Cheshire Smallholders Association


Event diary
Next meetings 

2015 - 2016 Reaseheath meetings.

28th September 2015

Cheshire smallholders are back, with an electric start to the new season!

Have you got a loose wire, blown your fuse recently or felt the hairs on the back of your neck standing up? If so, you might be shocked when you find out the ways we really should / must keep ourselves safe and within the law, in and around the smallholding, when working with electricity and electrical items.

Please join us for this V = IR Y important topic and get connected with the practical knowledge generated by Kevin Holmes, our very own qualified electrician.   

Reaseheath dates to the end of the year are confirmed below with speaker and topic summaries to follow.

26th October 2015 - Second presentation, plus AGM.

If you are an existing member and interested in joining the comittee, please 
contact Tony.

26 November 2015 - Grandfather's rights!!

Reminder - changes to spraying regulations implemented today, as explained by Joe Winstanley at our April 2015 lecture.

30th November 2015 - Third reaseheath lecture.

February 2016 - Lambing.

We were in discussions earlier in 2015 with Leahurst (in Wirral) and they are planning to run a lambing course in early February 2016, likely to be an afternoon session from 2.00pm to 5.00pm, including a discussion, followed by a practical session utilising a simulator and dead lambs.

Depending on numbers, Leahurst have offered to run a session either just for the Cheshire Smallholders Association, or alternatively, people can book directly with Leahurst. The anticipated price is around #50 per person, for people who are not already clients of Leahurst.

If you are interested please contact Tony or Leahurst direct, or speak to one of the committee members at a Reaseheath meeting.

Postponed event to be rearranged - Cheshire Wildlife Trust, Bickley Hall Farm.

Following a restructure at CWT, the tour on 18th May 2015 was postponed by CWT.  The good news is that the new Farm Manager offered to accommodate us for a tour at a later date, which we will be arranging, possibly May 2016.

We hope we can then join the estates team at Bickley Hall Farm for a guided farm walk and refreshments at the farmhouse.

21st and 22nd June 2016 - Cheshire Show.

We will have a stand at the Cheshire Show, if you can help out on either day, please contact Tony here.

27th July 2016 - Nantwich Show.

Similarly, we expect to be at the Nantwich Show again, contact Tony if you want to join us at the world's biggest cheese festival!

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

Event diary
Previous events

27th April 2015, President's address Arthur Green shared his experiences working with RBST and the CSA over many decades and his more recent work at his local nature reserve.

30th March 2015, Grandfather rights 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. A useful update from Joe Winstanley on how this affects us all from 26 November 2015.

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!

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.

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.

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.