Monday, 29 May 2017

Burton Mere talk at Burton Manor





















Thursday 13th June
RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands: Home for Birds and Wildlife

7.15 p.m.
Burton Manor Gardens

An illustrated talk by Dan Trotman

The early years... development during the first five years of the wetlands, giving nature a home, the plans for the future and a general overview of the rich wildlife and birds which have made it their home.

£8 (£6.50 for Friends of Burton Mere Gardens)

To book tickets phone 0151 345 1107 or email

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Support Heswall Dales




Join the Friends of Heswall Dales at their inaugural meeting at Heswall Hall on 31st May at 7 p.m.

Find out more about the Dales and how you can help support Wirral Council to protect this SSSI in Heswall.

For more information, please email Neil Irvine

Friday, 12 May 2017

Bioblitz at Port Sunlight River Park

























Find and record as many plants and animals as possible in Port Sunlight River Park.

On Friday 26th May from 9pm to 10.30pm there is a Bat Walk. £3 per person and booking is essential.

Contact the Ranger on 07587550060 or email

On Saturday 27th May you can discover flowers, bugs, stalls, toddler trail and more.
8.30 a.m. Meet the Moths
9.30 -11 a.m. Bird Walk
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Stalls and activities at the site office plus wildlife ID stations open
10.30 a.m. - 12 noon Flower Walk
1.30 - 3 p.m. Family Fun Nature Walk

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

May the Force (of Nature) Bee with you




Work colleagues from the Institute Integrative Biology (IIB) at the University of Liverpool had a plant sale as part of a Sustainability Awareness Project. This was to encourage and introduce people to growing plants and to introduce the Sustainability Team. There was a tremendous range of plants including house plants, garden plants, herbs and vegetables.  

The plants were loving cultivated by IIB staff and were comprehensively labelled with full nurturing instructions by Alex Holme.  

Photograph Paul Loughnane
























The plant sale was held on the green at the entrance to the Bioscience Building.  

Photograph: Paul Loughnane



















It is the first time a plant sale has been held at the site and was an unknown venture. It proved to be very successful with a great response in terms of plant donations and generous plant buyers. The event raised over £550 which was truly amazing. The funds raised were donated to New Ferry Butterfly Park.

Joan Robinson, one of the Sustainability Project Managers, said “We wanted the plant sale to be a charitable event in aid of a local charity, and related to sustainability.  The butterfly park ticked all of the above boxes, with the added bonus of Paul’s connection to IIB.”

Paul Loughnane, Hon Secretary of New Ferry Butterfly Park and IIB, said “It was very generous of the sustainability group to help the park out and I hope to arrange a thank you visit to the park for the sustainably team.  The money will go towards much needed solar lighting in the tool shed.” 

Alongside the plant sale there was a display on the butterfly park and this lead to further interactions. Dr Seth Barribeau who is interested in the diseases of solitary bees donated a solitary bee home to put up at the park. With its abundance of nectar and pollen sources the park should provide an excellent location to collect samples of solitary bees.

Photograph: Paul Loughnane



















Report by Paul Loughnane

Bluebell walk at Dibbinsdale


Photograph taken before the start of the
‘Bluebell Walk’ at Dibbinsdale last Saturday.
Photograph Hilary Ash




















36 people turned up for the Bluebell walk at Dibbinsdale, which made two nice-sized groups led by Pete Miller and Hilary Ash. The bluebells presented a lovely display and they also saw a few celandines and wood anemones, as well as wood sorrel, wood speedwell, sanicle and other flowers.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Record Breaking Open Day


The sun shone on New Ferry Butterfly Park on Sunday April 30th and the visitors arrived....and arrived and arrived! 1059 in all.

A new banner covering the side of the container was unveiled. It was designed by Calum and Carol Ramsay.

The banner on the side of the container




















There were lots of things for visitors to do. Pond dipping, making flower pictures, pedalling a bike to make a smoothie or making their own plant pot to pop a seed in 

Newspaper plant pots. Photograph Liz Maidment





















The cake and plant stalls are always popular and busy. 

A very small section of the plant stall. Photograph Liz Maidment





















Local crafts people also came with items to sell. 


Photograph Liz Maidment





















Wirral Tree Wardens brought their maypole and music to celebrate the upcoming May Day. 


Photograph Liz Maidment





















Thanks also to Port Sunlight River Park, Record and our 'Spider Man' for adding to the fun. 


Photograph Liz Maidment



























The volunteers on the barbecue never stopped cooking and the queues showed how popular their food was.




















Don't forget New Ferry Butterfly Park is open on Sunday afternoons from 12 to 4 p.m.

If you would be interested in becoming a volunteer warden and spending two hours greeting visitors at the Park once a month do email us or speak to one of the wardens when you visit.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Butterfly Park Warden Retires



A big thank you to Frank Cottrell for his role in the creation of New Ferry Butterfly Park. At 94 he has just retired as a volunteer warden, having been involved in the creation of the Butterfly Park in 1993.

Frank with his print 






















He urges others to become wardens and if you could spare a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon once a month please contact us by email.
















The container banner was designed by Calum and Carol Ramsay.

Red Rocks Evening Walk


Photograph : Carl Skepper


















Cheshire Wildlife Trust have organised an evening walk at Red Rocks as part of the Wirral Walking Festival 2017. 

Sunday, 14th May from 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

An evening guided walk at Red Rocks with a chance to listen out for singing Natterjack toads.

Cost £5

To book telephone 01948 820728 or email

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Brimstage Hall Orchard Blossom Day


Photograph: David Higginbottom



















Wirral Tree Wardens look after the Orchard at Brimstage Hall.

They are open to visitors again on Saturday 29th April when there is a chance that more of the apple blossom will be fully out. It's technically a volunteer working day, so they are asking visitors (including children) to act as volunteers and take pictures of the individual trees. This will add to their website records and a small exhibition of the images of the orchard at its best. Phone images, drawings, chalkings, paintings, all are welcome. There will be an apple-related prize for the best one. They also have a Wirral apple tree variety to name - good tasty red apples with reddish-tinted flesh that was grafted from an anonymous original in West Kirby.

Go along from 11am to 2pm and if the weather's fine, take a picnic and a blanket to sit on under the trees!

Monday, 17 April 2017

New Ferry Butterfly Park Open Day


Sunday 30th April 2017
11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Come and join us on our Open Day. Lots to see and do for the whole family.

To be opened by Alison McGovern M.P.

FREE ENTRY

Maypole Dancing
Art and Craft Tables
BBQ
Tombola
Plant sale
Cake Sale
Spider Identification
Nature Walks
Pond Dipping

New Ferry Butterfly Park
Howell Rd
New Ferry
Wirral
CH62 5BG
(behind Aldi next to Bebington Station Car Park).

We encourage you to walk or use public transport as there will only be disabled parking on site on the day. However there is lots of free parking in Greendale Road, just opposite the Park.

A Natural Future for Bees and Butterflies


Planting below the laid hedge. Photograph Richard Ash


















A £280 grant from Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s  Project “Natural Futures” has enabled New Ferry Butterfly Park volunteers to plant 400 wildflower plugs to enhance the park’s hedge banks, pond verges and grasslands. The event attracted 25 volunteers in all, including our regular volunteers, Students from Liverpool John Moores University Conservation Society and 10 members of the public. 















A boundary hedge at the park was laid in the winter to renew the hedge growth from the base of the hedge. The hedge laying exposed the partially shaded hedge bank and revealed a rather boring ground flora. This has been remedied by the planting of 150 woodland wildflower plugs into the bank. The mix consisted of betony, common dog violet, primrose, greater stitchwort and wild strawberry. This will make the hedge bank more attractive and supply further nectar and pollen sources for bees and butterflies at the park. In a few years it will show-case what an attractive hedge bank can look like.


Planting around the pond. Photograph Richard Ash











Fifty ragged robin and fifty purple loosestrife plug plants were planted around the pond dipping pond which was restored last summer.
















Also 150 common sorrel were planted into Charlie’s Field, at the south end of the park. Charlie’s Field has recently been be reclaimed from invasive suckering plum and a mowing regime started. Last year a pleasant surprise was that over 40 Cowslips have naturally colonised the area following the start of the mowing regime. Common sorrel is the larval food plant of the small copper butterfly. The small copper butterfly although a widely distributed butterfly, is declining in abundance; nationally a staggering 37% between 1976 -2014*. Here at the park we are doing our part to reverse that trend.


Planting in Charlie's Field. Photograph: Richard Ash
Ella Woodcock, Volunteer Coordinator from Liverpool John Moores University Conservation Society said “We were delighted to help at this community project and learn a little about butterfly ecology.  We were well looked after, we had homemade butterfly themed cakes, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  We will be coming back.” She added enthusiastically “Whilst we were weeding some purging buckthorn shrubs for the brimstone butterfly, a brimstone butterfly flew around these shrubs. It was great to see conservation in action.”

Beth Alvey, Natural Futures Volunteering and Training Manager, Cheshire Wildlife Trust said” It was great to see the connections between the volunteers, students and local residents.  If any other wildlife volunteering groups would like some assistance in building volunteering capacity, grants and training please contact Beth Alvey at Cheshire Wildlife Trust”.

Paul Loughnane, Honorary Reserve Manager, New Ferry Butterfly Park added “These projects are all in preparation for the Park’s open season which begins on Sunday 30th April with a big open day event with environmental themed stalls. It starts at 11 a.m. with Alison McGovern MP being the guest of honour and unveiling a new piece of artwork inspired by a poem ‘Life is like a butterfly’ by Joseph T. Renaldi 

* Small copper data from Butterfly Conservation

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

CAN YOU HELP WITH EVENTS?


Apple Day at Eastham Country Park





















Wirral Wildlife is often invited to participate in local nature related events at places like Ness Gardens, parks, local garden centres or Earthfest. 

We have a small team but need more helpers. We need someone to liaise with the organisers and other people to help on the stall. If you like organising things or you can spare a couple of hours to help at an event please get in touch with Linda on 0151 342 1395 or email.