Monday, 27 June 2022

Wirral's Wild 50: July Worksheets


Here are July's Wirral's Wild 50 activity sheets. There is a butterfly and moth theme this month.


July activities and resources
July activities and resources

Things to do in July

Look for butterflies, moths and caterpillars

Learn about the butterfly life cycle

Find out about animal camouflage

Look for moths

Do the Big Butterfly Count (mid July - mid August)

Plant a bee and butterfly garden

 

Moth spotting and gardening for bees and butterflies


Resources

Sunday, 26 June 2022

Poulton Hall Garden Opening on Saturday 2nd July





After such a successful event last year, Poulton Hall are kindly holding another Open Day in their Walled Gardens to raise awareness and funds for Wirral Wildlife and New Ferry Butterfly Park. This will take place on Saturday 2nd July, from 2 - 5 pm.

  • Enjoy a guided tour of the wild flower meadow
  • Have a go at hedge laying and scything
  • Make a newspaper pot and sow a seed to take home to nurture
  • Explore the eclectic mix of themed formal gardens
  • Be entertained by the storyteller
  • Find out more about spiders
  • Watch a bee keeping demonstration

Admission: £6 for entrance, £9.50 for entrance and cream tea.
Free entrance for under 16s, with £3.50 for a child's cream tea.

Please book your ticket here:
https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/whats-on/wirral/poulton-hall/poulton-hall-walled-gardens-opening/2022-07-02/14:00

You can also book in advance for your guided tour of the wild flower area:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/walk-around-wildflower-area-at-poulton-hall-tickets-368259172097

For pictures and a description of the gardens, please see our blog post written prior to last year's open day:
https://wirralwildlife.blogspot.com/2021/06/poulton-hall-garden-opening.html


Thursday, 16 June 2022

A Most Unusual Visitor to New Ferry Butterfly Park


Large skipper at New Ferry Butterfly Park. Photo: Roy Lowry
Large skipper at New Ferry Butterfly Park.
Photo: Roy Lowry

On the morning of Sunday 12th June Roy Lowry came down to New Ferry Butterfly Park with his camera.

He managed to spot and photograph the first Large Skipper butterfly of the season.


Locust blowfly, a new visitor to the Butterfly Park.
Photo: Roy Lowry

His most unusual photograph was of a fly which struck him as very different. Roy thought he recognized it as a locust blowfly - an African species that has been reported more frequently in recent years as a vagrant in the south of England.  One was seen in Southport in 2020. It did indeed turn out to be a correct identification so this is definitely a first at the Butterfly Park.

Thanks Roy for your keen observation and excellent photos.


Wednesday, 1 June 2022

A Hot ‘Cool’ Day and a Windy Biodiversity Day

Wirral Wildlife volunteers were at two local events in May.

The Wirral Wildlife stall at Cool Heswall
The Wirral Wildlife stall at Cool Heswall

‘Cool Heswall’ was held on May 14th in Hill House Gardens. It was organised by the Joint Rotary Environment Group to showcase local organisations with an environmental message to impart.

Visitors and stalls in the sunshine at Cool Heswall
Visitors and stalls in the sunshine at Cool Heswall

We took information about our reserves, including New Ferry Butterfly Park and have since welcomed visitors who first heard about us there. We also had paper craft activities and bug houses for children to make. More than 30 other organisations were there including Wirral Countryside Volunteers, Wirral Borough Council's Tree Planting Officer, Planet Heswall, Waste Not Want Not, Friends of Hill House Gardens, Merseyside Cycling Campaign, Wirral Wombles and Our Dee Estuary. Visitors could find out about local flora and fauna, play a recycling game, take home a free native tree, make a paper seed pot and plant a seed, taste vegetarian soup and curry and lots more.


Wirral Countryside Volunteers stall, where visitors could make a paper seed pot and plant a seed.
Wirral Countryside Volunteers stall,
where visitors could make a paper seed pot and plant a seed.

On May 26th a Biodiversity Day was held on the school field at Castleway Primary School, Leasowe. The day was inspired by the Wirral’s Wild 50 monthly activity sheets that Wirral Wildlife created to mark their 50th anniversary last year. These were made available to local schools. The event was organised jointly by Lynn Struve, Eco Schools Programme Manager for Wirral Council, Diana Powell, CEO of Wirral Unplugged and Naomi Graham, Project Manager at Wirral Environmental Network.


Learning about butterflies and their lifecycles at the Biodiversity Day.
Photo: Diana Powell


Several primary schools brought pupils to experience a wide range of activities. We had information about our reserves and the plants and animals found there. We looked at the life cycles of natterjack toads and butterflies and considered camouflage and symmetry. The pupils also had opportunity to look at the wildflower meadow and recent tree planting at Castleway, to learn about hedgehogs, make models of different animals and sow seeds.


Making a fold out lifecycle of the natterjack toad
Making a fold out lifecycle of the natterjack toad.
Photo: Diana Powell.


Unlike ‘Cool Heswall’ where the sun shone all day this day was damp and extremely windy and not everyone’s gazebo survived the day upright. Nevertheless the pupils were full of enthusiasm and chasing paper across the field added to the fun.


Visitors and stalls in the sunshine at Cool Heswall
Learning how to identify trees from their leaves with Wirral Eco Schools


We must give a big thank you to our volunteers without whose involvement we wouldn’t be able to participate in these events.


Friday, 27 May 2022

Wirral's Wild 50: June Worksheets

 

Here are June's Wirral's Wild 50 activity sheets. This month, become a minibeast detective and take a really good look at a tree.


June activities and resources
June activities and resources


Things to do in June

Look for dragonflies, ducklings and lizards
Learn about reptiles and how they are different to amphibians
Visit a meadow and look for invertebrates (minibeasts)
Learn how to identify trees by their leaves
Investigate a tree in or near your school


My street tree and a leaf ladder puzzle
My street tree and a leaf ladder puzzle

Friday, 6 May 2022

Two New Sets of Wings for Butterfly Park

 

The Silver Jubilee gates at New Ferry Butterfly Park
The Silver Jubilee gates at New Ferry Butterfly Park


New Ferry Butterfly Park celebrated the 27th open season to the public with the unveiling of the Silver Jubilee entrance gates. Delayed due to the pandemic, these are to celebrate the first 25 years of the park being open to the public.


A reminder of the old gates at the Butterfly Park. Quite the transformation!
A reminder of the old gates at the Butterfly Park.
Quite the transformation!

The spectacular gates were opened by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, Mr Mark Blundell, who said “New Ferry faces the many challenges of an inner-city area and this was compounded further by the explosion of March 2017 which destroyed a third of the main precinct. The Butterfly Park is seen as an emblem of hope and re-birth, in fact New Ferry sees itself as a butterfly town, with #Love New Ferry graffiti art by the former Co-op and the “I love New Ferry stickers in the shops” both with a butterfly theme. These spectacular gates will help secure the site and offer the opportunity to provide a welcoming entrance and celebrate the continued success of New Ferry Butterfly Park.”


The gates being opened by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, Mr Mark Blundell
The gates being opened by
Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside, Mr Mark Blundell

The Lord Lieutenant and his wife Suzanne were given an hour tour of the park and took an interest in the environmental stalls, especially the spider stall. The Lord Lieutenant immersed himself fully in the activities and wanted to make a fruit smoothie drink for his wife and himself using a cycle powered blender to chop up the fruit of her choice. No mean feat when you have a sword to steady as you pedal. Who says chivalry is dead!


The Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside making a bicycle-powered smoothie
The Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside making a bicycle-powered smoothie

Nearly a thousand guests enjoyed the day at the park amongst the stalls, wildlife and refreshments.

Stalls at the Open Day at the Butterfly Park
Stalls at the Open Day at the Butterfly Park

Under the gazebo at the Open Day
Under the gazebo at the Open Day


Visitors at the Open Day
Visitors at the Open Day


These gates have been the Park committee’s most ambitious project to date with support from a broad range of sources: a legacy from the late Frank Cottrell who was instrumental in getting Cheshire Wildlife Trust to take on board New Ferry Butterfly Park, an online Crowdfunder appeal, Wirral Borough Council, Wirral Wildlife, Wirral Farmers’ Market Community Fund, Poulton Hall Walled Garden Trust and the largest part by The Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund i.e. Her Majesty The Queen.

Edd Snell, the designer of the gates, who engaged the various contractors to make this bespoke and functional art work said “It has been a pleasure to be part of this project. I am extremely pleased with the entrance gates, they are vibrant, welcoming, and interpretative and do exactly what we set out to achieve. I hope the gates help create a warm welcome to the park and encourage more people to visit, volunteer and experience the wonderful offer here. It was an ambitious project and only possible with the dedication of volunteers at the Park and the skilled workforce of Flintshire Fabrication and Dunkil Developments.” The gates were carefully painted by Carol and Ian Ramsay who added their own inspired signature of the stripped antennae.


Dingy skipper, photographed at the Butterfly Park by Roy Lowry
Dingy skipper, photographed at the Butterfly Park by Roy Lowry

As well as the fresh comma wings on the gate, another new set of wings seen at the park this week was a Dingy Skipper Butterfly, which has not been seen at the park for over two decades. This is a great endorsement of our habitat management for butterflies at the park. What could be better! Come to the park, have your photograph taken by the Silver Jubilee Gates and see what wildlife you can spot. We are still spotting new creatures 29 years on from starting to manage the site.

The park is now open every Sunday, 12noon to 4pm, until Sunday 11th September. Please come and enjoy the park’s wildlife at a more tranquil pace (and maybe spot a dingy skipper!). The Wirral Wildlife plant sale continues weekly whilst stocks last and new stocks are being propagated.

Monday, 25 April 2022

Wirral's Wild 50: May Worksheets

 

Here are the Wirral's Wild 50 activity sheets for May. This is a month for listening to the dawn chorus, taking part in No Mow May and having a go at pond dipping.


May activities
May activities


Things to do in May

Look for bluebells and swifts

Listen out for bird song and try to identify the bird

Get up early and listen to the Dawn Chorus 

Don’t mow your lawn - it’s No Mow May 

Go pond dipping

Sounds of Spring
Sounds of Spring

Resources


1.  How to go pond dipping

https://www.treetoolsforschools.org.uk/activities/pdfs/pdf_pond_dipping.pdf

https://www.wildlifewatch.org.uk/sites/default/files/2020-07/POND-DIPPING.jpg

... and species to spot

https://www.rspb.org.uk/globalassets/downloads/kids--schools/teaching-resources/spot-it-ponds.pdf


2. Dragonfly & damselfly spotter sheet

https://www.treetoolsforschools.org.uk/activities/pdfs/pdf_dragonfly_and_damselfly_spotter_sheet.pdf


3. Amphibian spotter sheet

https://www.treetoolsforschools.org.uk/activities/pdfs/pdf_amphibian_spotter_sheet.pdf


4. Sounds of Spring

https://www.rspb.org.uk/globalassets/downloads/wildchallenge/activity-sheets-2021/english/327-0546-20-21-wild-challenge_sounds-of-spring.pdf


Monday, 18 April 2022

Take part in the 2022 City Nature Challenge


City Nature Challenge 2022
City Nature Challenge 2022


Friday 29th April to Monday 2nd May

Help put our region on the map in this global nature recording event.

Record your wildlife sightings at any location of your choosing using your phone and the iNaturalist app. Don't worry if you're not sure of the species, other observers will help with ID from your photos.

RECORD are running drop in events, with 2 taking place in Wirral
RECORD are running drop in events, with 2 taking place in Wirral


RECORD are running two events in Wirral to help you get involved. Drop in to find out how you can be part of this amazing international Citizen Science project.


Saturday 30th April
10am - 3pm
Port Sunlight River Park


Sessions all day: Take part in a bug hunt.
11am: Beginners birdwatching walk (meet at the cafe)
2pm: Plant Detectives Walk (meet at the cafe)


Monday 2nd May
10am - 3pm
Wirral Country Park, Thurstaston


Sessions all day: Take part in a bug hunt.
11am: Beginners birdwatching walk (meet outside the visitor centre)


How to take part in the City Nature Challenge and upload your sightings to iNaturalist
How to take part in the City Nature Challenge
and upload your sightings to iNaturalist


Find out more about these events and how to add your sightings to the Liverpool CIty Region iNaturalist results on the RECORD website:

Sunday, 27 March 2022

Wirral's Wild 50: April Worksheets


Here are the Wirral's Wild 50 activity sheets for April. Look for more signs of spring and learn all about bees.

April activities
April activities
 

Things to do in April

Look for swallows returning, young rabbits, wild garlic and bees

Learn about migration

Find out which wild plants can be used for food or as medicine

Learn how to identify 3 different bees

Find out why bees are an important part of the ecosystem


Do a bumblebee survey

Resources


1.  Migratory bird wordsearch

https://www.treetoolsforschools.org.uk/activities/pdfs/pdf_migratory_bird_wordsearch.pdf


2. Bumblebee Conservation Trust lots of resources

https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org/learning-zone/curriculum-resources-for-schools/


3. Bumblebee facts

https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/BBCT_Kids_Activity_7-10_General_v2.pdf


4. Spring bees guide

https://www.record-lrc.co.uk/Downloads/Spring%20bees%20(4)[09042020].pdf


5.How do bees see?

https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org/assets/documents/BBCT_Kids_Activity_7-10_how_bees_see.pdf


6. Pollination

https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/02-InsectPollination.1_v2.pdf


7. How bees use static electricity to collect pollen

https://www.bumblebeeconservation.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/03-StaticElectricity.1_v2.pdf


8. Do a bumblebee survey


Thursday, 24 March 2022

Hoylake Willows Update Spring 2022

Map of Hoylake Willows
Map of Hoylake Willows


In September last year, we shared news from Hoylake Willows, a site near to Manor Road train station. The project continues to grow, with a rewilding focus in the former wooded area and a wildflower garden where the ground is more actively managed and pollen-rich plants are deliberately planted. The aim of both areas is to offer habitat space to promote biodiversity and to increase the chance of green spaces linking up to form corridors.



Sally Scott and Yan Wang have written a new report to give an update on progress, details of work done and objectives in caring for the different areas of the site.

Read the full report here:

https://84f11b82-5efa-434e-b165-1d2e2d3c0316.usrfiles.com/ugd/84f11b_21f50750b0af482ab056e83047f37141.pdf


For more news about Hoylake Willows, please join their Facebook group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/331171945531503


Sunday, 13 March 2022

Public Consultation On Leverhulme Estates Proposals to Build on Green Belt Land


Green belt land in Heswall, one of the sites Leverhulme Estates propose to build housing on
Green belt land in Heswall,
one of the sites Leverhulme Estates propose to build housing on

Leverhulme Estates are running a 'public consultation' on their plans to build on Green Belt. It is online only. 

 

Please make your views known. Leverhulme Estates need to know the strength of local feeling.

 

Gills Lane Central
https://gillscentral.consultationonline.co.uk

Gills Lane East

https://gillseast.consultationonline.co.uk

Gills Lane West

https://gillswest.consultationonline.co.uk

 

Heswall
https://heswall.consultationonline.co.uk

Raby Mere West

https://rabywest.consultationonline.co.uk

Raby Mere East

https://rabyeast.consultationonline.co.uk

Glenwood Drive, Irby

https://glenwooddrive.consultationonline.co.uk

If you support Wirral Wildlife’s concerns about impacts on the climate and wildlife, please submit a comment on at least one of these proposals, to oppose damage to wildlife and loss of green field and Green Belt land.

1. Look up one of the consultation websites as above.

2. Read through - the first 5 boards are identical to each site, the rest are site specific.

3. The last board is a form. Fill in the essential boxes. Ignore questions 1-4 unless you have relevant expertise.

4. Put into the `comments’ box your comments. Suggested points if you support Wirral Wildlife’s concerns about wildlife are:

a) I/We object to release of Green Belt land because of impacts on wildlife.

b) The draft Wirral Local Plan has been published in time for the meeting of full Council on 21st March. This plan will be regeneration-led, with no release of Green Belt land. 

c) Climate change: Currently the fields fix some carbon; housing and associated transport will emit carbon. Housing in the existing urban areas will have lower climate impacts.

d) The consultation does not consider the separate or cumulative effects of these applications on wildlife, such as artificial light at night and wildlife corridors.