New Ferry Butterfly Park is 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. The reserve occupies 4.94 acres (2 hectares) and is a Site of Biological Importance. There are acidic, calcareous, nutrient poor & nutrient rich grasslands reflecting the different industrial substrates of the past. In addition there are two ponds, hedgerows, scrub, hazel coppice, artefacts of the brick-making and railway eras.
Acidic grasslands developed on the coal dust areas, these are dominated by common bent, sheep's sorrel & bird's foot trefoil. Calcareous grasslands developed from lime waste of water softening plant these provide species rich flora with plenty of nectar sources. On thin nutrient poor soils, which overlie old railway track beds, carpets of bird's-foot-trefoil dominate along with wild carrot & occasional bee orchids. On damper grasslands surrounding the lower pond cowslip, lady’s smock & ragged robin occur.
26 species of butterfly have been recorded here with 16 species breeding on site. Other interest is in the lower pond with smooth newts, water scorpions, and dragonfly nymphs. Thick-legged flower beetle, a rare red data book species has been recorded. Yellow meadow ants are present on undisturbed grassland areas where they can build their nests. The park is rich in many other invertebrates with large populations of grasshoppers, bees and shield bugs.
A local committee runs the park. We are always looking for help in managing the park every second Sunday in the month in the winter (September–April) and wardening every Sunday in the summer (May- August). Please contact Paul Loughnane if you would like more information.