Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Spring at New Ferry Butterfly Park

Paul Loughnane, one of our reserve managers, would like to remind you that New Ferry Butterfly Park will soon be open for visiting.

The Butterfly Park has been developed on a former goods yard, coal yard and water softening plant and lies adjacent to Bebington Station Car Park. We are open on sunny Sundays in the summer from 3rd May. Entrance is free, as well as the parking, and there are voluntary wardens to assist in your visit. There are colouring-in sheets, quizzes, a nature trail and, with help from the voluntary wardens, you can see the creatures living in the ponds.

Cowslips at the Butterfly Park. Photo: Hilary Ash

A host of nodding cowslips beckons the beginning of spring and the opening of New Ferry Butterfly Park. Strongly calcareous soils are rare in the largely acidic sandstone bedrock that underlies Wirral.

This part of the park was sown with cowslip seed in 1995 on a calcareous area, which was formed by the outflows of a former water softening plant, used in the days of railway steam engines. The soils are white and when they are wet it is like working in toothpaste. Mowing, and more importantly raking up the cut materials, has created a suitable habitat for the cowslips. They are flourishing, and are now self-seeding to create this impressive spring display. The cowslips provide nectar sources early in the growing season for bumble bees, hive bees and those butterflies which have over wintered as adults. The grasslands on the Butterfly Park are looking the most flower-rich they have been in the 15 years that the area has been managed for wildlife.

Monday, 20 April 2009

Newts in your pond

Male Great Crested Newt. Photo: James Grundy

If you managed to go to the talk on Friday you will have been thrilled to see so many newts at close quarters.

If you missed this engaging talk have a look at James Grundy's website where you can also order a copy of his book.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Neston area - Residents' Association

A new association of residents and businesses is being set up to monitor local developments. If you live in Parkgate, Neston, Little Neston or Ness you are invited to a meeting at Neston Methodist Church on 22nd April at 6.30.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Watch group - Beach Discoveries

At our April meeting last weekend we found out more about the geology of the beach and cliffs at Thurstaston. Matt explained how a glacier 1km thick had covered this area and when it melted the material it had picked up on its journey south was left behind.

Some of these pebbles had come from Scotland and some from the Lake District.

As the wind blew down the beach we hunted for different coloured granite pebbles.

Daniel's granite pebbles...

... and other discoveries by Luke and Christian.