THE FIRST REPORT OF SOCIETY'S ACTIVITIES                                                                            Written in April 2008                                  

April activities of Nantwich in Bloom




NANTWICH in Bloom Committee do a lot more than many people will suspect. Far more than just encouraging Nantwich people to play their part in gaining success for the town in the Britain in Bloom competition and carrying out a lot of the floral work in town.

    I have seen the April 2008 report that the Chairman, Alderman Doug Butterill, sent to his committee. Here is a list of the jobs that had been tackled in the previous month. As Alderman Butterill said: "Some of the things we get involved with".  


NANTWICH STATION: The planting list for herbaceous planting has been accepted by Nantwich Now and the order placed with Bridgemere Garden World. It is hoped they will be planted on Thursday, April 17.

   All the brackets for the hanging baskets have now been fitted - 10 on the station building and a double one on each of the 12 lamp posts, a total of 34 baskets. 























THE living willow screen constructed with log seats, next to a willow coppice, and a willow archway - one of the projects involving a team of volunteers in the riverside. Right, the arch in May after the leaves began to grow.                    Riverside page on coppice | coppice provides useful material

WATERLODE: The Rotary Club of Nantwich have paid to have an avenue of trees planted along Waterlode. The work will be carried out by contactors. Alderman Butterill discussed with the club the possibility of working together on a project next year.


TOWN CENTRE: Kate McKinnon had discussed her design for a raised flower bed in the town centre.  Stapeley Water Gardens will supply red salvias, orange french marigolds and yellow french marigolds. 


CHURCH WALK: Four cast iron planters for Church Walk have been ordered as have the two large wooden planters for the west wall of St Mary's church.


THE COCOA YARD: Thanks to Andy Butler of Cheshire Lamont (estate agents), excellent progress is being made. The basket tree will be altered to take 20-inch baskets and the Christmas tree brackets extend to take 20-inch baskets. A firm has been approached about supplying filled baskets. Agreement has also been reached on the general siting of four basket trees down the main walk in the Yard.


AIRMAN'S GRAVE: Meetings had been held about mowing the area. Now that most of the dead nettle heads have been mown off, the committee will sow cornfield annuals along the edge of the car park to give some colour during the summer.


SEEDS: From that point along the riverbank to the railway crossing, various areas have been rotovated and appropriate wild flower seeds sown. A living willow screen has been constructed by the willow coppice with log seats and the willow archway "tied in" as required (see pictures at the top of the page)


RIVER BANK: In areas of the river bank which have been eroded, particularly by the weir pool, choir rolls impregnated with aquatic plants have been laid.


PLANTERS: In talks with Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council Direct Services staff, early in the month, it was agreed that repairs and repainting to the planter on the corner of Mill Street and The Square would be carried out. Four new cast iron

planters would be placed in front of the Museum,



WILD FLOWER MEADOW:  James Thompson (Nantwich Riverside Project Manager) and the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) were hosts to a group of 36 architectural trainees from all around the country. Among other work, a strip of land across one of the wild flower meadows was rotovated. Pupils of Weaver School sowed cornflower annuals.

SERPENTINE LAKE: The group also cleaned out the pond (above) next to the bridge over the Serpentine lake, visible in the distance (see footnote) and planted the edges with various water-loving plants.  A "living seat" (left) was made using willow which, says the Chairman, will "I'm sure cause great amusement." (Picture: Ald. Doug Butterill). The BTCV later constructed another one near the new willow coppice (top of page, left). The seats will eventually have a back and sides as the willow grows.

with existing planters loaned to Elm House.

   One three-tier planter would be placed between Remax estate agents and the Marjorie Morton dress shop, subject to agreement with the appropriate owners. Three three-tier planters will be placed on the corner at the end of Pillory Street and one on the "V" island in the Waterlode.

    The eight planters from Church Walk will also be placed there. The new planters in Church Walk and



path close to the crocus cross. The planter in High Street will be repainted and one three-tier planter will be placed at the entrance to Snow Hill car park.


MIXED WEATHER:  The 36 trainees were employees of Aedas, an international architectural practice, on a bonding exercise. During the day they were snowed on, rained on, nearly frozen at times, and the sun shone. But "they all agreed they'd had a great time!", says Alderman Butterill. 


SCHOOLCHILDREN: Weaver School pupils have sowed cornfield annuals and planted wild flower plants in the wild flower meadow by the Serpentine Lake.  Many of these plants had been sown and brought on by the pupils, some by James Thompson, and others had been bought using grant money from Cheshire Year of the Garden.

   Wyche School pupils have planted wildflower plugs just north of Nantwich baths.

    Weaver School pupils have planted wild flowers between the trees that they planted in November. (See here)

    Malbank students helped to spread woodchip under the cherry trees planted by the borough council in the small fenced-off area near the entrance to the school's car park.


SALT LAKE: James Thomson (Nantwich Riverside Project Manager) has secured funding from WREN (Waste Recycling Environmental Ltd) on behalf of Nantwich Town Council for creating and improving footpaths for a circular walk around the lake (above). The council received 42,000 from WREN. [The money comes from Waste Recycling Group Ltd (WRG) from landfill operations.]


SUPPORT: In his report, Alderman Butterill commented: "As usual we are getting great support from the Direct Services team of the borough council and James Thomson's support is outstanding. What would he be like if his job was full time?"


. . . And what local people can do

THE judges for this year's competition will visit the town in April, July and August (20008), said Alderman Butterill. And he called on residents to:


  • Keep their own area and the town litter-free and weed free

  • Make front gardens attractive to passers-by; and

  • Enter Nantwich in Bloom's front garden



   Nantwich is the only town in Cheshire to in the Royal Horticultural Society's Britain in Bloom finals.


Wild flowers planted


The Chairman sent me the picture (right) and said:

WEAVER Primary School and staff, with Nantwich Riverside Project Manager James Thompson (kneeling, left), helped me plant wild flowers in the field at the extreme southerly end of Nantwich.

   The borough council planted several thousand trees there about five years ago.  Last November, Weaver school planted trees supplied by Cheshire Landscape Trust in a

triangle at the entrance to the site.

   The wild flowers include primroses, red campion,




greater stitchwort, wood avens, foxglove, devils bit scabious and ragged robin.

   This area is sometimes called Hellath Wen (meaning 'plentiful white' in Welsh). It was from here that the salt was pumped to the Brine Baths Hotel. The name, however, confuses people as there is a road fairly near called Hellath Wen. The children would like to call the area Coed Wen (Welsh for white wood).


l UPDATE: The area is now known as Coed Wen. One report of activity there can be found at bloom 12) 2.htm





Serpentine lake


IN his report, the Chairman mentions the Serpentine lake. He later explained that this was a stretch of fresh water - the larger new lake is salty - which runs, at one point, alongside Shrewbridge road (originally called Shrewbridge Lane).

   This is the original route of the Weaver, as can be seen on old maps. Why Serpentine? Simple. The




water's route is like a snake. Pictured right is one end of the lake, seen from the bridge over the feed to the lake from the River Weaver. The lake is seen snaking away into the distance to go past Shrewbridge Road and back to the river through a culvert.

   Along its route it is river-like but with wider areas or ponds. There is a map of the lake on this page, where it can be seen just above the Nantwich Lake at the bottom of the map.


Council praise

THE Chairman of Nantwich Town Council, Cllr Bill McGinnis, said of the Nantwich in Bloom Committee, in his annual report:

   "This voluntary group is largely responsible for the


attractive flowers and shrubs which go to make Nantwich a town to be proud of.

  "The members beaver away in the background, often unsung, and they are not afraid to get their hands dirty. It is only justice that their efforts have brought so many awards to the Town.



   "This year, they are going for the big one - the Gold. Let's all try to help by not dropping litter or otherwise causing an untidy appearance in our town centre."

    Nantwich in Bloom were one of the recipients of a grant from the Town Council.

FOOTNOTE: As will be expected, many of the details above - such as the local council at the time, personnel in groups

(and groups themselves) - have changed since the report was written. Details have been updated where known  

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