Friday, 3 July 2020

New Ferry Butterfly Park: How a Derelict Site Became a Nature Reserve

Over the next few weeks we will publish several blog posts about the value and history of New Ferry Butterfly Park.

New Ferry Butterfly Park entrance map

New Ferry Butterfly Park opened its gates to visitors on 15th July 1995.

The opening of the Butterfly Park in 1995

This year should have been a celebration of its 25th Anniversary but that is postponed because of the Covid19 restrictions.

Over the past 25 years the reserve has become a haven for wildlife thanks to the management plans and hard work of its volunteer community. Its value has been recognised by the Awards it has received.

In 2014 we received our first Green Flag Award and raised it in the presence of the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside and the Mayor of Wirral. Each year since we have retained it.

Green Flag Award

In 2015 New Ferry Butterfly Park was thrilled to be nominated for Defra's Pollinator Champion of Champions Award. We did not win first prize but were given a winner’s certificate and we were extremely pleased to see the importance of pollinators being highlighted.

DEFRA Bees Needs Award

Last year (2019) the Park received the Liverpool Echo Environmental Award in the Community Impact category. This was in recognition of the role the Park plays in the local community.

Liverpool Echo Environmental Award

Under normal circumstances the New Ferry Butterfly Park Opening Day on the first Sunday in May is a feature of the local New Ferry calendar, attracting in the region of 800 - 1000 people in recent years.

Open Day

Local people regularly visit on Sundays from May to the beginning of September when we are open from 12 – 4 p.m. We have three guided trails with leaflets: a Nature Trail, Art Trail and History Trail.

Nature Trail leaflet

As well as these activities, pond dipping is supervised by the wardens and everyone is thrilled to see the newts and other water creatures.

Pond dipping

Newt from the pond

Local schools, especially St John’s and Grove Street, use the Park for class visits in the summer term. Many uniformed organisations and other groups, varying in age from toddlers to the more mature like U3A, visit each summer for guided tours. At the end of a visit younger children do a craft activity.

Making paper butterflies

Last year (2019), including Open Day, Sunday afternoons and booked visits, we had 3000 visitors.

The nature reserve is thriving and a future post will show some of its inhabitants. We hope that we will soon be able to resume our many community interactions.

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