The wonders of the West

Alan Wright

There was something stirring in Liverpool over the weekend – the buds of a beautiful year were starting to blossom.

This was the launch of the Year of the Environment 2019 (or #yoe2019lcr) at Mann Island, led by the Mayor of the City Region Steve Rotherham.

Your Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside were there in force to tell delegates from high places about our work in the region.

Yes, Merseyside Wildlife Trust, as we are called in the west (except on The Fylde), are delighted to be involved in the Year of the Environment, although our environmental concerns stretch further back. It was great to feel the enthusiasm of the delegates as they came to our stall to chat.

Heathland plants at Lancashire Wildlife Trust nature reserve, Freshfield Dune Heath

Freshfield Dune Heath is the single largest lowland heath site in the north west of England.

We were keen to celebrate our achievements at Lunt Meadows, Freshfield Dune Heath and Seaforth, and all the other places we have managed or worked upon.

Freshfield Dune Heath is our nursery for conservation grazing sheep and a great place to see red squirrels and lots of birds of prey.

Seaforth is on the docks so it’s restricted access without a pass, but it is alive all year round with birds and assorted bugs. The tern rafts provide a sense of constant motion as March turns to April.

At Mann Island, we were concentrating largely on Lunt Meadows because we held an open day there on Sunday. More than 200 people came along for the day and many of them had been at the #yoe2019lcr event.

A short-eared owl flying over Lunt Meadows

Short-eared owl by Mike Graham

The weather was a bit mixed, thought there was a fantastic rainbow over the reserve for much of the day, and we were treated to displays by large groups of lapwings and a couple of kestrels that were warming up for the mating season.

A little egret proved popular with our long-lens brigade and, for those who stayed until dusk, short-eared owls and a bittern made their usual appearance.

If you live in Merseyside or are just popping in for a visit, please keep an eye out for #yoe2019lcr events and get involved as much as you can. It is always heartening when our politicians really immerse themselves in the natural world and that can only be good news for our wildlife.