From the comfort of your own home, as a marine nature detective or a socially distanced sea-watch, help Cheshire Wildlife Trust discover and celebrate the wonderful Wirral coast.

National Marine Week runs from 25th July to 9th August 2020 – a full fortnight to take advantage of the tides. No matter where you are, join Cheshire Wildlife Trust in celebrating our fin-tastic seaside wildlife. 

The North West Wildlife Trusts (Cheshire, Lancashire and Cumbria) are launching the biggest Beached Art sand sculpture competition ever!

All you need to do is head to your local beach (or even a sand pit in your garden), get creative and send in a picture of your #BeachedArt creations. So grab your bucket and spade, and get ready to have fun in the sun (not guaranteed), sea and sand!

The winners – as judged by an independent panel – will receive:

  • 1st Prize - Grey seal adoption pack, a plastic free goodie bag & story trail collection
  • 2nd Prize - Rockpooling kit and a plastic free goodie bag & & story trail collection
  • 3rd Prize - Plastic free goodie bag & & story trail collection

Another exciting event running over both weeks (25 July to 9 August) is the Coastal Nature Challenge. The North West Wildlife Trusts are on a mission to spot and record as many different coastal wildlife species as possible this National Marine Week! They’re challenging people up and down the coast to get out and look for wildlife on their local coastline.

James Melling from Cheshire Wildlife Trust says: 
“The UK has one of the longest coastlines in the world so we’ve lots of coastal wildlife to discover and learn about. We’ve a small snippet of that here on the Wirral, stretching 25 miles, including our fantastic Red Rocks Nature Reserve.

We’d love it if people could take part in our competition and Coastal Nature Challenge on our website and identify as many species as you can. All this information is incredibly useful in helping monitor the local wildlife in the area.”

Red Rocks Nature Reserve is also home to natterjack toads, a UK protected species that nearly went extinct in Wirral. Thanks to conservation efforts however, the natterjacks are beginning to recover.
Volunteer conservationist for the Wirral Wildlife Group, Dr Hilary Ash comments:
“The natterjacks struggled through the 1980s, as their existing pools became reedmarsh and there were no new ones. Wirral Ranger service and volunteers tried to keep them going. They nearly died out and were re-introduced from Sefton.

Hence the artificial pools inside the fence that Cheshire Wildlife Trust created a few years ago, where the toads have successfully bred the last few years. Now, new pools are developing in the saltmarsh, and the toads are starting to use those as well as the artificial ones.” 

If you want to take part in the North-West beach competition and nature challenge, you can find out more details at https://www.livingseasnw.org.uk/beached-art-competition.

Whether or not you are heading to the beach, The Wildlife Trusts’ website includes an online treasure chest of information to help celebrate and inspire during National Marine Week:

  • Keep the kids occupied with the new DIY Shore Life Spotter Guide
  • Top tips for making the most of the coast this summer, rockpooling guides and more
  • Information on our amazing marine wildlife
  • Blogs from The Wildlife Trusts’ experts 
  • Special editions of Wildlife Wednesdays weekly videos during National Marine Week.
  • Details on how to enter a Marine Wildlife Experiences Competition*.

Send in your best photos, videos and stories about marine wildlife experiences to be in with the chance to win a copy of The Essential Guide to Rockpooling by Julie Hatcher and Steve Trewhella, or one of two pairs of binoculars from Opticron.
All this information is available free online from The Wildlife Trusts’ website