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Mindful Meadow at Chirk Castle

The Mindful Meadow at Chirk Castle
The Mindful Meadow at Chirk Castle | © National Trust Images/Paul Harris

Chirk Castle are delighted to have received a grant from Cadwyn Clwyd to create a Mindful Meadow at Chirk Castle working in partnership with local groups to contribute to its design and creation.

The meadow is located on the Chirk Castle estate, close to the kitchen garden with a fantastic view down the Ceriog Valley. It includes a willow dome, wildflowers, seating, hedgerows and a small orchard - all designed to enhance the space for both wildlife and people.

What is the Mindful Meadow?

The National Trust cares for special places for the benefit of the nation, it is our hope that the Mindful Meadow at Chirk Castle provides a space for people to gain some respite from their daily lives when they need it the most. Whilst it is free to access by anyone, it can also be utilised by local community groups to deliver their sessions, be this counselling, support or wellbeing activities.

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Mindful Meadow at Chirk Castle

National Trust Cymru has been working with local organisations such as Cadwyn Clwyd, NEWCIS, BCUHB Health Improvement Team, Home Start Wrexham, North East Wales Mind, Rainbow Foundation and We Mind The Gap to design and create a Mindful Meadow at Chirk Castle.

“Our lives are overcrowded, over excited and over strained. We all want quiet, we all want beauty, we all need space. Unless we have it, we cannot reach that sense of quiet where whispers of better things come to us gently.”

A quote by Octavia Hill Co-founder of the National Trust

Meadow design

The mindful meadow is designed to provide a number of inspirational and reflective spaces, where you can connect to nature in whatever way bests suit you. From gazing up the Ceriog Valley to the hills beyond, finding peace in the willow dome, observing wildlife buzzing about the orchard and wildflowers, to watching the clouds float by. There really is something for everyone.

In addition, participants have worked with David Setter, a local artist based in Flintshire, to design a totem pole structure inspired by nature and his work is a combination of illustration and metal sculpture. David loves the countryside and getting his hands dirty – the outcome of the workshops is a stunning totem pole displaying the illustration and words of participants.

The benefits of the meadow

The Mindful Meadow was completed in spring 2023. The process of creating the space was just as important as the end product, enabling participants to reap the benefits of hand on connection with nature but also providing a real-life demonstration that things take time to blossom and flourish, mirroring the time improved wellbeing can take to build.

It is not only people who will benefit from this project, but nature too. The area is part of Chirk Castle’s SSSI, designated for its rare invertebrates, lesser horseshoe bats and grassland fungi which means any changes to the landscape must be approved by Natural Resources Wales (NRW).

National Trust Cymru worked closely with NRW to develop the plans for the meadow, ensuring the design met the community need but also improved the overall biodiversity of the area.

Pollinator rich native tree species and wildflower seed mix were selected to boost wildlife food sources. The hedgerow mixture, location and length were adjusted to maximise the benefit to the local bat population, increasing their feeding area and creating wildlife corridors.

The meadow is free to access for anyone who may be seeking a quieter spot and is also available for groups to use to deliver sessions from counselling to tai chi, reflective walks to sketching.

The project has been developed by National Trust Cymru with the generous support of Cadwyn Clwyd’s Green Communities Project which is funded by the EU and Welsh Government Rural Communities Rural Development Programme and delivered in collaboration with Natural Resources Wales (NRW).

Making the totem pole

Drawings and words from the workshops
Drawings and words from the workshops | © Chirk Castle

The inspiration

David Setter held workshops with our community partners, NEWCIS Young Carers and North East Wales Mind, in which participants created drawings and poetry about how they connect with nature.

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With thanks to

  • NEWCIS Young Carers
  • North East Wales Mind
  • Rainbow Foundation
  • We Mind The Gap
  • Chester National Trust Volunteers
  • HomeStart Wrexham
  • BCUHB Health Improvement Team

For more information about the Mindful Meadow and Wellbeing at Chirk Castle contact

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