Public Events in 2023
The Deva Triathlon starting from Grosvenor Park has its run routes through the Meadows and will take place on place on Sunday 11th June 2023
The Chester Raft Race will take place on Sunday 2nd July 2023 (to be confirmed). Events start at 10:00am and the race begins at 10:30am from the Meadows
The Deva Divas Triathlon will take place on on Sunday 16th July 2023
The Dee Mile, one of the oldest races on the river, takes place on Saturday 12th August at 5:30pm.
More Botany Walks 2022
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 2022 at 5pm
Led by Julie Savory of the Friends of the Meadows, the ¾ of a mile route followed 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.
Public Events in 2022
The Deva Triathlon starting from Grosvenor Park has its run routes through the Meadows and took place on place on Sunday 12th June 2022
The Chester Raft Race took place on Sunday 3rd July 2021. The theme this year was "100 years of British Television"
The Deva Divas Triathlon took place on on Sunday 10th July 2022
The Dee Mile took 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
Updates - November 2023
Severn Trent – the compound is done and the site will go largely quiet until the next phase. Occasional vehicles will be on site but they will park in the compound.
The compound will be removed at the end of the project and reinstated.
Welsh Water – they have now repaired the blown manhole and repaired the immediate surrounds…I will be having further discussions with WW as I believe the repairs need to extend further along the pathways where the force of the water has removed the top dressing.
Bottoms Lane – This is currently being assessed by our Asset team.
Scrub removal - I haven’t yet booked the scrub removal and am looking into options.
Updates - October 2023
Severn Trent Works - Eel screens installaton
Costain (the contractors for the Severn Trent works), will begin the works for the compound by the Water Mound on Monday 6 November. Site traffic will then be around for approx 4 weeks whilst this goes on, then there will be a lull until February. There will be some vehicles throughout the period but they will utilise the compound for parking.
Update - May 2023
Mobility Access to The Meadows - The council is in consultation with a number of organisations looking to improve access for those with mobility issues across the borough. This is in the early stages at the moment but the Meadows is included in this. I have highlighted to those leading the project that any access improvements will be most welcome but their design must be both practical for the user and visually sensitive to the area.
Update - April & May 2023
Severn Trent Works
Borehole works - Costain (working on behalf of Severn Trent) was on site from Monday 24 April to start the trial boreholes regarding installation of the eel screen (see below). The first two boreholes will hopefully be completed in four days, with the possibility of a further borehole in May, depending on the results of the first two.
This is the first phase of the project and there will be some further preliminary works later in the year with final installation next year. Confirmation of dates and more information wil be provided when known.
Update (10th May 2023)
The trial boreholes are now complete. Divers will be on site to conduct the underwater surveys over the next week or so, with some de-silting activity planned soon (dates to be confirmed). These will all be complete by the end of May and will not interfere with any of the events.
PRoW closure April to May 2023 - The project is to install eel screens at the Boughton river intake to upgrade the existing screening at the site as part of The Eels Regulations 2009. Works involve installation of the new screens and the associated MEICA* equipment, as well as the removal of the existing bandscreen. A pre-condition survey will be carried out and the grounds and paths will be fully reinstated to existing condition following the works. Vehicles expected to be on the meadows during the survey works are: several large vans and up to 3 cars.
During the works, there will be a requirement for the closure of the riverside Public Right of Way (PRoW) from the gates to the intake at ‘The Mound’. This is essential for contractor and public safety. Exact dates for closure have yet to be confirmed but are expected to be from mid April to end of May. The rest of the paths will remain open for public access.
*MEICA = Mechanical, Electrical, Instrumentation, Control and Automation
Update - January 2023
Bottoms Lane grey water/smell - Welsh Water have attended the site this morning (24 Jan) following concerns reported of grey water and smells along Bottoms Lane. They believe that due to the recent prolonged wet weather, there has been emergency overflow pumped from the temporary works they have for mains pipe repair. Note: These works are significant and will be ongoing for a prolonged period.
In the meantime, in response top the recent issue, they will put more hay bales in the affected ditches as a temporary measure. The EA have been notified.
If you have concerns about this matter (or future similar incidents), please contact Welsh Water on 0800 052 0130 or via their website
Pathworks on Bottoms Lane - There have been water run-off issues with the path surface (see March 2022 below) which have been reported to the Asset Team. Awaiting responses for remedial action but depends upon budgets.
Ditch work scrub removal - This work was booked in October 2022 and now waiting for a start date. Again we will be working to no more than one-third of the overall site.
Severn Trent Works -Severn Trent works to replace the pump started on the 29th September and were due to last one week (it overran).
Welsh Water - 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 - 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.