The Third Wirral Wader Festival will take place from September 8-10th celebrating the tens of thousands of wading birds that Wirral’s coastline attracts.
Wading birds such as knots, dunlins, curlews and bar-tailed godwits feast on the rich mudflats of the Dee and North Wirral shores and can be easily seen around the coast.
To showcase this natural spectacle, Wirral Coast Partnership has organised a busy programme of events.
Karen Leeming, Chair of Wirral Coast Partnership, said: “Since Wirral Wader Festival Partnership held the first UK Wader Festival in 2015, it has encouraged a number of other UK coastal areas to follow suit and we think that this is a fantastic achievement. The festival starts with a talk by naturalist and environmentalist Iolo Williams, who is also a presenter on the BBC’s Spring Watch and Autumn Watch, and includes a full weekend of events at Hoylake and West Kirby.
“Everyone is welcome from keen bird watchers to people who have never looked through a telescope but who would like to learn a bit more about local wildlife; we have lots of people to help identify what you are looking at, and we have a lot of activities for children and the young at heart.”
Wirral was approached to hold the first event of its kind in the UK in 2015 by Rick and Elis Simpson of Wader Quest. They were impressed by Dee Estuary Voluntary Wardens (DEVW) who protect the thousands of birds roosting on West Kirby and Hoylake beaches at high tide.
Wirral Wader Festival was created by DEVW with Wirral Council’s Coastal Rangers, Cheshire Wildlife Trust, the RSPB and Wader Quest.
There will be high tide watches at knot and dunlin roosts on Hoylake beach and at Cheshire Wildlife Trust's Red Rocks nature reserve. At West Kirby there will be live footage beamed direct from Little Eye, showing oystercatchers and curlews up close.
Cheshire Wildlife Trust will be holding guided walks around Red Rocks SSSI nature reserve and hosting children’s activities. Wirral Rangers will be guiding a walk to Hilbre Island.
For full details of events and activities during the festival, visit www.facebook.com/wirralwaderfest, or wirralwaderfestival.blogspot.co.uk. Most activities on Saturday and Sunday are free but some have a small charge. Seats for the Iolo Williams talk cost £15 and must be pre-booked – see website for details.