Sunday, 26 March 2017

RECORD Spring Newsletter


The RECORD Spring Newsletter can be downloaded at


Articles include: Wildlife on your doorstep, Chester Zoo Nature Reserve News, Cheshire’s Meres, Species Spotlight - Swifts, What to look out for in the coming months and Upcoming events in Cheshire.

Well worth a read.

New Artwork for New Ferry Butterfly Park


The GIFT Network (Getting Involved, Finding Talents) aims to increase connectivity within the communities of Wirral South.

New Ferry Butterfly Park put in a bid for £200 to add artwork to the container at the Park. They were successful and the money secured through this community grant will contribute to an art work entitled “Life is like a Butterfly” from the poem by Joseph T. Renaldi. This will cover the side of the storage container at the Park and will be unveiled on the Open Day on 30th April. Do visit between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.


Volunteers receiving the grant cheque. The art work will cover the side of the container behind them.

New Ferry Butterfly Park is a peaceful retreat for everyone to discover what nature has to offer and is open from 12 – 4pm on Sunday afternoons from May 7th to September 10th.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

Plastic Peril















Did you know that 90% of sea birds have plastic in their stomachs? A lot of this comes from the 35 million plastic bottles used every day in Britain. Only 20 million get recycled and many of those that are thrown away end up in the ocean. We may see plastic washed up on our beaches but the damage to marine life is more insidious. A standard PET bottle can take hundreds of years to degrade and meanwhile it breaks up into ever smaller fragments that can be ingested by all marine life. As the plastic degrades it absorbs harmful chemicals from the environment that cause even more physiological damage. The plastic and chemicals then pass along food chains to the fish and seafood for human consumption.

Companies that produce these bottles must take responsibility for ensuring that more bottles are made from 100% recycled plastic (currently the average is 6.6%) and accept the impact their products are having on the oceans. Deposit return schemes operate already in Germany, Norway and the Netherlands so why can’t the soft drinks companies introduce one here to improve recycling rates? The 5p plastic bag charge reduced use by 85% in 6 months after it was introduced.

We can all make sure that we reduce our use of plastic bottles and always recycle those we do use. Plastic is already littering some of the sea floor in the Arctic. We all need to think about our plastic footprint.

Woodchip and Compost For Sale


New Ferry Butterfly Park has available:

1 year old well-rotted woodchip, suitable for making up potting composts, growing tree seedlings, etc.

About 50 bags available

50p per bag
















About 2 cubic metres of compost made from grass and flower cuttings - good soil improver, filler for raised beds, etc but not potting compost.

Not much bagged up at present, but we hope to do more, or you can fill your own bags.

Contact: Hilary Ash by email
Telephone 0151 327 5923

or Steve Lyus by email

or come along to the Park on our next workday, Sunday 9 April, 9.30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

"Fracturing Shale for Gas and Oil" talk
























Transition Town West Kirby are hosting a talk on Friday, 7th April at 7 p.m.

Fracturing Shale for Gas and Oil: The Science, Technologies and Consequences
A talk by Professor Denis Hall

The talk will focus on the fracturing of shale rock to release fossil fluids – the underpinning science, the resulting technologies and their consequence - with the aim of assisting informed assessment of potential benefits and risks of current UK policies.

West Kirby Arts Centre, 29 Brookfield Gardens, West Kirby.

Car Parking at West Kirby Concourse.
Admission free, donations welcome.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

More Notes From A Wirral Garden


Photo: Les Roberts
















Writing an occasional blog about the wildlife seen in our garden may give the impression that the garden is large. It isn’t. But of course we connect to our neighbours' plots and, seen from the air, a substantial  green area emerges which even has links to the Wirral Way, the Dee marshland and local farms.

This area must provide quite a varied habitat of crops, trees, shrubbery, grass, flowers and ponds. Alongside this the Dee runs through an open and sizeable saltwater estuary and, most notably, is home to thousands of birds – and plenty of rodents. No surprise then that foxes, hedgehogs, squirrels, frogs, newts and, of course, birds, find their way into our patch from time to time.

March has seen the pond once again occupied by a good population of tadpoles. But our impression is that the spawning this year has been less prolific than in the past. A youngish fox is starting to make daily appearances and, if left undisturbed, spends considerable time hoovering up sunflower seeds dropped from the birdfeeders. On a very sunny Wednesday we managed to take some long distant photos.

Photo: Les Roberts
















This reminds me that last year we were surprised to see a sparrowhawk sitting in the corner of the lawn making no move to fly away even when we went to the windows to peep at it. We had time to fetch the camera and take a few slightly out of focus shots. I noticed that the bird had what we thought was an injured talon. It looked blobby red and was not being moved. As our thoughts turned to how we were to help, the hawk lifted the ‘damaged’ leg to reveal that it was holding, very firmly, the carcass of a small bird. Such is nature.

Photo: Les Roberts























We hope you enjoy the pictures of the fox.........and forgive the sparrowhawk.

Les Roberts

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

RECORD Conference: Strength in Partnership








Chester Zoo Lecture Theatre
7th May 2017
10.00 – 15.30

The theme of the 2017 RECORD conference is partnership working. They will be celebrating the diverse partnership projects RECORD is involved in and how collaboration on shared goals can deliver much more for conservation.

There will be presentations from The Chester Swift Project, Wirral and Cheshire Badger Group, Cheshire members of the Dipterist’s Forum and the Cheshire Hymenoptera Atlas project. They will also take a look at the new extension to the Chester Zoo Nature Reserve and hear what they have planned for the future.


The conference is open to all, regardless of experience or skill level.


Please book early to avoid disappointment.


The RECORD Team

Tel: 01244 383749
RECORD LRC, Cedar House, Chester Zoo, Caughall Road, Upton, CH2 1LH.
www.record-lrc.co.uk