Friends of Willaston Meadow
|Published: 4th August 2009 09:21|
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.
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.
The Friends Group was formed in 2004 and manages the area in association with Cheshire West and Chester Council. A Lottery grant 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 a local contractor.
An orchard, mainly of apples, but also containing pears and damsons, was established in 2004 with the support of the local Women's Institutes. Each year 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.
The maintenance costs of Big Meadow are covered by the small annual subscription of the Friends Group, with the assistance of donations. For more information, please telephone David Nind on 0151 327 4793.
If you wish to walk around the meadow paths you are welcome to do so, or a guided walk can be arranged.
Volunteers meet at Jackson's Pond (weather permitting) at 10.30am on the first Sunday of each month and work until about midday. More people are needed, so please do come along. Ring 0151 327 4793 for information.