Cheshire Smallholders Association

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30th March 2014 - Grandfather’s rights are changing.

Under the previous UK legislation governing pesticide use, only those born before 31 December 1964 who used an agricultural product on their own or their employer’s land were exempt from the requirement to hold a certificate of competence.

The Regulations provide for the continuation of that exemption until 26 November 2015. After that date, everyone who purchases a professional product must ensure that the intended end user holds a certificate of competence. In addition, everyone who uses a professional product, including those who previously relied on “grandfather rights”, must hold a certificate of competence.

Please join us with Joe Winstanley from the Farming Advice Service to see how we are going to be affected.

27th April 2015 - Natural England.

Follow St George’s Day with a presentation and discussion with Natural England about their stewardship of England’s green and pleasant land.
www.gov.uk/government/organisations/natural-england

18th May 2015 - Cheshire Wildlife Trust, Bickley Hall Farm.

Join the estates team at Bickley Hall Farm for a guided farm walk followed by refreshments at the farmhouse.

Bickley Hall Farm, Bickley, Malpas, Cheshire SY14 8EF.

Please bring suitable footwear and note the earlier than usual start time, at 7.00pm, at Bickley Hall Farm.
www.cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk

June 2015 – Annual Barbeque.

Date and venue to be confirmed, but sure to be a lazy hazy Saturday evening in June.

23rd and 24th June 2015 - Cheshire Show.

We expect to have a stand at the Cheshire Show, if you can help out on either day, please contact Tony here.
www.cheshirecountyshow.org.uk

All meetings 7.30pm for 8.00pm at Reaseheath - see 'Lectures' link above.


Event diary
Previous events

23rd February 2015, Muck and microscopes with Jen Quayle, B.V.Sc., M.R.C.V.S. from Rose Cottage Vet Centre - Great practical session facilitated by Jen; no worm eggs found in the smallholders' samples but visual recognition experience was gained from the control sample – from an antelope! www.rosecottagevetcentre.co.uk

26th January 2015, Parasite Management Planning and Ask the Vet Another comprehensive lecture and Q&A with Jen Quayle from Rose Cottage, covering the common ecto and endoparasites in the smallholding environment, with an explanation of the benefits of planned intervention in a parasite management plan.

December 2013, no meeting.

24th November 2014, Ifor Williams Trailers A detailed explanation of what Ifor Williams put into the manufacture of trailers and guidance around the regulations covering what we then put into the finished article; fundamental requirements, regulations, fitness to travel, loading and unloading, packing densities, partitioning and separation.

27th October 2014, Annual General Meeting followed by Cider Making. Report on the year's activities, with added audience participation, both electing and imbibing, with thanks to our home brewer, Kevin Holmes.

29th September 2014, BPEX and pigkeeping. Andrew Knowles from Bpex kindly reorganised his diary in order to attend and gave comprehensive responses to smallholders questions as well as advice, information and a practical insight into the issues being addressed by Britain’s small scale pig keepers. www.bpex.org.uk

21st June 2014, Annual BBQ. Kindly hosted again by Gill. Food, fun and friends; who needs Gordon Ramsay with words like that?

19th May 2014 - Vale Royal Falconry Centre. A presentation and hands on flying of raptors and owls, including an interesting explanation of historic words from falconry that have crossed over into common English language.

28th April 2014 - Campaign for the Farmed Environment - Nicola Hall.
Nicola, the Cheshire Co-ordinator for the CFE, presented a range of topics, including hedgerow management, supporting farmland birds and attracting pollinators.

31st March 2014, Grassland Management - Joe Winstanley.
Joe is an independent adviser frequently mentioned in the Defra farming advice service newsletters. Joe led an informative discussion about the management and development of the very basis of a smallholding, the land, sharing information on Nitrogen planning, grassland degradation, slurry spreading and compaction.

24th February 2014, Pig keeping.
Janice Wood from Finnington Traditional Breeds gave a candid insight into pig keeping and shared her devotion to the rarest of the rare pig breeds. Janice is Secretary of the Large Black Pig Breeders Club and the Chief Steward for the Pig Section of the Cheshire County Show and her partner Steve is also heavily involved. We were very grateful they could fit us in between their various committments.

27th January 2014, Ask the vet. This popular lecture returned to Reaseheath, with a very useful insight into the current thinking around vaccination of stock and a wider discussions around animal care and welfare from Jen Quayle (B.V.Sc., M.R.C.V.S. from Rose Cottage Vet Centre.

December 2013, no meeting.

25th November 2013, Caring for a small sheep flock.
We were very fortunate that Nerys Wright visited to share her extensive experience and knowledge, with very useful insights into ewe condition and feeding and the impact on foetal growth and lambing. After Nerys' presentation, we had a light buffet and raised further funds for our chosen charity, Send a Cow, with a raffle.  www.sendacow.org.uk

28th October 2013, AGM and member Q&A session with buffet.
The AGM approved the changes to the constitution as well as the normal formalities. The round table Q&A session after the AGM had a number of interesting questions and answers. Along with the nibbles a very enjoyable and informative meeting.

30th September 2013, Making money from a smallholding. Preparing a business case for a smallholding given the costs and profits from a variety of smallholding enterprises was our challenge. An interesting exercise as the cost and profit figures supplied were accurate. The results indicated that making a profit is possible but it needs careful consideration of the mix of stock and the generation of a continuing income.

Welcome to the Cheshire Smallholders website.

We are a dynamic and enthusiastic group of small-scale and hobby farmers, horse enthusiasts and countryside lovers. The livestock interests of our members include sheep, goats, pigs and cattle, chickens, ducks and geese, Many also keep horses and ponies, and a few llamas and alpacas. Other interests include bees, and fruit and vegetable cultivation.

Contact us for more information on joining the association or for any other enquiries

See the Lectures page for details of how to get to Reaseheath College.