Wednesday 15 January 2014

Vote for New Ferry Butterfly Park

Red Campion. Photo: Wikipedia

New Ferry Butterfly Park has applied for some funding under the "Love Wirral" Scheme to create a kaleidoscope of flowers on the railway embankment. Under this scheme Wirral residents can vote to support local projects and, unsurprisingly, the ones with the most votes get the funding. 

If you have the time and inclination the Park’s Committee would be really grateful if you could vote online for The Butterfly Park

You'll find the information on
Voting has already started and continues until January 24th.

The Butterfly Park is under South Wirral (it doesn't matter that you don't live in that constituency) and is found under the heading "Creating a kaleidoscope of flowers (LW86)"

There are actually a lot of really interesting and worthwhile looking projects on the list. You can vote for as many as you want.

Paul Loughnane BEM
Hon. Secretary, New Ferry Butterfly Park Committee

Details of the Project:

At the successful New Ferry Butterfly Park it is hoped to expand the array of wildflowers for bees and butterflies along the park’s railway embankment. This November the volunteers at the park added 500 Bluebell bulbs and seek to add further colour and diversity by hosting a public event planting 150 Primrose, 50 Red Campion and 50 Greater Stitchwort plants in March/ April time. Following on from the blue haze of the established Bluebells, this project will add flashes of yellow and white in late spring and in summer a flash of red too. This will provide extra nectar sources throughout the spring and summer seasons. The embankment will be periodically coppiced to maintain the area for these perennial flowering plants of the woodland edge and to enable butterflies to use the flowers. 

The kaleidoscope of flowers will be seen by Merseyrail passengers as the trains run by the embankment, as well as by the park visitors. We also seek to screen some of our neighbours’ fences with a holly hedge which will add to the country feel of the park and to the successful future breeding of holly blue butterflies….

Love Wirral. Love New Ferry Butterfly Park.

Friday 10 January 2014

New Year's Honours surprise

Paul Loughnane has been awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Year's Honours for services to nature conservation in Wirral. For the last 20 years, Paul has led the management work on New Ferry Butterfly Park, Cheshire Wildlife Trust's popular community nature reserve next to Bebington station. Without such management, the value of the Park to butterflies and bees would be much less than it now is. For the last 11 years he has been the Park's secretary. For at least 25 years Paul has been a key person in Wirral Countryside Volunteers, for much of that time serving as secretary and organising the various tasks undertaken by the group. Paul is an expert hedge-layer and scytheman, and skilled at other woodland conservation work such as coppicing and tree planting. His skills have benefited many sites across Wirral, including Thornton Wood in Dibbinsdale, Gilroy Nature Park, the Wirral Way and Big Meadow at Willaston. He is always keen to share those skills with others and runs regular training days in scything and hedge laying, often using New Ferry Butterfly Park as a base. Scything keeps the grasslands rich in wild flowers by removing long grass, while hedge laying creates a thicker hedge, making good shelter for all sorts of wildlife. Somehow he manages to do this on top of a full-time job!

Charlotte Harris, CEO of Cheshire Wildlife Trust, said "We're thrilled to hear of Paul's richly deserved award after 25 years of dedication to wildlife across the Wirral. Volunteers are the bedrock of the conservation movement and not least the Wildlife Trusts, who themselves were founded by keen amateurs a century ago. "The best results for wildlife can often be achieved when time is dedicated to understanding a site and its habitats, and Paul's work demonstrates this superbly at New Ferry Butterfly Park with the continued successes there not only for biodiversity, but for involving the local community too.

"Paul's ongoing commitment to rural skills like hedgelaying and other crafts mean that traditional methods of managing our countryside are being kept alive as well, an added bonus in our increasingly technological rural environment."

To see Paul and his colleagues in action, come to New Ferry Butterfly Park on Sunday 12 January, between 9.30 a.m and 4 p.m, when they will be maintaining the Park's hedges - but expect to join in! Full training and equipment available. For details see or ring 0151 645 8937.

Tuesday 7 January 2014

An inspiring start to the New Year

Don't forget our 2014 programme of talks starts this Friday, 10th January. Charlotte Harris, the Chief Executive of Cheshire Wildlife Trust, is coming to Heswall to let us know what has been achieved over the past year and what plans they have for the months ahead. This is a chance to put any questions you may have about the future plans of the Trust and their impact on the Wirral.

Friday 10th January
‘The State of Nature and Opportunities for Your Local Wildlife Trust’

Room B, Heswall Hall, Heswall, 7.30 p.m.

Admission £3. All welcome.

Quiz deadline

Happy New Year! Just a reminder that quiz answers have to be returned by 31st January. If you haven't yet had a go at this, the quiz can be downloaded from the website. It's just the thing to get your brain working again after the Christmas celebrations.