Friends of Willaston Meadow

The Friends of Willaston Meadow foster and promote the conservation and management of Willaston Meadow and Woodland adjacent to the Willaston Recreation Ground for the benefit of the community.

Friends of Willaston Meadow

The Friends of Willaston Meadow foster and promote the conservation and management of Willaston Meadow and Woodland adjacent to the Willaston Recreation Ground for the benefit of the community.


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Big Meadow lies adjacent to the Recreation Ground and to the north of Elm Green.

It covers c.1.85 hectares on which, in 2000, the Residents’ Society hoped to plant a wood to celebrate the Millennium.

However, a botanical survey revealed it to be mostly neutral grassland (unimproved for agriculture) and consequently rich in native flora such as pignut, yellow rattle and knapweed.  It also provides a habitat for butterflies, insects and birds.

It is named on the Tithe Map of 1848, and was probably always used as a traditional hay meadow.

A public meeting was held on 3rd November 2004 to establish the Friends Group.  The original members were Hilary Morris (Chair), David Nind (Secretary), Max Kirby (Treasurer), David Morris (Newsletter Editor), Elaine Mills and Pam Irving.  The Group manages the area in association with Cheshire West and Chester Council.  A Lottery grant in 2004 enabled the acquisition of gates, fencing and a notice-board.

Volunteers from the Friends and local community, including pupils from nearby Willaston Primary School, have planted new hedges, native trees and native wild flowers.  The meadow is cut annually by Cheshire West and Chester Council.

An orchard, mainly of apples, but also containing pears and damsons, was established in 2004 with the support of the local Women’s Institutes.  Since then, more fruit trees have been added; most of them are old varieties, some associated with Cheshire.

Big Meadow is a tranquil place in which to enjoy the natural world and find peaceful relaxation.

In 2023, students from Ellesmere Port CE College made a video about the Meadow which can be seen here:

Become a Member

The maintenance costs of Big Meadow are covered by the small annual subscription of the Friends Group, with the assistance of donations.  For a copy of a membership form, click Membership form 2023

Get Involved

For a copy of the latest newsletter, click Newsletter 23 .

Previous newsletters are below:

Newsletter 2022

Newsletter 2021

Newsletter 2019

Update April 2020.

You can follow our activities and the latest information about the Meadow on our Facebook page.

Can you help us?

We have volunteer days, normally on the first Sunday of the month, meeting at 10.30am when we tidy up the Meadow, cutting down brambles and planting.  Everyone is welcome.

Bird Life

We have a small team of volunteers who visit the Meadow each month to see what birds are visiting us.  In 2023, they spotted 43 species. Regular visitors, seen at least ten of the twelve months include blackbirds, blue tits, crows, great tits hedge sparrows, herring gulls, jackdaws, magpies and robins.  Rarer visitors, spotted only once this year included Canada goose, feral pigeon, goldcrest, heron, house martin, kestrel, lesser black backed gull,  pheasant, pied wagtail, redwing, stock dove and swift.

For the full details:

Birds spotted 2023

Birds spotted 2021

Birds spotted 2020

Birds Spotted in 2019

Pond Life

In April 2021, we had a newt survey done in Jackson’s Pond and found evidence of both Great Crested Newts and Smooth Newts.

Documentation

Click on the links below to see our documentation.

Accounts 2022-2023

Minutes of AGM 2022

Accounts 2021-2022

Constitution

2021 AGM Minutes

Accounts 2020-2021

2020 virtual AGM minutes

Accounts 2019-20

 

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