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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 - 18th January 2024

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Update email dated
17th January 2024

Hello everyone,

Our next meeting will be on Friday 19th January 2024 at St Mary’s Church Hall, opening at 7pm.

We will start at 7.30pm with me showing you our holiday snaps from last year.  Do Not Worry!  I will show you a limited selection, not all 3000!

The title will be ‘Orchids and other attractions of the Cape area of South Africa’.   We were there in December 2022 and will share with you some of the wildlife, birds, a few sea creatures and lots of flowering plants.  There were lots of ground orchids and, to my delight, some epiphytic orchids.

We can then do some of our usual activities, admiring the plant table and- importantly – talking about it, discussing the flowers and how to grow the plants.  We will have a raffle – prizes welcome – and, if needed, a members’ plant sale (please let me know in advance if you wish to sell anything!)    We might even chat amongst ourselves!

Many thanks to Anna and Neil who have volunteered to do the teas.  We need volunteers for the rest of the season.

Gordale Orchid Festival

I regret to have to tell you that we have not been invited to attend the Gordale Orchid Festival for 2024. Well, according to their website, it is now called the Orchid and Houseplant Festival.       Attendees will be Gordale itself, Burnham Orchids and. Dibleys Nurseries (selling Streptocarpus).  There is no mention of any other exhibitors though there is reference to “exotic orchid and houseplant displays”.

This will be the first Gordale Orchid event that we have not been invited to since its founding in 1995 and I find this very disappointing.

However, we have no cause for complaint.  Gordale is a commercial organisation and needs to plan its events and activities to suit its business plans.  The publicity we have received by attending the Festival has been valuable to us over the years.  It is just a pity that it has stopped.

Malvern Show

There are changes afoot.  At the British Orchid Council (BOC) meeting last Sunday, it was announced that the International Orchid Show (IOC) is probably going to move from Malvern to the National Exhibition Centre and be part of the BBC Gardeners Live event.

Please look at the attached document to see the details.  The Show is run by an independent Committee but there is major sharing of key people between BOC and IOC.  For us, it will be much easier to get to by road or rail, and there will be lots of visitors who are gardeners – as opposed to farmers.  We might actually recruit a few more members!

I would like to have a brief discussion on this during the evening.

Celia and I will be eating in The Ship Inn beforehand ie 5.45pm.  If you would like to join us there, please let me know by Thursday so I can book the table.  (Their ‘Fish and Chips’ is much admired and enormous!)

Best wishes


Iain Wright

Public Contact, CANWOS

Programme for 2023/2024 season

Friday 15thSeptember
The Orchids of Costa Rica

Michael Radley

Friday 20th October Meeting cancelled due to extremly bad weather.

Friday 17th November The AGM
+ Youtube videos about orchids
- a careful selection

Friday 19th January Orchids and other attractions of the Cape area of South Africa

Friday 16th February To be announced

Friday 15th March To be announced

Friday 19th April To be announced

Friday 17st May To be announced

21th June To be announced

Early July ?To be announced
Friday 13th September
with other delights

Contact us

Click here.

British Orchid Council Our national organisation for orchid growing. There are lots of links here to other orchid societies around the country.
Latest BOC Update Newsletter Clicking this link will open the latest BOC Update Newsletter in a new window.
Plants of the World The Kew database of species plants.
Search by genus or species.
Jay Pfahl's Orchid Photographs For photographs of orchid species,this is the place for you. Access the photos of over 24,186 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


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. This was last revised at our 2012 AGM.