Wirral’s Greener Grass

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We’ve all seen litter between the hedgerows, plastic floating in our local ponds and rivers, and David Attenborough advocating the planet’s welfare on the BBC. The problem is global, the solution is simple, and yet the smallest of the differences in an organisation or household’s impact is great. Throughout Wirral, many organisations have been putting in place green initiatives and projects so that future generations can enjoy the world we currently take for granted.

One of these initiatives is Wirral Borough Council’s reduced grass cutting programme which is currently in place. This will reduce the maintenance budget by £350k a year, whilst providing opportunities to encourage wildflowers to grow attracting bees, butterflies ,moths and other insects to the area and the potential to plant additional trees and look at rewilding projects. The unmaintained areas will provide opportunities to identify areas for rewilding and tree planting, with the council working towards planting a further 200,000 trees by 2030 as part of the Wirral Tree Strategy.

Projects:

  • HYPE’s Urban Bikes – Their hire scheme is designed to encourage more people to cycle to work. Their vision is to encourage more employees across Merseyside to cycle to work, which has a wider impact in so many ways!
  • Wirral Unplugged’s Fundraising Bags – Designed by local Merseyside artist Rosa Kusabbi, these environmentally friendly bags are both useful and fun as they are an activity themselves. The money raised will provide spaces for low-income families to access Wirral Unplugged’s services for free. Wirral Unplugged mission is to inspire families to connect, communicate and be creative, all while spending time away from screens and being environmentally conscious.
  • Woodchurch High School’s Good Life Happy Earth Project – Their lambs, including two sets of twins, are already taking centre stage in the school’s funded workshops teaching both children and adults about the cause and effect of selective breeding and commercial farming on the environment and the response to them.
  • Swansay Group – Family owned Swansway Group, with 23 new and used car and van dealerships located across the North West and Midlands, is making an investment of over £300,000, in order to fulfil one of their commitments to improve sustainability within the Group. And perhaps surprisingly, in this instance they are not focussing on either cars or travel.
  • Great British Spring Clean – Beechwood, Ballantyne & Bidston Village Partnership Big Local recently ran the initiative as part of the national ‘Great British Spring Clean’ campaign which aims to collectively achieve a million miles of litter-picking.
  • The New Brighteners – Have been operating since their founding group started cleaning beaches around 10 years ago, and became, The New Brighteners, officially in 2013.  The Brighteners also raised funds to kickstart four other groups, one of whom was, The High Tidiers Clean Up Crew.
  • The High Tidiers Clean Up Crew – Based in West Kirby, this team of volunteers comes together to clean West Kirby beaches of plastic and litter that are harmful to sea creatures. To find out more, find their page on Facebook.
  • The Wirral Wombles – A fairly new having been formed about a year ago, but have grown rapidly and now have members clearing rubbish, across Wirral, from beaches, green spaces, streets etc.
  • Wallasey Tree Planting Group – Part of the Co-Op Local Community Fund, this group is dedicated to planting more trees to help the environment.
  • Love Parks Week – This year, following the extra pressure that our beloved parks and green spaces have seen during the pandemic, Keep Britain Tidy will use Love Parks Week to send a rallying cry to the great British public to Love, Respect and Protect our parks throughout the summer of 2021 and beyond. This year’s date is from 23rd July until 1 August.
  • Liverpool City Region’s Carbon Emission Campaign – A new campaign launched across the Liverpool City Region is urging people to take two short journeys a week by walking and cycling – to help slash carbon emissions by 130,000 tons a year.
  • The Environment & Climate Emergency Policy – At a meeting of Wirral’s Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee on 16 March, councillors signed off on the policy which will change the way the council operates, makes decisions, and provides services.
  • Clean Air Crew – A new educational resource available for free to all schools, to help teach pupils about air quality issues affecting their community. It is supported through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority’s Community Environment Fund.
  • Flourish at Ford Way – A community gardening project based in Upton whose volunteer beekeepers host educational sessions for schoolchildren.

Most of these projects have been funded through the Community Environment Fund. To see how the Community Environment Fund has impacted the local community, click here.

Wirral Waters

Wirral Waters is a community-led project to develop the area as well as promote eco-friendly schemes. For example, the ‘Setting The Scene For Growth’ scheme has seen over 1,500 street trees being planted in the area, backed by an art exhibit with Len Grant called Trees • Work, focusing on the impact of trees on business, people and their wellbeing. Elements of this work were recently displayed in the local Williamson Art Gallery.

To read more on the project’s environmentally-friendly infrastructure, download the link below:

Things To Do:

Photo by Naja Bertolt Jensen on Unsplash
  • New Ferry Butterfly Park – 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. Open Sundays from 12 – 4 p.m. from 2nd May to 12th September 2021. To reduce the risk of covid-19 transmission there is a one-way system in operation and we have hand sanitisers. Instead of taking a leaflet you can download them below or via QR codes at the Park.
  • Ness Botanical Gardens – Alpine Garden Society are returning to Ness Gardens to host their popular alpine plant fair on the 4th July from 10am-4pm.
  • Voices of Nature – On the #FestOfNature21 Voices of Nature podcast, Jane Craven from The Woodland Trust discusses why we need to step up our protection of trees.
  • Carbon Literacy Training – Project promoting an awareness of the carbon dioxide costs and impacts of everyday activities, and the ability and motivation to reduce emissions, on an individual, community and organisational basis.

Funding:

  • Urban Tree Fund – The UTCF will support a number of objectives in Defra’s 25 Year Environment Plan and also contribute towards meeting Government’s manifesto commitment to plant one million urban trees by 2022.
  • The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust – The overall focus is on developing and promoting sustainable, low-carbon alternatives to the current consumerist and growth-based paradigm.  We will support a range of actions to achieve these aims, recognising this might include defending current policies, frameworks and regulations.
  • Stanley Smith Horitcultural Trust – Through the Trust, grants are available to projects of significance to horticulture (or botany with a strong horticultural content) and education for horticulture.
  • Green Homes Grant – Pays for up to £10,000 worth of home improvement works to reduce energy bills and make homes warmer. It aims to reduce the impact that homes have on the environment and will be available to some Wirral residents from summer 2021.

Do your part to help the environment, no matter if its simply recycling in the office. It all counts towards saving the planet.

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