Norley Rural Skills Centre
Norley Rural Skills Centre has been managed by the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) since 2003 on a site formerly occupied by an anti-aircraft gun battery which is now a scheduled monument. The site is owned by Cheshire West and Cheshire Council as part of the Cheshire Farms Service estate.
Since BTCV took on the site, major new habitats have been added to the woodland areas and conifers, including a new pond, an orchard of traditional local fruit varieties, native mixed hedgerows, wildflower meadow areas, willow beds and living willow structures. Many new nesting boxes and ‘bug hotels’ have also been installed.
As well as conservation activities, BTCV run training programmes on the site including traditional rural craft skills (such as willow structures, green woodworking and charcoal making), up to date techniques and qualifications.
An Open Day held in May 2010 produced huge interest in the site amongst local people. This has led to the formation of a Friends of Norley Rural Skills Centre group, which now has its own constitution, committee and bank account. It is hoped that this group can help in steering the development of the site, securing funding and raising awareness amongst local groups and individuals.
Charcoal produced at the centre is for sale on the site and at The Stores.
Contact Pete Attwood ([email protected]).