Cheshire Smallholders Association


Event diary
Next meetings 

2015 - 2016 Reaseheath meetings.

Defra focus group - 25th April 2016

Immediately prior to the April presentation by Lewis Holloway and Merewyn Loder (see below), Defra have asked Cheshire Smallholders Association to set up a small focus group of 6-8 people to discuss a range of matters, with a primary focus on animal welfare and smallholders' relationship with Defra.

Lewis will facilitate the focus group and Defra will pay your travel expenses to and from Reaseheath on the evening, as well as providing a light buffet to those attending the focus group.

Spaces are strictly limited; if you are interested, please contact CSA President, Arthur Green here as soon as possible.

25th April 2016 - Usual meeting time - Defra double act.

We will be joined by Lewis Holloway from Hull University and Merewyn Loder from Defra, who, as well as answering the issues we raise about Defra, will be taking away any  unanswered issues to effect change within Defra.  Join us for a unique insight into the direction Defra is heading and deduce how we will be affected by those changes in the future.

Merewyn and Lewis' presentation will take place at the usual time, immediately after the focus group mentioned above.

23rd May 2015 - Site visit - Cheshire Wildlife Trust, Bickley Hall Farm.

We will be joining the estates team at Bickley Hall Farm for a guided farm walk and refreshments at the farmhouse, with a modest charge for refreshments.   Please note the earlier start time of 7.00pm at Bickley Hall, Malpas, not Reaseheath.

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 Arthur Green here.

27th July 2016 - Nantwich Show.

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

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

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

Event diary
Previous events

21st March 2016, Round table discussion Round table discussion of current issues and the direction taken by CSA. We are hopefull that the original scheduled talk on poultry keeping can be rearranged in the 2016 - 2017 season.

29th February 2016, High Tension - Nigel Parry from Scottish Power gave a presentation encompassing working safely near power lines. Contact details will be added to the websitestab above to enable safe and proactive steps to be taken when necessary by members.

25th January 2016, Ask the vet We were very fortunate to welcome back our longstanding supporter and sage Jen Quayle, B.V.Sc., M.R.C.V.S. from Rose Cottage Vet Centre. Jen was able to address contemporary concerns about the welfare of our stock, in another informative session.

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.