News archive

August 2014

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Marshside reserve gets new lease of life

Marshside reserve gets new lease of life

After 20 years of successful partnership with Sefton Council, the RSPB is celebrating a new 99-year lease of the RSPB's Marshside reserve, in Merseyside.

The new lease from the Council trebles the size of the nature reserve. It grants the RSPB control over the saltmarsh at Marshside as well as the fresh marsh and includes the former 'Rainford's marsh'. It also includes the car park and the roadside strip as far as the sewage works, but does not include the 'Old Sand Works', which is still under the control of the Sand Company.
Tony Baker, RSPB Ribble Sites Manager, said: "This is a fantastic way to celebrate 20 years of the RSPB and Sefton Council giving nature a home at Marshside. It's great that it comes in the first year that our fantastic avocets have nested on the saltmarsh at Marshside."
There will be a chance to celebrate the news and talk to site staff about their plans for the future of Marshside at a special 20th celebration event, to be held at the reserve on Sunday 7 September.
Tony added: "We have lots to think about as we look to future plans for encouraging more wildlife and more human visitors to come to the reserve; adding further value to Southport as a tourist destination, and we know we can count on our wonderful volunteers to help us step up and meet the new challenges the new lease brings."

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council's Cabinet Member for Children, Schools, Families and Leisure, added: "The RSPB has done a great job of managing this part of our amazing coast. It's good to know the Marshside reserve will be in good hands well into the next century."

The RSPB's management of Marshside forms part of the conservation organisation's Ribble Coast and Wetlands Futurescape. This is a large-scale project aimed at creating a network of linked homes for nature across the local area.

For more information about the forthcoming celebration event, which forms part of the "Tracks Tides and Tales" Festival, visit

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Experience the egret empire at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands

As dusk falls over RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, one of the region's greatest natural spectacles unfolds: the nature reserve is awash with birds settling down for the night, not least one of the country's most elegant and exotic-looking, the little egret.

This month, with the help of RSPB wardens, visitors are invited to enjoy 'An Evening with Egrets' to marvel at one of the UK's largest little egret colonies, which makes its home at Burton Mere Wetlands. As dusk approaches, hundreds of the birds gather from across the estuary, ready to fly into the treetops to roost overnight - a remarkable sight.

Dan Trotman, Visitor Development Officer at RSPB Dee Estuary reserve, said: "Whilst these birds are seen regularly feeding across the estuary's saltmarsh during the day, nothing compares to the sight and sound of dozens flying together into the tree-tops next to the nature reserve for the night. It's an amazing sight to watch. Plus the event is a great opportunity to learn about the birds' troubled past and their current success.

"There have been evenings when I've been here alone and seeing the little egret colony in all its glory makes all the hard work we've put into managing this wetland over the years seem all the more worthwhile. They've become a common sight on the estuary, but nothing quite prepares you for watching these large, graceful birds take to the treetops in the numbers we see here - last year, 380 were counted flying into the roost one night!"

The event will be held on Friday 15 August, starting at 6.30pm. The cost for the walk is £5 per adult (£3 for RSPB members) and includes a hot drink and snack in the Reception Hide.
For more information on the reserve and its activities, please call the reserve on 0151 353 8478, or check out the website

Sunday, 3 August 2014



General information about Hen Harrier Day 2014
Hen Harrier Day 2014 is Sunday 10 August.
Hen Harrier Day 2014 is an opportunity for people to express their outrage at the illegal killing of the protected Hen Harrier by grouse moor interests. Science says there should be 300+ pairs of Hen Harrier nesting in England - this year has seen just three pairs.
Hen Harrier Day 2014 is supported by: the RSPB, the Wildlife Trusts, the National Trust, the Hawk and Owl Trust, the League Against Cruel Sports, the Peak District National Park, Birdwatch magazine, Rare Bird Alert, Welsh Ornithological Society and Quaker Concern for Animals.
There are three events planned for Hen Harrier Day where people can gather together in Lancashire (the Forest of Bowland), Northumberland (South Tyne Trail at Lambley) and the Peak District (event full).


It is easy to sit up and take notice,
What is difficult is getting up and taking action.