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Welcome to the Cheshire and North Wales Orchid Society website !


We are a group of enthusiasts who meet to share our enjoyment of orchids.
Membership is open to anyone who is interested.
Beginners are very welcome!
Web site last update - 4th April 2021

PRIVACY: This is a passive web site whose purpose is to share information with Society members and the public at large. We do not use cookies; we collect no data.

COVID-19 Update

Although all physical meetings of the Society have been cancelled since the March 2020 lockdown, we are holding Zoom meetings for the immediate future.

Our meetings are not restricted to Society members. Members of the public are welcome to attend - please request the link details by using the Contact Us facility.

We are continuing to run a society wide, moderated blog for members and supporters, accessed via the menu page button ☰ in the top left corner of this screen.

Please use the Contact Us facility to enter photographs, comments and perhaps very short articles to the blog.

Contact us

Click here.

Update email dated
13th March 2021

Hello everyone

Our next meeting will be on Friday 19th March by Zoom.

The main event will be a talk by Michael Radley with the title “James Bateman, 40 Orchids of Mexico & Guatemala”.   Michael is a member of Lea Valley Orchid Society and a keen grower.  James Bateman was a 19th century orchid enthusiast, publishing articles in the Gardeners Chronicle under the pen name of Serapias and funding collection expeditions to South America, amongst a lot of other activities.  In his spare time(!), he established the gardens at Biddulph Grange.  Get ready to be fascinated!

This will be followed by a virtual plant table / discussion.  Please bring a selection of yours into camera range.

The virtual Waiting Room will be open from 7pm, the Meeting Room from 7.15pm and the meeting proper will start at 7.30pm.  It would be useful if you would let me know if you are going to attend this meeting – but not essential.

If you have any problem joining a meeting, please call me on my mobile number immediately.  I do not want you to miss out!

In the meantime, all I can do is encourage you to look after yourselves carefully, to look after your orchids attentively and just keep taking the photographs!  I am as always in the process of putting up a new  edition of the Blog (see this via www.canwos.org.uk and the menu page button in the top left corner of the screen) and I welcome your photographs, comments  and any stories however loosely connected to orchids that you wish to share.


Very best wishes and Keep Safe


Iain Wright
Public Contact CANWOS

Programme 2020/2021

Friday 16th October
by Zoom
A brief AGM
+ a virtual Plant Table
Internet Facilities for Orchid Growers

Iain Wright

Friday 20th November
by Zoom
Dendrobiums of Northern Queensland

Saul Walker

+ a virtual Plant Table
Friday 18th December
by Zoom
Orchids round the Mediterranean

Celia Wright

+ a virtual Plant Table
+ a glass of something together
as a small Celebration of Christmas
> Friday 15th January
by Zoom
Orchid Hunting in Sumatra’s Cloud Forest

Trey Sanders

+ a virtual Plant Table
Friday 19th February
by Zoom
Growing Orchids under Lights

Andy Jones

+ a virtual Plant Table
Friday 19th March
by Zoom
James Bateman, 40 Orchids of Mexico & Guatemala

Michael Radley

+ a virtual Plant Table
Friday 16th April
by Zoom
Feeding Orchids – Feast or Famine

Malcolm Moodie

+ a virtual Plant Table
Friday 21st May
by Zoom
Growing Orchids in a Terranium and the story of how the Wardian Case changed the world.

Helen Millner

+ a virtual Plant Table
Friday 18th June To be confirmed
Possible field trip
Date may vary
Friday 17th September
with other delights


We meet at St Mary's Church Hall, Handbridge, Chester CH4 7HL, usually on the third Friday of the month but not in December, July or August. The Hall is open from 7.00pm.

Members are encouraged to bring their plants in flower to each meeting. There is a wealth of information within the Society and it is our tradition that this is shared freely amongst members.

We send an email to all our members about ten days before our regular meetings, to remind them what is on and to pass on other information. We are happy to send these to non-members and potential visitors - please use the index tab () to reach the 'Contact Us' section.

At most meetings there is a raffle. Members often donate orchid plants. Refreshments such as tea and coffee are available during the evening, usually immediately after the speaker.

We have a library that contains many books suitable for both beginners and experts. Members can borrow books for one month and can browse the reference books, which cannot be loaned out.

Plants & Auction

At meetings where plants are not for sale by the evening's speaker, members may offer their own orchid plants for sale.  A 20% seller's premium is levied and donated to the Society.

Each year we hold an auction where members buy and sell plants. Typically, about eighty plants are sold each year, usually at very advantageous prices. A seller's and buyer's premium operates (10% for each) and the proceeds are donated to the Society. This is an excellent way to extend a collection and try new types of orchid.


The annual subscription is currently £12. We no longer offer double or family membership. Subscriptions are normally paid to the Membership Secretary at or just after the October meeting.

Charitable Status

CANWOS registered with the the Charity Commission in 1993 but surrendered its registration in 2011.  It is now a "Charity exempt from the need to register".  Tax paying members can still benefit the Society by making a Gift Aid declaration. Details can be obtained from the Treasurer at any of the meetings.

Membership & Affiliation

The Society is a member of the British Orchid Council (BOC) and sends two representatives to its meetings. CANWOS is affiliated to the Royal Horticultural Society and members can use some of the benefits available.


A copy of our present Constitution is available for downloading by clicking on "CANWOS Constitution.pdf ". This was revised at our 2012 AGM.

British Orchid Council Our national organisation for orchid growing. There are lots of links here to other orchid societies around the country.
Orchid Photographs If you like orchid pictures, this site is a good place to start. If you like orchid species pictures, then ...
Jay Pfahl's Orchid Photographs ... this is the place for you. Work down through the preamble and finally reach over 17,158 orchids.
The International Orchid Register Search the database of registered hybrids.
Use full or partial names to identify parents and children of a grex.
Orchid History Ron Rigby's site - with lots of information on the history of orchid growing is now back.

Where We Meet

We use the hall just behind St Mary's Church on Overleigh Road, just South of the River Dee.

The post code for the Church is CH4 7HL.

View Google Map

local map

The church is an imposing building and easily spotted, whether you approach from the city center by way of the old bridge ...
from the east

... or from the west by way of the new bridge or the Wrexham road / A55 junction.
from the west

The hall is directly behind the church and hardly visible from the road.
Go down the driveway between a telephone kiosk and the church itself and turn right.
The drive way