Cheshire Smallholders Association

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Next meetings 

17th October 2014 - Beer, skittles and food at the Bickerton Poacher.

We have booked the skittles alley at the Bickerton Poacher from 7.00pm onwards, with a beef or turkey carvery at 8.00pm. Just 12.00, including the use of the skittles alley. Please email Tony if you if you would like to attend, or speak to him at the September Reaseheath meeting. We need to give the numbers a week in advance, so no cancellations after 10th October please! We hope you will come to this fun event.

27th October 2014 - Annual General Meeting followed by Cider Making.

What better way to enjoy “any other business” than cider making and tasting with our very own Kevin Holmes? A practical demonstration and informative talk about the making of cider and the slaking of thirst! There will also be cheese and stuff to nibble along with the commercial and home brew cider samples. Also your chance to join the committee, expressions of interest here please. There will be an additional 2.00 charge for those that want the cheese and stuff to help cover the cost.

24th November 2014 - Ifor Williams Trailers.

Are you unsure of the regulations about trailers and towing? Please join us for an informative discussion from the UK’s leading trailer manufacturer, so we are better prepared to keep our stock and ourselves safe on the road and on the right side of the law. www.iwt.co.uk

December 2014 - No meeting.

26th January 2015 - Ask the vet.

Our popular annual lecture returns to Reaseheath, with your chance to ask any questions relating to the care and welfare of animals. Please come and meet Jen Quayle, B.V.Sc., M.R.C.V.S. from Rose Cottage Vet Centre. www.rosecottagevetcentre.co.uk

June 2015 – Annual Barbeque.

Date and venue to be confirmed in the New Year; put a drop of this year's sloe gin to one side for the 2015 heatwave!!

June 2015 - Cheshire Show.

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

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


Other events held this year
Previous meetings 

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. 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.

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.