Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18Nature reserves Nature reserves are protected areas that are essential for plants and wildlife. In order to manage and maintain a nature reserve, specific care frameworks need to be in place to ensure wildlife is enriched. The Green Flag Award criteria are flexible and, where required, can be adapted for every nature reserve. This ensures the area’s specific needs are supported and met. Benefits • Ensure the area is protected • Work to a framework for effective, appropriate management • Strengthen applications for third-party funding New Ferry Butterfly Park, Wirral This was an abandoned railway goods yard, but over time wildlife and nature took over the area. A local resident saw the potential that the area had to create a natural place to visit and improve a run-down area. With the support of Cheshire Wildlife Trust, its local group and other community groups, a committee was set up to create the New Ferry Butterfly Park. Funds were raised and work was organised. Fly-tipping was cleared, trees thinned, hedges planted and a pond was installed. The park provides wildlife with nectar and pollen throughout the year thanks to careful grass management, wild flower planting and trees such as hawthorn and holly. The park is regularly surveyed, to monitor plants, butterflies, bees, moths, newts and other mini-beasts. The committee has developed two educational trails – a nature trail and an industrial history trail. A Green Flag Award judge said: “The Wildlife Trust has transformed what was once a discarded industrial railway siding and station into an extraordinary biodiversity site catering for not only butterflies, but a wide selection of other insects and small mammals. The Trust has realised the value of the different soil composition that industry has left to develop plants species that would not naturally be in that location. This, in turn, increases the diversity of invertebrates and other animals on the site. The enthusiasm and the knowledge of the volunteers is excellent and they just want to share it with the visitors.” “This is definitely a regional hotspot for butterflies and a superb example of how a piece of land can be effectively managed for the benefit of our wildlife.” Malcolm Plant, Chair of the Cheshire and Peak Branch of Butterfly Conservation 12 THE GREEN FLAG AWARD