Wirral Countryside Volunteers. A great way to enjoy the outdoors and meet new people!

Wirral Countryside Volunteers (WCV)

An enthusiastic weekend volunteer group

Established  in 1985 we are involved in approximately a dozen different sites a year, mainly within the “Wirral Hundred”, sometimes further afield.

The WCV work in close association with the local Wildlife Trust on their reserves at New Ferry Butterfly Park and the ancient woodland of Thornton Wood. We work with Wirral Ranger Service on lowland heath restoration projects and woodland craft demonstrations. In south Wirral we work with the ranger service there, mainly hedge laying along the Wirral Way. We work with friends groups and occasionally private bodies.

We work about twice a month meeting on either a Saturday or Sunday with more frequent events in the winter season.

Tasks start at 9.30 a.m. until 3 or 4 p.m. There is often an apres task at the local hostelry and there are impromptu socials throughout the year.

What do we do?

  • Pond restoration – removal of willow and reed-mace
  • Lowland heath restoration – removal of birch and gorse
  • Hazel coppicing – producing woodland craft and allotment materials and hedging stakes and to benefit the spring flowers
  • Meadow management – cutting grasslands with scythes to enhance the wildflowers
  • Hedge laying – one of the groups favourite activities and for the keen participation in local hedge laying competitions
  • Woodland craft demonstrations – gate hurdle making
  • Tree/Hedgerow planting – the group has a tree nursery growing trees of local providence
  • Annual residential
  • Visits to wildlife sites and evening walks
  • Bonfires, BBQ and fresh tea at some sites, check events programme

What to bring?

Bring a packed lunch, boots, working gloves and water proofs.

What’s in it for you?

Fresh air, exercise, discover some new talents, learn some natural history and spend a day with like-minded people.

Do we have an effect?

  • 2.5 km of Wirral’s hedgerow restored by layering or planting. Some of the group are award-winning hedge layers!
  • At Thornton Common sycamores have been removed, marginal pond side vegetation has recovered and great crested newts are starting to breed
  • An active hazel coppice system: benefitting the spring flowers, providing hedging stakes and woodland craft materials
  • Success with growing black poplar from seed and success in propagating mistletoe
  • Creating wildflower rich grassland by turf removal at New Ferry Butterfly Park benefitting common blue butterfly and bee orchids
  • Development of pollarding regimes for willows and oaks, producing veteran trees of the future

For more information and events timetable click here: http://pcwww.liv.ac.uk/~jpl/wcv/

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