Friday 28 October 2011

Red Rocks Nature Reserve

There are several voluntary wardens checking all is well at Red Rocks Nature Reserve and this summer they started their 8th year of monthly visits. This is from their October report.

Sadly, there were no signs of breeding natterjack toads this year. However, the species is doing well at Ainsdale, north of Formby (from where spawn was transferred to the newly created scrapes at Red Rocks many years ago to boost its small population). At Red Rocks, it appears to be very difficult to provide these rather fussy little toads with suitable and safe breeding pools, despite Wirral Rangers continued efforts.

Looking beyond the reserve to the shore, we can see that waders have already returned to Wirral’s foreshores in good numbers, coming from their more northerly breeding areas. Some just stay briefly to ‘refuel’ before continuing their journey to southern Europe or even Africa, others will spend the winter around the British coasts.

The Dee Estuary Voluntary Wardens have resumed their job, protecting wader flocks from disturbance at high tide and providing information about the various species. They do this on behalf of Wirral Borough Council who has a duty to safeguard the North Wirral Foreshore for wildlife.

Not everybody is aware of the ecological importance of this Foreshore. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (as is the Red Rocks Reserve in its own right), a national designation also given, in our area, to the Dee and parts of the Mersey. All these areas were afforded further protection at European and International levels several years ago, when they were granted “Special Protection Area” and “Ramsar site” status. For the Mersey Narrows and North Wirral Foreshore, these designations were only given on a provisional basis. Because of their continuing importance for waders and other bird species, they should soon become fully “designated” sites under the European Bird Directive and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands.

This step is good news and is being prepared by Natural England on behalf of the Government who is currently consulting on it. More information and site maps are available at:

Thursday 13 October 2011

Tam O'Shanter Apple Day

Following our two successful Apple Days at Brimstage Hall and Eastham Country Park (there is a slide show on our website) we helped the Tree Wardens with their Apple Day at Tam O'Shanter Farm.

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Wildlife fun at the library

During the school summer holidays we were asked to organise a wildlife themed morning at Pensby library. The 20 children learnt about two aquatic habitats and made dragonfly models, cardboard frogs and otter masks. Working in two groups they created two large collages of a pond and under the sea which now decorate the front of the customer desk at the library.