Port Sunlight River Park secures funding to enhance habitats

10th November 2023

Port Sunlight River Park, owned by green space management charity, the Land Trust and managed in partnership with The Conservation Volunteers (TCV), will be working in partnership with Mersey Gateway Environmental Trust to help enhance the park’s habitats following funding from Natural England’s Species Recovery programme.

This two-year programme is one of 63 projects across the country that have been awarded funding from the body. Port Sunlight River Park is a 28-hectare green space located in Bromborough, Merseyside. The park overlooks the River Mersey and the neighbouring Mersey Estuary Mudflats, which are a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Ramsar Site, this green space is an important habitat for wildlife.

Over the next year the team will be creating two new fenced enclosures to help provide protected areas for ground nesting birds. These enclosures protect from disturbance by people and dogs. Work has already begun on the first enclosure with the second being created in September 2024.

Within the enclosures nesting habitat will be created comprising of ‘scrapes’ containing gravel, bare earth and water. These will provide areas that the chicks will be camouflaged within and supply water supplies for them.

The future management of these enclosures will include ensuring all areas within the fences and 25m outside are kept cut and free of tall vegetation. This process will help stop predators from utilising the height to spot the nests. There will also be regular monitoring to record the impact of the habitat enhancement and the wildlife.

Andrew Brookfield, Northwest Operations Leader at TCV said: “We are delighted and excited to have received this funding to improve the biodiversity of the River Park and to support the recovery of red-listed bird species locally. This project is only possible with the enthusiasm, passion and hard work of local volunteers who are and will be completing tasks such as constructing fencing, creating nesting habitat and wildflower meadow management”

Keep up to date with the project by heading to Port Sunlight River Park’s Facebook. If you would like to get involved, please contact Eric Joinson at e.joinson@tcv.org.uk.

You can also find out more about the Species Recovery Programme here – Natural England Species Programme.

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