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New Ferry Butterfly Park

 

New Ferry Butterfly Park is an urban nature reserve that was developed on the former site of a railway goods yard, coal yard and water softening plant at Bebington and New Ferry Station. A Site of Biological Importance, the reserve occupies 4.94 acres (2 hectares) of acidic, calcareous, nutrient poor & nutrient rich grasslands -reflecting the different industrial substrates of the past.

 

Acidic grasslands, developed on the coal dust areas, are dominated by common bent, sheep's sorrel & bird's foot trefoil, while the Calcareous grasslands, developed from lime waste of water softening plant, provide species rich flora with plenty of nectar sources.

 

On thin nutrient poor soils, which overlie old railway track beds, carpets of bird's-foot-trefoil dominate along with wild carrot & occasional bee
orchids. The damper grasslands surrounding the lower pond cowslip are also alive, with such varieties as lady's smock & ragged robin occur.

 

In all 26 species of butterfly have been recorded within the park, with 16 species breeding on site.

 

In addition to Butterfly spotting, the park also contains two ponds, hedgerows, scrub, hazel coppice and fascinating artefacts of the brick-making and railway eras. The wildlife does not stop there though as smooth newts, water scorpions, and dragonfly nymphs, live alongside thick-legged flower beetles and yellow meadow ants!

 


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