Tales from the Riverside

  October 2008 (2)


  James Thompson, former Nantwich Riverside Project Manager for

  two borough councils, and now Executive Director of Greenspaces

  South Cheshire CIC, is a familiar face around the banks of the River

  Weaver. Here, he tells about the latest events down on the



A good turnout for Sunday work event   

VOLUNTEERS and members of the public turned out on Sunday, October 12, for the event organised by James Thompson on the Shrewbridge Road car park. They were there to work on various areas of the riverside area planting a variety of plants to ensure a good display next Spring.

   Also there was Terry Walsh of BBC Radio Stoke, broadcasting the Sunday morning gardening and nostalgia programme from the site. He interviewed James as well as Doug Butterill, Chairman of the Nantwich in Bloom committee.

   Two willow growers and  weavers, Jill and Liz - they preferred to give just their first names - demonstrated their art on one of two stalls on the car park. That's a willow snail, right.

   Meanwhile, further along the River Weaver, six members of the Crewe and Nantwich Weaver Rotary Club were carrying out further planting near to the old mill site. And volunteers from Riverside Concern, among


others, were also hard at work on the wetland meadow.

   Plants with some marvellous names were being planted by the volunteers. These included Cuckoo Flower (also known as Lady Smock or the Cheshire


Flower), Self Heal, Ragged Robin, Purple Loostrife, Marsh Woundwort, Water Avens, Red Campion, and Yellow Flag Iris.  James told me later: "We were delighted with the turn out and the amount of

interest in the work we have been doing, and plan to do, on the Nantwich Riverside.

   "Thanks to the enthusiasm of volunteers, we managed to plant out hundreds of cowslips and other wetland plants as well as preparing the wildflower meadow for next year. Thanks to all those who came down to help out. We look forward to seeing the results of your labours next year.


lJames added: "This Autumn we will be working with local schools to plant out bulbs and trees during National Tree Week (November 26 to December 7), run by the Tree Council. We have our fingers crossed for a successful application for 20,000 native bluebell bulbs!"

James Thompson talks to Terry Walsh of BBC Radio Stoke about the work on the riverside. Morag Whitby (Work Experience) and Amy Rushton (Countryside Division, Cheshire County Council) planting cowslips.
Liz working on a boat design Brian Hodgkinson, of Riverside Concern, rotovating an area of the wetland meadow. Jill works on a willow snail design. The ladies demonstrated their art at the event.

The work of Riverside Concern

THERE is an aptly-named group that hides its light under a bushel in the on-going work of looking after the area by the River Weaver. Riverside Concern is an ad hoc group of local volunteers who can be relied on to turn out and give a hand at events such as that on Sunday 12th - or quietly get on with a job at any other time that anything needs doing.

   Helen Austin, who is a member of the group with her husband, John, told me that they were local people who loved the riverside. They had got together occasionally to deal with the problem of litter, overgrown areas, and any damage done where young people gathered. "It grew from there", said Helen.

   Then they began to help James Thompson, when he became the Nantwich Riverside Officer, whenever he held events which required assistance.

   Anyone who would like to be involved with Riverside Concern should get in touch with them through James (greenspaces@hotmail.co.uk).

   The Chairman of the group is Tony Tengwall, and the membership includes Brian Hodgkinson who represents Wyche Anglers.    



John and Helen Austin (left and right) with Brian Hodgkinson, members of Riverside Concern, pictured at Sunday's event. Brian and John were rotovating an area of wetland meadow  while Helen was planting cowslips.

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