester Rotary Club
Sunday 14 July 2019:
Deva Divas Triathlon - Short distance ladies' only race: Swim, Bike and Run
Saturday 10 August 2019:
Dee Mile Swimming Race (Chester Triathlon Club)
Chester Heritage Festival Walk on the Meadows: Friday 21st June 2019
As part of the Chester Heritage Festival, Julie Savory from the Friends of the Meadows Committee led a short walk around the Chester Meadows, providing an introduction to the history of the Meadows.
During the walk the work of the Friends of the Meadows in protecting and enhancing the Meadows for future generations of humans, fauna and flora was also explored.
Winter Tree Identification Walk:
27th January 2019
Looking at a variety of trees in The Dingle, Duke's Drive and Overleigh Cemetery.
This was a joint event with the North Wales Wildlife Trust
Welsh Water works - February 2021
On 2nd February Andy spotted another possible leak when he saw water is bubbling up to the surface inland from the landing stage.
Steph Hefferan, the Greenspace Officer responded quickly and reported that she attended site the next morning and had been in contact with the WW team who responded very swiftly.
They described two areas as small blowholes from possible small leaks in the storm water drain – this is a separate drain to the sewer drain that had issues last time. When water is high it pumps through the drain and that is whybubbling of water from the leak areas was noticed. As the water is now lower, this is why there is no bubbling water at the moment.
They have had a team on site for a couple of days to assess whether the leaks can be patched or whether the section will need replacing. Consequently, until these investigations have been carried out they can not say how long/how big the project will be; they are hoping that patches will be required which they can take care of more easily and quickly than a full section replacement that will require contractors, in any instance, they are confident that it will not be as ‘big of a job’ as the recent sewer leak.
Update: 8th February
Over the weekend, the pipe was dug out and assessed for the work needed. The issues on the pipe were investigated and works identified to rectify the issue. The leak points are minor but require new fittings; these were being sought over the weekend and are due for delivery later today. Works to fit the new collars will begin first thing tomorrow (9th Feb).
During the works they will also be taking time to investigate the overall integrity of the pipe so they have a better idea of the reasons behind these issues and help them prevent further issues going into the future.
If all goes well, the works should be completed by the end of the week with re-instatement of grounds etc going into next week. For public and contractor safety, access to the entrance at Lower Park Road and the central path will remain restricted on an occasional basis as and when they require to bring in/remove their machinery to/from the site – signs will be placed on site with WW staff support as and when required. The remaining access points will remain open to the public.
Update: 12th February
The works are completed and re-instatement is due to start over the weekend (13/14 Feb). These will probably run into w/c 22 Feb but they are hoping to finish before then. However the freezing ground may delay repairs. The fencing on site is there for H&S reasons (same as the previous works), and it has been agreed that they will remove these at a later date – usually around 12months once the ground has fully settled.
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
Welsh Water emergency works UPDATES
We have had these updates from Stephanie Hefferan, the Countryside Officer
20 November 2020
The groundworks are taking longer than hoped due to the high water table in places causing issues in relaying the path, so the works will continue on.
On Monday (23rd November), Severn Trent will be bringing a crane on site to replace a failed bandscreen (filter).
The path works will continue once the crane has left the site on Monday.
11 November 2020
Welsh Water emergency works - 6th November 2020
Due to a leak in the Welsh Water sewer that crosses under the Meadows, Welsh Water have enacted emergency works to address the issue. At this moment, it is believed that the issue is not as significant as they first thought and it is hoped following investigations this afternoon (6th November) that this will be confirmed. If this is the case, the works should be completed over the weekend and then all equipment etc removed by Monday or Tuesday.
Due to the nature of the works there will be a site compound and heavy machinery on site until the work is complete. In order to maintain public safety, Welsh Water will close the Lower Park Road entry to the site for a period of between 4hours and 24hours (this is dependent on their findings this afternoon). Safety and information signage will be put on site to inform the public. The public will still be able to access the site via the other entrances.
Natural England and all the relevant bodies have been informed and are aware of the situation regarding the SSSI and the historic ditches.
We are aware that Welsh Water have letter dropped the houses in the immediate vicinity as they will need to work over the weekend.
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.