Sunday, 30 June 2013

Smelt have returned to the Mersey

Margaret Coles, leader of our rockpooling afternoon at New Brighton beach on 22nd June, was delighted to find that Smelt have returned to breed in the Mersey.

While checking out the pools prior to the event, she found many of the silvery juvenile fish in the pools under the groynes on New Brighton beach. Sand accretion across the beach has now lifted levels to where wave action makes pools under the concrete groynes, which retain water at low tide. Smelt breed in tide-pools and, once grown to full size, used to be caught as food.

Other residents of the pools include sea anemones, starfish, dog whelks and brown shrimps, with honeycomb worms making miniature reefs nearby. However, catching the smelt proved the most popular activity with the younger members of the party! At the low end of the shore, smelt were going down a runnel into the sea, but some getting stuck part-way. A tern and a seagull were taking advantage of this for an easy meal - until we arrived. The boys helped as many smelt as possible into the sea - obviously baby fish scored over birds for that afternoon!

Marine Wildlife Workshop - 13th July

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Friends of The Arno & Oxton Fields - Doggy Treasure Hunt

Following our previous post about the Friends of The Arno & Oxton Fields, they have also asked us to pass on news of their Doggy Treasure Hunt and Fun Day.

The event is to be held on the 28th Julywhich coincides with the start of Love Parks Week. The day starts at 11 a.m. and will be free to attend, supported by The Friends Group.

The aim of the event is for owners and their dogs to follow a treasure hunt route around the park, finding hidden treats markers. At the end, they will receive a rosette and the treats they found.

There will be agility demonstrations, supported by Champion Dogs, and an opportunity for owners and their dogs to have a go themselves. There will also be a fun dog show with many different categories where entrants can win small prizes.

There will also be Dog Wardens, Local Vets, Dog Trainers, Clubs and supporters on hand to help with the event to help educate dog owners in responsible dog walking and public awareness as well as the care of their pets and environment.

News from Friends of The Arno & Oxton Fields

The Friends of The Arno and Oxton Fields help maintain parks in Oxton and have many great projects underway and planned for the future.

With this aim a number of members and friends meet up most Monday mornings in The Arno Rose Garden to weed, plant or generally tidy the fabulous Long Herbaceous Border and a number of the other beds, this an on going task and any new volunteers would be most welcome.

Because there are so many other tasks and projects, we started our 1st Saturday of the month volunteer day, so that we can also cover some of our other projects, such as tending to the new wildflower meadow we have planted on The Oxton Fields, or the Bog planting area we have planned, maybe helping prepare the ground for the poppy and cornflower meadow we plan.

We also have a number of historical projects like clearing and restoring old pathways or the old quarry steps, tree and bulb planting events to improve the appearance of our parks for all who visit them.

Anyone who is interested or able to join our team will be most welcome even if is just to join us for coffee and biscuits and discuss our plans.

or our Facebook page at

Friends of The Arno and Oxton Fields

Thursday, 13 June 2013

100th Anniversary of The Wildlife Trusts

The Wildlife Trusts: 100 years of nature conservation is a documentary film telling the story of The Wildlife Trusts. From its inception as the Society for the Promotion of Nature Reserves in 1912 under the leadership of Charles Rothschild, to the birth of the local conservation movement after WWII, through its dramatic growth in the 1960s to the present day. 

The film visits locations such as Skomer, Loch of the Lowes, Brockholes, Flamborough Head, Woodwalton Fen and Ballynahone Bog. It also uses archive footage from Trusts, the BBC and other sources. Interviewees include Sir David Attenborough, Prof Aubrey Manning, Simon King, Ted Smith, Stephanie Hilborne, Hilary Benn MP and trustees, staff and volunteers from around the Trusts.

Rock Pooling on New Brighton Beach

Saturday 22nd June
Rock Pooling on New Brighton beach

2 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Meet outside the Floral Pavilion foyer, to explore the rock pools on the shore as the tide goes down. Find and identify the animals that live in the pools, including where the legs of the pier used to stand.

Wellington boots or other tough footwear needed!

For further information, telephone Hilary Ash on 0151 327 5923.