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Wirral recognised as a bee champion

The borough has been recognised as a bee and pollinator champion for the work undertaken on the grasslands at Wirral Country Park.

Over the last few years, a significant amount of work has been undertaken at Wirral Country Park within the Meadow Restoration Project and this has been recognised with a 2020 Bees’ Needs Champions Awards.

Entries to the awards were judged on dedication to supporting pollinators, innovation and creativity, promotion to others / awareness-raising of Bees’ Needs and evidence of beneficial impact for pollinators.

The project, which started on the Dee Cliffs (Site of Special Scientific Interest) and has extended to other sites within the park including Dawpool Nature Reserve, has created a park that is more pollinator friendly and provides the ideal habitat for amphibians and small mammals. The sites similarly create an area that the 5,000+ school children who visit each year as part of their curriculum studies, as well as families and other visitors, can enjoy.

Cllr Liz Grey, Chair of Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee at Wirral Council, said:

“Wirral Country Park and the projects undertaken at the site are vital to highlight the importance of pollinators and protecting them.

“The site is perfectly set up as: a haven for pollinators and wildlife; a spot for visitors and residents to enjoy; and for an educational trip for local schools. Wirral Country Park sets the tone for similar environments we want to create around the borough as part of our climate emergency response to help protect the bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

“I am so pleased that all the hard work from Rangers and volunteers has been recognised - this site really shows what we can do when we all come together to protect our environment and improve our local area.”

Work started in 2013 and Wirral Council Rangers have been heavily supported by volunteers who, each year, have helped to cut, turn and bale the grass and have turned any woody vegetation within the meadows into chippings for biofuel. Contractors installed mole drains and the Rangers and volunteers (including Wirral Autism who received a Wirral West Community Grant for some of the work) added surfaced paths so visitors can enjoy the site without disturbing the local wildlife.

The grasslands are now managed as wildflower meadows and helps to feed into the councils climate emergency response and the other work that is happening around the borough to prioritise pollinators. More information about pollinator sites and their benefits can be found on the council’s website.

This honour is in addition to the 2020 Green Flag Awards, announced last month - Wirral Country Park being one of the thirty parks across the borough to receive one.