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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 - 16th November 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

We are making a cautious return to physical meetings. We will attempt to arrange outside speakers, either in person or possibly by Zooming into the Hall.
If circumstances dictate that we cannot use the Hall, we will return to Zoom meetings.

Contact us

Click here.

Update email dated
6th November 2021

Our next regular CANWOS meeting will be on the 19th November and the main event will be the Auction.  (Click here . to download a PDF of the instructions and registration form.)

As I expect that we will not have huge numbers of plants to sell, I think we should suspend our rule of ‘No display plants at the Auction’ for this occasion.  The Hall is large enough that we can place auction plants under that projection screen and have displays along the back wall as usual.  There should be no confusion as to which is which!

Do not forget to bring a container for your purchases!

Please remember that the Hall is still functioning under Covid rules

Thanks to Margaret and Hanne who have volunteered to do the teas this time.  I am sure they would appreciate a helper for serving and clearing up.

I have had a response from Gordale that the date of their orchid event is fixed for the 22/23rd January.  This is the weekend following our January meeting.  I will circulate other details as they become available.

Best wishes

Iain Wright

Public Contact CANWOS

Programme 2021/2022

Friday 17thSeptember
AGM, Plant Table and measurement of pH and conductivity of members' rain and tap water samples.

Friday 15th October “Plants behaving badly : sex and lies”

Friday 19th November Orchid Auction
Click here. to download a PDF of the instructions and registration form.
Friday 18th December Maybe a Zoom meeting

Friday 21th January To be announced

Friday 18th February To be announced

Friday 18th March To be announced

Friday 22th April To be announced

Friday 20st May To be announced

24th June To be announced

Friday 16th 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. 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.
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