A WIRRAL butterfly park is set to spread its wings even further after its most successful summer to date.

Beneficial wildlife management of New Ferry Butterfly Park – which is used by both young and old alike for education, training and recreation – is to be extended further thanks to money donated by Wirral Friends of the Earth and a Voluntary and Community Action Wirral Grant.

The park - which attracted almost 2,500 visitors during the summer months with 1,500 butterfly sightings recorded – was created from a former railway goods yard more than 10 years ago and since then has become hugely popular.

The funds will allow this to continue and have already gone towards creating a strip of rubble, suckering plum and snowberry between the park gates and the Bebington Aldi for planting a boundary hedge.

Local volunteers, plus a party of students from Liverpool John Moore University Conservation Society, worked together to plant 100 shrubs to establish a species rich hedge for bees and butterflies.

Paul Loughnane, honorary reserve manager of this Cheshire Wildlife Trust reserve, said: “Hedgerows are still in decline and it’s great to be able to create wildlife hedges.

“The planted species included the caterpillar food plants, holly for holly blue butterflies, purging buckthorn for brimstone butterflies, hawthorn for hedgerow robustness and wild privet as a great nectar source for summer butterflies.

“New Ferry Butterfly Park now boasts over 400 metres of well-maintained wildlife rich hedgerow, which gives the park a countryside feel. 

“The first steps have been taken here, to transform this derelict corner of New Ferry into a wildlife haven. 

“These small incremental changes year on year bring a great improvement in the long term.”