Cheshire Smallholders Association

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31st March 2014, Grassland Management - Joe Winstanley

Joe is an independent adviser frequently mentioned in the Defra farming advice service newsletters. Please join us for an informative discussion about the management and development of the very basis of a smallholding, the land. Given the recent extremes of wet weather, we can learn more about the hot topics, such as Nitrogen planning, grassland degradation, slurry spreading and compaction.

28th April 2014, Campaign for the Farmed Environment - Nicola Hall

Nicola is the Cheshire Co-ordinator for the CFE, based a Reaseheath and she will be presenting on a range of topics that are relevant to us all, including hedgerow and pond management, supporting farmland birds and attracting pollinators. Nicola will also be providing information on the outrun of CFE events in 2014. If there are additional areas you would like Nicola to cover, please let Tony know at the March meeting.

19th May 2014, 7.00pm - Vale Royal Falconry Centre.

A49 Warrington Rd, Acton Bridge, CW8 3QB.
Informative presentation and hands on flying of raptors and owls. Cost is 6.00 per head, further details are on the website. www.valeroyalfalconry.co.uk
The falconry centre is almost opposite the Riverside Inn, where we can have a 'get together’ drink, or a meals if people haven’t already eaten. A sheet will be put out at the Reaseheath lectures for people to sign up, so we can get an idea of numbers. We are expected at the falconry centre for 7.00pm and will be there for approximately two hours.

The Riverside Inn has regular offers, at the time of writing there is a two for one meal deal and a link offering a free drink too. www.riversideinnpub.co.uk

In Autumn 2014
, we are hosting a skittles evening and meal at the Bickerton Poacher. A sheet will be at the lectures above or you can reserve a place in advance, here.



All meetings, except falconry meeting, 7.30pm for 8.00pm at Reaseheath - see 'Lectures' link above.


Other events held this year
Previous meetings 
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. www.rosecottagevetcentre.co.uk

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.

22nd June 2013, Annual BBQ. Again held at Gill's, an enjoyable evening putting the world right in the company of like minded friends. Despite the slow start to the Barbeque due to the 'summer' weather, plenty of food was consumed and the wine flowed. What more could one ask?

May 2013, Reaseheath zoo visit. An enjoyable tour of the exotic and endangered animals kept as part of an international breeding programme as well as for training students plus the more common animals such as guinea pigs and rabbits. Followed by a ploughman's  supper. Thanks to the Reaseheath staff for their time and hospitality.



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.