Friday 21 August 2020

Bringing Beavers Back To Cheshire

Cheshire Wildlife Trust made an exciting announcement this week...


It’s with great pleasure and excitement that we can share the news - Cheshire Wildlife Trust are planning to release a pair of beavers at Hatchmere Brook this autumn. After 400 years of local extinction, beavers will be returning to Cheshire!

If Hatchmere Nature Reserve can be made ready to receive the beavers by October, there’s every chance it could be home to the first beaver kits (baby beavers) next year!

Beavers in Britain

The Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber) is a large herbivore, a mammal that was formerly native to these shores and once played an important part in our landscape from prehistoric times until it was hunted to extinction in the 16th century for its fur, meat and scent glands. The loss of this charismatic species also led to loss of the mosaic of lakes, meres, mires, tarns and boggy places that it so brilliantly built.

Wildlife Trusts across the country are working hard to bring these fantastic mammals back to Britain.

Why do we need beavers?

Beaver building a dam

This isn't just about the reintroduction of a species - it's about the reintroduction of an entire ecosystem that's been lost.

Beavers are often referred to as 'ecosystem engineers'. They make changes to their habitats, such as digging canal systems, damming water courses and coppicing tree and shrub species, which create diverse wetlands. In turn these wetlands can bring enormous benefits to other species, such as otters, water shrews, water voles, birds, invertebrates (especially dragonflies) and breeding fish.


Beavers and the landscapes they generate benefit both people and wildlife because:

• They help to reduce downstream flooding - the channels, dams and wetland habitats that beavers create hold back water and release it more slowly after heavy rain.

• They increase water retention.

• They clean water.

• They reduce siltation, which pollutes water.

Why Hatchmere?


• Man-made problems are destroying rare habitats at Hatchmere Nature Reserve, and killing aquatic life in the wetlands and in Hatch Mere lake.

• Peat bogs are delicate habitats which need nutrient-poor water. But the brook flowing into the site has become far too rich and nutrient-packed, so the peat bog plants and animals are losing their fight for survival.

• Invasive species like nettles and bramble are thriving on the rich water supply – reducing sunlight and accelerating the loss of peat bog life.

By beavers doing what they do naturally along Hatchmere brook, they will create new habitats and remove nutrient flow into the mere and mosslands. They will also help to remove the invasive species along the brook.

We're not out of the woods yet

Map of beaver release area

Before we can bring beavers back, we must first secure a 10-acre area next to Hatchmere Nature Reserve with 870 metres of beaver-proof fencing.

To do this, we need to raise £30,000 - that’s £34 a metre.

Help bring beavers back to Cheshire and make a donation here:

£30,000 needed before 18th September 2020

Work must begin before the ground becomes too wet, otherwise it’ll be next year before we can bring beavers back. We have until 18th September 2020 to raise £30,000 – that’s less than five weeks.

Members of Cheshire Wildlife Trust will shortly receive a pack in the post with more information about the project and how you can help to bring beavers back. As this is such an exciting moment, we’re offering all members that donate an opportunity to watch the beaver release live online.

Since launching the appeal on Monday evening, we’ve already raised £4,445. Thank you so much to all those that have already kindly given.

Together we can bring wildlife back to Cheshire.

Thursday 20 August 2020

Surveying Heswall Dales

Hilary Ash surveying the heathland at Heswall Dales
Hilary Ash surveying the heathland at Heswall Dales

Recording teams from Wirral Wildlife, led by Dr Hilary Ash, have just spent three, mostly enjoyable, days on a major botanical survey of Heswall Dales. The recording group make a point of surveying all SSSI sites on Wirral on a 10-year cycle. The idea is to keep track of all species growing there, with particular attention to the features listed in the SSSI citation. In the case of Heswall Dales, the main features relate to its Lowland Heath characteristics.

At this time of year one sees a beautiful palette of colours: the light pink is the Common Heather, the yellow is Western Gorse in bloom and the deep purples and browns are the Bell Heather now moving into the seeding stage. This was a real treat for us. The weather was wonderful on the first day, so the only real hardship was cutting our way through encroaching scrub to reveal these lovely panels and wading through the mostly healthy and vigorous heather and compact western gorse.

Part of our duties was to assess the level of scrub encroachment and so identify scrub control priorities to help with site management. For reporting purposes, the entire site of some 50 acres or so of heathland was divided up into compartments where complete lists of species were recorded along with estimates of relative abundance.  In the case of the heather we also noted the condition and age structure, again with a view to site management. The data and associated notes will be made available to the land owner, in this case Wirral Borough Council, as well as Natural England who are entrusted with monitoring the status of sites with special designations.

Interesting finds at Heswall Dales
Interesting finds at Heswall Dales

The woodland areas will be surveyed next spring when the bracken has died back and the woodland plants start to bloom making identification easier. While on the heathland survey, we also noted down anything interesting we happened to come across, for example: birds, bees, dragonflies, butterflies, lizards, lichens and fungi. The young lizard pictured above was discovered hiding in a bag the day after the survey was completed when bracken pulling restarted in the Dales. There seems be lots of interesting stuff around in Heswall Dales just waiting to be discovered. Overall, the impression of the heathland was that quite a lot of it is in a very healthy state but a lot of management effort is needed both to protect these areas and to reduce the rate of further succession into scrub of the heathland fringes.

Wednesday 19 August 2020

Prize Quiz Autumn/ Winter 2020

Water, water everywhere! John has been busy setting another quiz, this time with a watery theme. Click here to download the questions.

The answers are all things you might expect to come across in or near fresh water such as lakes, rivers, streams, ponds or ditches. See if you can crack the cryptic clues for a chance to win a £10 gift voucher.

There is a £1 cost for entry and all money raised will go to Wirral Wildlife. The closing date is 31st January 2021.

Saturday 15 August 2020

Hilary's Hornet Hoverfly

Hornet hoverfly. Photo: Hilary Ash
Hornet hoverfly. Photo: Hilary Ash

A big hoverfly turned up this weekend in my garden and two allotment colleague's gardens. About the length of a buff-tailed bumblebee worker, but slightly slimmer. Chloe at RECORD identified it as "Volucella zonaria, Hornet hoverfly.  So a hornet mimic, a good defence! It's about at the northern end of its range here, and not uncommon."

Chief differences between the Hornet and its mimic hoverfly are that the hornet has a typical wasp waist, which the fly doesn't, and the hornet has fairly small eyes, while the hoverfly has big eyes like other flies. Hoverflies of course cannot sting.

Hornet hoverfly. Photo: Hilary Ash
Hornet hoverfly. Photo: Hilary Ash

Hornets (which despite their reputation are not particular aggressive except in defence of their nest) have been recorded across Cheshire in the last 5 years, the nearest record in the system being west Wirral. So both insects are moving north, but the mimic may be slightly in advance of the thing it mimics!

Dr Hilary Ash

Thursday 13 August 2020

The Hills Are Alive!: Spring/Summer 2020 Wildlife Quiz Answers

Stonechat: the answer to the first question of the quiz
Stonechat: the answer to the first question of the quiz.
Photo: Charles J Sharp, Wikipedia

The judging for the latest prize quiz has been completed and the winner is Viv Pitcher of Greasby. She got 50 marks out of 50 and was chosen as the winner in a random draw from seven all-correct entries.

Here are the answers:

1. Good man, one talks about birds. (10)Stonechats

2. Sources of seasonal railway. (6, 4). Spring line

3. Feature of dish with gold symbol. (7). Plateau

4. Water feature bound up in the choice between buying a flat or renting a house. (7). Torrent

5. With platinum limb I started game. (9). Ptarmigan

6. Irrigate autumn feature. (9). Waterfall

7. A wintry bird - rock star digests this instant roll. (4, 7). Snow bunting

8. Bird stirred up green pool, valid with no artificial intelligence. (6, 6). Golden plover

9. "Plant angry Brexit vote!" - dead PM. (5-6, 5). Cross-leaved heath

10. A short distance inside what bird? (8). Whinchat

11. Regarding theologist, 'e takes the queen for an animal. (3, 4). Red deer

12. 24 mane, I hear animal. (8, 4). Mountain hare

13. Bird call at river Loire's source (alternative spelling). (4, 5). Ring ousel

14. Feature common to river crossing and kitchen cooler. (5). Ridge

15. Insect, after 24, Radio Times wrapped around fireplace. (8, 7)Mountain ringlet

16. Plant needed when the lady is cold. What's her name? (7)Heather

17. Red or black, good to wake for game. (6). Grouse

18. Shortened beak reportedly conceals fruit. (10)Bilberries

19. We hear male offspring expected, living on insects. (6)Sundew

20. Quite a small bird, unlike the Big one seen at fairgrounds! (6). Dipper

21. Shelley's "scorner of the ground". (7)Skylark

22. Feature of a hundred scraps of cloth. (5). Crags

23. Moorland features to sort out. (4)Tors

24. Scrambling unto main upland feature. (8). Mountain

25. Bird of Arthurian character. (6). Merlin

26. Predator - those are world-shaking! (5-5, 3)Short-eared owl

27. Mental torture he, the Frenchman, bears for a plant. (9)Tormentil2

28. Thank you, Royal Navy, for fresh water. (4)Tarn

29. Ice Age relic, i.e. Roman ruin. (7)Moraine

30. Is this a fire-breathing insect that was rewarded on the fifth day of Christmas? (6-6, 9)Golden-ringed dragonfly

31. Initially, big rooms and cold kitchens endear nobody to this fern. (7)Bracken

32. Angela or Maria perhaps follows grand ancient English bird (now rare in England). (6, 5)Golden eagle

33. Cudgel Kate took on Colm's bus? (8). Clubmoss

34. Worried, lest I'm one footpath feature. (9, 8)Limestone pavement

35. Wearing imperial colour, Margo Ross shivered on the heath. (6, 9). Purple moorgrass

36. Feature of 24, or short name of soap? (6). Corrie

37. Look through the windscreen for feature of 24. (5). Scree

38. Spread incomplete value in damp places. (10). Butterwort

39. Tree found in a few narrow and steep valleys in Snowdonia and the Lake District. (5). Rowan

40. This bird has a ringlet with opposite directions. (6). Curlew

41. Possible description of a saltire with draft legislation for a bird. (9). Crossbill

42. Catcall secures promotion - start of tennis after no. 1 seed finds a bird. (6, 5). Meadow pipit

43. Seen in summer, Graeme, a potter, takes an exciting Scottish dance. (8)Dotterel

44. Bird that zeroes worship I hear. (6). Osprey

45. VTOL plane pursues female bird. (3, 7). Hen harrier

46. One of fifty shades perhaps - what a happy dog does, usually at the waterside. (4, 7). Grey wagtail

47. Summer reptile. (5). Adder

48. First person, German, in magnifier produces symbiotic relations. (7). Lichens

49. Heads of government conferring on 24. (6). Summit

50. Corporal punishment after family treasure tree. (6, 5). Silver birch

Notes: 1We also accepted “Ring ouzel”.  2We also accepted “Hellebore”.

We will be shortly launching the Autumn/Winter quiz entitled “Water, Water, Everywhere!”. More details soon...

Wednesday 12 August 2020

The Secrets Of The Brick Pit

Among Mel’s many interests was local history. He researched old maps of the Park area at Chester record office, laboriously scanning some with a line scanner (technology has moved on since!). He found a group of ponds round a hedgerow in the northern half of the Park, marked as ponds on the earliest detailed map he found - Stephenson’s survey for the railway line. At that stage we all presumed that, like most Cheshire ponds, they were old marl pits. Most of the ponds in the group had been destroyed in the making of the railway, mainly the early-1900s widening, or in the house-building, or filled in.

However, as we cleared the top level of head-high bramble in 1996, Mel found one was still there, three-quarters full of town ash, but leaving a damp hollow which, the locals said, had not held water for 70 years. It was full of willow, three-piece suites and rubbish. We got a grant to hire some help from BTCV (now TCV), and clearing started.

A large number of heavy, hand-made bricks were found, including a half-brick with small footprints, later identified as hedgehog.

Hedgehog footprints in a hand made brick
Hedgehog footprints in a hand made brick

Then a strange metal tool appeared from the mud.

Wrought iron tool found at the Butterfly Park
Wrought iron tool found at the Butterfly Park

Mel called in Liverpool Museum, who said “You have an 18th century brickworks!”. New Ferry started as a regular ferry service in 1774, so it is likely the bricks were made for buildings to do with building soon after that. The tool is a rare survivor, blacksmith-made of wrought iron so it had survived 200 years in the mud without rusting away. It would have been used to control and open the field kiln. According to Mel’s researches and the museum, the bricks would have been a side-line of one of the farming families. Clay was dug in autumn, left to weather over winter. We tell the children they would have had to help get stones and roots out of it, and bring it to the men working on a table (a mock-up of a suitable table stands by the brickpit, made by Howard, Ian Jones and “Little Dave” (Dave Holme). The table would have had boxes of water and sand, and wooden moulds.

Brick mould
Brick mould

The bricks were moulded and stacked on layers of twigs to dry. More twigs, more layers of bricks, built on top, then the lot covered with turves and set on fire. The tool would have been used to open the kiln at the end by pulling the turves off – hence its long handle to keep away from the heat.

Brick-making spread through New Ferry. A large 19th century company was “New Ferry Brick & Tile Co”, one of whose named bricks we were given and use in talks and walks. The last brickpit was the hole now housing the Pluto tank and modern sewage works, clearly visible from Port Sunlight River Park.

Mel then researched and wrote a history of brick-making in New Ferry, and had started a general history of New Ferry. His papers went to Bebington Reference library after his death, but we have copies of the brick-making history and general history.

The brick pit is now a small pond that dries up in dry periods, but is favoured by small birds to drink when the Park is quiet. We did an industrial history interpretive board to explain the brick making and railway, and eventually developed a self-guided industrial history trail through the whole park (designed by Pete Miller). Guided walks for the Heritage Open days started 2014 and are done each September.

The brick pit pond
The brick pit pond

Mel’s links to Liverpool Museum led to him persuading them to loan us the Butterfly Case, with examples of all the species recorded from the park (26 different species, about 17-18 breeding each year depending on the Painted Lady migration and whether we have any suitable cabbages for small whites). This has proved invaluable in talking to visitors, and at exhibitions and talks to community organisations. Hilary and Paul each do a few talks annually to local groups, and various volunteers have taken stalls to local events over the years, often jointly with Wirral Wildlife.

The butterfly case with all butterfly species recorded at the park
The butterfly case with all butterfly species recorded at the park

Sunday 9 August 2020

Summer 2020 at Cleaver Heath

Common heather
Common Heather (Calluna vulgarisset off by the yellow blooms of the Western Gorse (Ulex Gallii)

Working in Cleaver over the summer has been very pleasant – the Common Heather (Calluna vulgaris) is coming into prime condition, at least visually! The purple is set off nicely by the yellow blooms of the Western Gorse (Ulex Gallii).

Bell Heather (Erica cinerea)
Bell Heather (Erica cinerea)

I am also pleased to report that the 2 small plants of Bell Heather (Erica cinerea) have survived even though they have been unwittingly trampled a few times by visitors creating an unofficial path right next to them. My diplomatic skills were stress-tested one day when I had to persuade some older visitors to retreat having parked a wheel-chair right on top of them. All ended well after a discussion of wildlife on the reserve and of what exactly I was doing there among the heather! In fact I was making a start on bracken pulling. Having realised we needed reinforcements to do a proper job on the bracken, I submitted a ‘Covid-aware’ risk assessment to the Trust and then sent round an email call to arms. To make it sound like a reasonably attractive proposition, I included some recent photographs of what was currently showing here.

Now showing at Cleaver Heath
Now showing at Cleaver Heath

A couple of sessions have broken the back of the work. The strategy was to hand-pull bracken within the heathland panels and around the edges so as to keep the dense stands from further expansion. We may at a later stage do some machine–cutting in areas where we still entertain plans to restore more heathland.

Volunteers at Cleaver Heath
Volunteers at Cleaver Heath

I completed the annual Common Bird Census survey visits (10 in April and May) but have only just started on the species maps which can be used to show what is breeding and where. Here is a first go at this year’s Linnet map.

Map of linnet sightings
Map of linnet sightings

The idea it to transfer observations from each visit map onto a single map using a letter code to indicate the date. D was 15 April and K was 28 May. The symbols indicate if the bird was singing or in flight or if one of a pair. A judgement can then be made over which areas constitute established territories. I think there was only one pair this year with at least 2 fledging – but I could be wrong! The area is roughly the same each year and so we bear this in mind when we do our annual gorse and birch coppicing.


As well as the Linnets (shown above), there is good evidence of breeding by migrants such as Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler. Sadly, Whitethroat seem to visit only rarely. Tits, Wrens, Blackbirds and Robins were all abundant. Swallows, Swifts and House Martins have been feeding over the reserve. I know where the Swallows nest but not the other two species. Sadly my swift box still stands empty.

A reptile mat amongst the bracken
A reptile mat amongst the bracken

As reported in the spring newsletter, a local reptile expert helped us lay out reptile mats (refugia) in suitable places. This was in early March before lockdown. I tried to keep an eye on them during my lockdown exercise trips: some exposed mats got blown away in the gales; others had been collected by illicit drinkers to sit on and distribute litter; others had disappeared in the bracken forest, beyond the help of GPS; finding others in the heather would have required stumbling about during the bird nesting season. So, it was a pleasant surprise when bracken pullers uncovered matt number 2, to find a rapidly disappearing Common (Viparious) Lizard. Gianfranco Uli then discovered this still frame from a phone-video he was alert enough to take during the unveiling.

Common lizards running for cover
Common lizards running for cover

He thought he had missed the action, but close examination showed him two lizards scarpering. During his bracken pulling exploits, Gianfranco also had time to picture some fungi (Tawny Grisette) and this young Common Frog hiding in the heather.

Tawny Grisette (left) and a young Common Frog hiding in the heather (right)
Tawny Grisette (left) and a young Common Frog hiding in the heather (right)

On sunny days, the heather has been alive with insects of all shapes and sizes. Some of them need a hand lens to appreciate and nearly all of them need greater invertebrate ID skills than I possess. However, I am pretty confident that those shown here are respectively a Tree Bumblebee enjoying the Bramble flower and a Gatekeeper feeding on the Heather.

Tree Bumblebee on Bramble flower (left) and a Gatekeeper feeding on the Heather (right)
Tree Bumblebee on Bramble flower (left) and a Gatekeeper feeding on the Heather (right)

The extended hot and dry spell in May brought a sharp reminder of the dangers of fire in a heathland area, particularly one in a residential area such as Cleaver. Fortunately, this one started by a still smouldering cigarette was spotted and doused before it extended even further into the bracken litter and gorse.

Fire extinguished at Cleaver Heath
Fire extinguished at Cleaver Heath

Accidental (?) fires are quite common on Heswall Dales. If the fire does not get too far down into the soil the heather can recover as the pictures below show. The left photo was taken in March on the first day of Lockdown (my morning exercise!) and the second one exactly 4 months later. The main lesson, of course, is that fires on heathland are difficult to control and so are very dangerous to humans, property and of course wildlife. So we all need to be extra vigilant in dry weather.

Burnt area in March (left) and in July (right)
Burnt area in March (left) and in July (right)

Here is my usual seasonally-updated photo of the reserve entrance. It shows that I will soon need to get the loppers out again.

Entrance to Cleaver Heath in summer
Entrance to Cleaver Heath in summer

Alan Irving
Volunteer Reserve Warden for CWT
Cleaver Heath
August 2020

Saturday 8 August 2020

From Essex To Wirral


Essex skipper butterfly

The Essex skipper has arrived - it has been spreading rapidly from Essex in recent decades and was seen at New Ferry Butterfly Park on the limewaste meadow area on July 31st. It is usually found in tall, dry grasslands in open sunny situations. It is our 27th recorded species, and likely to stay and breed. Thanks to Chloe from RECORD for finding and identifying it. 

The Essex skipper (Thymelicus lineola) is a small butterfly with a darting flight, its bright orange-brown wings are held with forewings angled above its hind wings. Males have a thin black line through the centre of the forewing, parallel to the leading edge.

Essex Skipper butterflies closely resemble and are often found in company with Small Skippers. Unfortunately the only way to tell it from Small Skipper is that the underside of the antennae is glossy black in the Essex, orange/brown in the Small. Jeremy Thomas's recommended way of telling then apart is to find one basking or roosting, `creep up to them on all fours, until you are head on and can look upwards at the antennae'!!!

Essex skipper caterpillar

Essex skipper caterpillars feed on grasses. The main species used is Cock’s-foot (Dactylis glomerata), although the butterfly may use several other grasses including Creeping Soft-grass (Holcus mollis), Common Couch (Elytrigia repens), Timothy (Phleum pratense), Meadow Foxtail (Alopecurus pratensis), False Brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum), and Tor-grass (B. pinnatum).

Friday 7 August 2020

On The Art Trail At The Butterfly Park

In 2009 we were approached by Carol Ramsey, a local artist working then for Liverpool Biennial, who had known Mel. She was doing a Fine Art BA as a mature student, and asked if she could make, as her project, some artworks to hang round the Park, based on relevant wildlife. I seem to remember the committee said something like “well, we’ve never thought of that, but we don’t see why not, so yes, go ahead”. Carol made some engraved Perspex drawings of wildlife and hung them round the Park.

Carol got her BA, but had fallen in love with the Park as so many people do, and turned up with a new proposition. “I’m going to do a MA in Fine Art. Can I do an outdoor art trail for the Butterfly Park for the summer? I’ll get a grant to fund it and find other artists to take part, and in return I’ll organise you an Open Day to publicise the Park and bring in some money”. So we said yes of course.

The first Open Day

Carol organised the first Open Day in 2010, installed some of her own work e.g.(t)wigwam, and found other artists to do 3 more pieces: Karon McGunigall (Pupa), Hayley Parfitt (Towers), Emma Kemp and Chris Colville (Elastatone). Carol played a major role in the next few Open Days, until changes in her life and the increasing scale meant that the committee took over as a group.

The Twigwam


In July 2011, Carol applied for and got an “empty shop grant” for bringing unused retail premises back into use, having first convinced the Council that they did have the relevant money from national government. In 2012 she and various friends cleared the shop on Bebington Road, painted it up, and recruited 6 artists to “The Comma Project”. For more information about the project see our blog post, The Butterfly Park and the Community.

Another part of the project was Carol doing considerable work with local schools, in the process designing our first few butterfly-themed simple crafts for children to make: the cotton-bud butterfly and plastic-bag butterfly. We still use the former, including with school groups, when we use it to talk about symmetry and camouflage. The art trial was a great success, Carol wrote up her thesis as a book, and got a well-earned distinction in her degree. Carol started the climb in visitor numbers with her activities, from a few hundred a year in 2009 to, in 2018 and 2019, over 3000.

Some of the art trail was removed at the end of September 2012, but a few pieces remained as permanent features, donated or loaned to the Park: Carol’s Butterfly Bench (subsequently purchased by the Ash family in memory of various family members and donated to the Park), the Pupa (Karon McGunigall), the sundial (Daylight Only by Roy Lewis), Propagate (Terry Hayes), Towers (Hayley Parfitt) and of course the Elastatone (Emma Jean Kemp and Chris Colville). The latter gets heavy use each summer so has to be steadily renewed over time.

Butterfly bench

The Elastone

One of the artists involved, Andrea Bassil (now Mrs Shearing) had local connections at the time. She fell in love with the Park. Her 2012 work was the four Painted Stones, paving slabs painted in great detail with the wildlife of, respectively, the pond, nettle beds, lime waste and long grass. One is marked “For Joy”, the name of her aunt who lived in Wirral and died that summer.

Painted stone

In 2013 Andrea came back and did the Domino set, and in 2014 “Old MacDonald had a Butterfly Park”. Both these are well-used with visitors, especially the uniformed groups who come early evening in summer, and families on Sunday afternoons.

Old MacDonald's Butterfly Park game

New artworks arrived, most with a practical use as well, such as Carol’s Imago Hut in 2013. The Imago Hut started life as an artwork for a World War 2 exhibition in St Luke’s, the bombed-out church in Liverpool which stands as a war memorial. Carol painted war-time memories inside. At the end of that summer, it needed somewhere to go, and NFBP had some money from a grant that had underspent, and we were able to re-purpose to obtaining the Imago hut. Carol re-painted the inside with the butterfly life cycle. The wooden outside (done with scrap wood from local skips) resembles the scales of a butterfly wing. We are still trying to get round to finding a suitable enlarged photo of butterfly wing scales to put up inside! Meanwhile it serves variously as a place for young visitors to run into and find the life cycle, volunteer shelter and chair store.

Imago hut

Volunteers sheltering in the imago hut

The cycle stands installed in 2016 are in the shape of Large White butterfly wings.

Cycle stands

The container artwork, designed by Calum Ramsey with help from his mum Carol, displays our name where train passengers can read it.

The artwork on the container

The art trail booklet, started by Carol for the first few Open Days, became a fully-fledged leaflet in 2019. By then we had 16 artworks, including the Entrance Board, drawn by Vicky Hose in 2006, before Carol introduced us to artworks.

Art trail leaflet

Entrance board

In 2018 Pamela Sullivan made a welcome board especially with our younger visitors in mind. Flaps to lift and a jigsaw to complete introduce them to the wildlife to be found in the Park.

Welcome board
Detail on the welcome board

The Art Trail adds an extra dimension to everyone’s appreciation of the Butterfly Park.

Magnetic jigsaw on the welcome board 
Exploring the welcome board