Monday, 13 January 2020

Science Under The Stars

Science Under The Stars
Thursday 23rd January

4 - 6 pm
Heswall Primary School, Whitfield Lane, Heswall, CH60 7SD

A special outdoor evening of scientific discovery for teachers, trainee teachers, school childre, families and UK scientific and conservation organisations.

Free entry.

Enjoy hands on scientific adventures, visit the inflatable planetarium, use telescopes, make bird feeders, cuddle a snake, make a torch to follow the ocean themed UV outdoor trail and watch an exciting 3D film.

Wirral Wildlife will be at the event with a stall highlighting the problems caused to wildlife by plastic waste. Other organisations will include Chester Zoo, Wirral Rangers, Trust for Conservation Volunteers, RSPB, Ness Gardens and Wirral Animal Sanctuary.

Parking on the site will be limited. Walking to the venue is highly recommended.

Saturday, 11 January 2020

Prize Quiz Deadline Reminder

Beside the seaside. The view from Hilbre Island. Photo: Duca di Spinaci, Flickr

For anyone who wants to enter this year’s Prize Quiz, a reminder that we need to receive your entry by the closing date of 31st January.

All answers are all seaside themed. Good luck!

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Message In A Bottle

Claremount Methodist Church in Wallasey are hosting an event to persuade Coca Cola to change their ways and reduce plastic pollution.

Saturday 25th January
12-3 pm
Claremount Methodist Church, Claremount Road, Wallasey, CH45 6UE

Everyone is invited to join in the lunch and listen to inspiring speakers.

Please bring a clean empty plastic bottle of Coke, Sprite, Fanta, Powerade, Innocent, Oasis or Smart Water to put your message in.

Monday, 23 December 2019

Season’s Greetings

The view from Cleaver Heath in the snow

The Wirral Wildlife committee wish you a peaceful and joyous Christmas and a happy new year.

Monday, 9 December 2019

Growing To New Heights

Re-growth you can hang your hat on. Photo: David Casement
Re-growth you can hang your hat on. Photo: David Casement

Wirral Countryside Volunteers (WCV) are growing in stature and confidence. The volunteers’ chair Steve Yandell was described as being a “supervolunteer” in Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s Go Wild Magazine and Tim Gannicliffe, a longtime volunteer, was recognised by Cheshire Wildlife Trust for his broad range of volunteer roles over 27 years. Congratulations to them both.

One of the volunteers’ favourite projects is hedgerow restoration and the volunteers made up seven of the nine cutters at the local Cheshire hedge laying match at Shotlach near Malpas, winning both the open and novice classes.

Colin Chapman being presented first place in the Cheshire Open Class at the National Competition. Photo: Tim Russ
Colin Chapman being presented first place in the Cheshire Open Class at the National Competition. Photo: Tim Russ

Three WCV cutters took part in the National Hedge Laying Competition, Pewsey in Wiltshire. New heights were reached by the WCV as Colin Chapman won the Cheshire Open Class. Arnold Plumley, the Cheshire judge, was delighted that everyone cut their 10m length in good time and said it was some of the most difficult judging he had done. Colin won by one point, achieving 77 points out of 100.

The extensive lengths of hedge laid recently have required an increased number of hedge stakes. Fortunately there are several local sources of stakes such as sycamore stakes from Job’s Ferry at Eastham Country Park, hazel stakes (our favourite material) from Kingsbrook Way, Lower Bebington and hazel from Hogs Head Coppice from the WCV base at New Ferry Butterfly Park.

Alex and James gained a paying hedge laying job from this photo, a great result.  Photo: Dave Edwards
Alex and James gained a paying hedge laying job from this photo, a great result.
Photo: Dave Edwards

At our recent hedge laying training day on Woodchurch Road, Landican, there were 25 participants, one person travelling from the Isle of Man for the day to join us. Arnold Pumley of the Cheshire Ploughing Hedgecutting Society was very pleased with all the trainees and spotted two that should be cutting in the Cheshire Ploughing and Hedgecutting Society competitions, surely the best thank you we can give Arnold for all his support and encouragement he gives us. Trainees and trainers had a great day hedge laying a suitable beginner’s hedge, in addition there were wheelbarrow loads of tea and cake supplied down the hedge line and leek and potato soup and roll served for lunch. Four under 26 year olds received a £25 payment from the National Hedge Laying Society.

Last year’s sections of the hedge demonstrated the best re-growth that has ever been in one season on a WCV hedge laying project, 5ft for hawthorn and 8ft for hazel from the base of the hedge. One other record broken on the hedge laying training day was the amount of litter collected from the hedgerow, 16 Biffa bags.

Bags of hedgerow litter. Photo: Paul Loughnane
Bags of hedgerow litter. Photo: Paul Loughnane

Friday, 29 November 2019

Wirral Tree Strategy

Wirral Tree Strategy

The value of trees is being recognised. Please read and comment on the draft Wirral Tree Strategy.

Comments need to be in by 20 December. Everyone can read it and give their feedback to the Council.

Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Award Winning Volunteer

Presentation of the award to Tim Ganicliffe (right)

Presentation of the award to Tim Ganicliffe (right). The other people are (left to right) Charlotte Harris (CEO of Cheshire Wildlife Trust), John Thurston (son of Eric Thurston after whom the awards are named) and Felicity Goodey (President of Cheshire Wildlife Trust).

Eric Thurston was an eminent Cheshire naturalist and also an experienced and skilful photographer. The Eric Thurston Award is the highest accolade for volunteering given by the Cheshire Wildlife Trust. It seeks to showcase the Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s most inspirational and outstanding volunteers, recognising the importance of wildlife, conservation and the natural environment throughout both urban and rural areas of Cheshire.

One of this year’s recipients is Tim Gannicliffe. Tim has been working locally in Wirral with the Cheshire Wildlife Trust for 27 years. His strength is carrying out fresh water invertebrate surveys in ponds and streams. Tim’s survey work has been important in assessing Local Wildlife Sites, and the state of the Clatter Brook which runs through Thornton Wood and he has also been monitoring nitrogen inputs at Red Rocks and at Thornton Wood.

Tim Ganicliffe (left) with Stephen Ross, Chairman of Wirral Wildlife.

Tim Ganicliffe (left) with Stephen Ross, Chairman of Wirral Wildlife.

He is a valued volunteer at New Ferry Butterfly Park, especially encouraging participation in pond dipping. This includes our very busy opening days (circa 1000 visitors), regular Sunday opening and on group visits. He shares his expertise, enthusiasm and knowledge of the pond’s denizens.

Tim is also involved in a broad array of conservation networks within Wirral. The hedgerows of New Ferry Butterfly Park have been kept in good order partly through Tim’s skills at hedge-laying. Importantly Tim has been tenacious in his removal of Himalayan balsam in the Dibbin catchment. These events are not exactly popular: “Come to the wood to be stung by nettles, scratched by brambles and bitten by flies whilst removing the Himalayan balsam!”. Sometimes there is only one other volunteer. Tim has recently taken on a new role on the steering committee of the recently created Dee Coastliners project. As you can see, Tim certainly deserves this Award.