New Ferry Butterfly Park is a two-hectare site located within a densely populated area on the Wirral. Rather than being a site of one or two key species, this is a generalist site with 27 species of butterfly recorded here and 18 species known to breed on site.
In addition to species often seen in urban areas, there are good populations of Common Blue, Small Skipper, Large Skipper, Meadow Brown and Gatekeeper in the grassland areas. In addition, there have been reported sightings of the Essex Skipper and this year saw the first sighting of the Dingy Skipper.
Located next to Bebington Station, the site was developed on abandoned railway sidings. Due to its’ industrial past there a variety of habitats, including calcareous grassland (from lime waste from the water treatment plant), acidic grassland (from coal dust residues) and nutrient -poor areas which used to overlay the old railway track beds.
Consequently, there is a large diversity of wild nectar and larval food plants which accounts for such a wide ranging butterfly population in this urban location. This has been supplemented by the planting of additional larval food plants such has Sheep’s Sorrel and Buckthorn Alder which has aided and attracted greater numbers of Small Copper and Brimstone. In addition, there are two ponds, hedgerows, scrub, hazel coppice, and artefacts of the brick-making and railway eras.
The site is managed by a committee of knowledgeable volunteers, backed by the Cheshire Wildlife Trust. Volunteers are there to greet visitors and explain the history of the site, points of interest and show people around. The site is family friendly and most of the area is flat and so has disabled access. Due to the nature of the lease, there are few facilities on site but there is a composting toilet.
Opening times: Sundays 12:00 - 16:00 from 30th April to 10th September 2023. There is no parking on site (apart from some cycle racks) but it is relatively easy to find parking on the nearby roads.
By train: The park is next to Bebington Station on the Merseyrail Liverpool-Birkenhead-Chester Line. If coming by train, cross to the southbound platform if necessary (tunnel under tracks), exit by the gateway to the car park, and walk left to the north end of the car park. The Butterfly Park is just to your right through the gates.
By bus: Routes 110,118,119, 410 stop by Bebington Station on the Old Chester Road or Bebington Road. Walk under the railway bridge on Bebington Road if necessary, and take the road between the bridge and Aldi, signed to the station car park and Butterfly Park.
By car: From M53 J4: Take B5137 signed Bromborough, at traffic lights turn left (B5136). Follow road, taking 2nd exit at small roundabout, until you see the railway over-bridge. Go straight on under bridge and turn first left, where signed to station car park and butterfly park (between the over-bridge and Aldi). The park is at the top of the slope. From Birkenhead: Follow A41 to south end of Rock Ferry Bypass. Take 3nd exit (carefully - this is not a normal roundabout and there is a give way) onto Bolton Road Port Sunlight. At T junction turn right alongside railway. At next T junction turn right and immediately left into car park approach road (between over-bridge and Aldi). Sat-nav users: the Aldi by the approach road is CH62 5BJ.
Maps and more information can be found at the following websites: