New Ferry Butterfly receives Green Flag Community Award

New Ferry Butterfly Park volunteers with Chris Koral c. Richard Ash

New Ferry Butterfly Park, in Wirral, has been recognised as one of the UK’s very best green spaces. On Saturday 11th August volunteers at the park celebrated when Chris Koral, Chairman of Cheshire Wildlife Trust, visited the Trust’s nature reserve to raise the prestigious Green Flag Community Award for 2018-2019.

The scheme recognises well managed sites and celebrates the efforts made by volunteers to manage them. Judging is made through a site visit to assess its facilities, how the site is maintained and what the site offers visitors. As New Ferry Butterfly Park had previously attained this award, this year the site was assessed by a mystery shopper, making it a greater achievement for the volunteers.

Green flag being raised at New Ferry Butterfly Park c. Richard Ash

Green flag being raised at New Ferry Butterfly Park c. Richard Ash

Chris Koral, Chairman of Cheshire Wildlife Trust, said before raising the Green Flag: “What a great community asset the park is. It has moved on considerably in the last three years since my previous visit, with more biodiverse habitats, artworks and a greater engagement with the public. It is a great tribute to the work of a dedicated volunteer group and is exactly where the Wildlife Trust movement should be.”

The volunteers support the conservation activities at the site and have introduced a number of engaging interactive displays to help people learn about the wildlife they can spot. A BBQ was held for the volunteers to mark the achievement of the award.

Butterfly cake c. Richard Ash

Butterfly cake c. Richard Ash

Chris used the group’s ceremonial billhook to cut the yellow brimstone butterfly designed cake. Brimstone butterflies were first recorded breeding  at New Ferry Butterfly Park in 2014 and have remained constant residents ever since.

Paul Loughnane, Honorary Secretary of New Ferry Butterfly Park group said, “This is a record-breaking summer season for the number of visiting groups to the park, and for some of our butterfly residents. It is great to have the volunteers’ BBQ where we can all relax instead of working. The Green Flag Award is a real pat on the back for all those volunteers involved with the habitat management, as well as all those who engage with the public and visiting groups.”

The park is open on Sunday afternoons 12-4pm until the close of this year’s season on Sunday 9th September. On this date there will be a free heritage walk at 2pm (no need to book, just turn up) describing how the industrial nature of the site has benefited wildlife.