The Friends of Hilbre Newsletter
On-line Version

Volume 1, Issue 38 - Online version
February 2012

main menu

Home.
Friends of Hilbre
Days
.
Plan Your Visit.
How to Join.
Links.
MIU Events.
Volunteers' Work.
Wildlife.   
Task Days.  

Inside this issue:
Volunteering 2012. 
Island Tasks.
MIU dates.
Seal Watch dates.
Mid-week task report.
Safety Notice.

Archived Newsletters

 

 


Postcard: Hilbre 1937

Contacts:
The Friends of Hilbre re:
Membership Forms,
General information,
Volunteers Work: Tasks, Open Days, Seal Watching, Mobile Information Unit
e-mail: thefriendsofhilbre@hotmail.com


Tides and Information
Wirral Country Park Ranger Service 0151 648 4371
e-mail: wirralcountrypark@wirral.gov.uk

Wirral Council Web Site: www.wirral.gov.uk

 Back to 'Inside this issue'.


Volunteering 2012 - Dates for your Diary

Spring is nearly here! We can stop hibernating in our homes and look forward to getting out and about in the fresh spring air.  It is a time for starting new hobbies or activities and what is there better to do than to start volunteering with the Friends of Hilbre??  

We have a wide range of volunteering activities that you can try. You  may like to do physical tasks on the islands eg bracken pulling, wall building, painting, weeding etc. Others might like to take part in the seal watch activities, showing visitors the seals though a telescope. Or you may like to take part in giving information to the public either on Hilbre Island or the Mobile Information Unit at West Kirby. 

To our stalwart volunteers; welcome back, great to see you again! To our first time volunteers; we look forward to meeting you.

It is great fun taking part in activities on the Hilbre islands. However they are cut off from the mainland, by the tide, twice a day and there are steep cliffs and tidal gullies. The advice and precautions below will help you to have a safe, comfortable and enjoyable time on Hilbre. 

•    Please keep to the ’meet’ and ’leave’ times stated within this newsletter, to ensure a safe crossing to and from the islands.

•    Information boards, by the slipway in West Kirby, show the daily safe crossing times and the safe route to walk to the islands.

•    Due to insurance restrictions, no-one under the age of 18 can volunteer to work the tasks days on the islands.

•    If it is your first time volunteering, please make yourself known, to the task leader, at the meeting point. Or, you could ring Allen on 0151 648 7115, and we will make sure that we look out for you.

•    There is no drinking water on the island. Please bring enough drink for the day (not alcohol!!) and a snack. Bring warm clothing, gardening gloves and waterproofs; wellies may be a good idea!

        

Weekend Tasks on Hilbre 2012
(Meet at the Slipway, West Kirby)

Day

Date

Meet Time

Leave Time

Sunday

March 25th

10.00am

4.30pm

Sunday

April 22nd

9.30am

4.00pm

Saturday

May 26th

11.00am

6.00pm

Saturday

June 23rd

11.00am

5.00pm

Sunday

July 22nd

10.30am

5.00pm

Sunday

August 19th

9.30am

4.00pm

Saturday

September 1st

9.00am

4.00pm

Saturday

October 6th

11.30am

6.00pm

Mid-week tasks yet to be arranged: see report below

Mobile Information Unit Dates 2012

Contacts: Val

& Barbara

Day

Date

Sunday

March 4th

Sunday

April 1st

Sunday

May 13th

Sunday

June 3rd

Sunday

July 8th

Sunday

August 5th

Monday

Hoylake Lifeboat  Day

August 27th

Sunday

September 2nd

Sunday

October 7th

           

 

 

Back to 'Inside this issue'.


 Seal Watching and the Friends of Hilbre Open Days

      
Photograph by the late John Gittins                                           

Day

Date

Walk out after

Leave Island by

Saturday

March 17th

9.30am

4.00pm

Sunday

April 15th

10.00am

4.00pm

Sunday

May 13th

10.00am

3.00pm

Saturday

June 30th

11.00am

4.00pm

Saturday

July 28th

10.00am

4.00pm

Sunday

August 12th

11.00am

4.00pm

Sunday

September 9th

10.00am

2.00pm

It is almost time to begin our monthly trips over to Hilbre Island to allow visitors to view the seals through The Friends of Hilbre's telescope.  See above for the dates for this year. The first trip over will be on Saturday 17th March.  

I am very grateful to my volunteers who help to make these days so interesting and enjoyable and I do hope to see you all again this year.  After you have perused the dates and checked your diaries, maybe you would like to choose any days that are convenient to you.  Please contact me so that I can begin to compile my volunteer's rota.

New volunteers for these days are always welcome.  You need to be a member of FOH and over 18 years of age (this is for insurance purposes).  On these days we walk over to Hilbre and set up the telescope so that visitors can get a clearer view of the seals on the sandbank.  Many people are amazed when they realise there are so many seals hauled out on the sandbank.  We are also able to give them some information about the Hilbre seals and hopefully answer any questions.  

Please note:
If you are interested you need to come to the training session on Saturday 17th March. Please contact me no later than 10th March so that I can prepare the sets of notes.
June Atkinson at 
thefriendsofhilbre@hotmail.com

Back to 'Inside this issue'.


Mid-Week Task Days

In the past, all the work tasks on Hilbre were organised to be held at the weekends and over a high tide. Whilst this arrangement suited many of our volunteers, there were Friends who were not able to volunteer at the weekend, or whose free time was limited and were not able to spend a full day volunteering.

     
Photograph: Telegraph House 1841                                                          

In 2012, FoH started organising mid-week tasks over a low tide on Hilbre. This gave Friends who were keen to contribute to the work on Hilbre, more flexible options about when they could volunteer. As the tasks were over a low tide, they had more freedom about the length of time they volunteered for e.g. it was possible to come out for just an hour or two, or a bit longer. The following is a task report from Ken Stackhouse, who led the mid-week tasks.

On the morning of August 24th, myself , Pam, Irene and Sue met up with Matt (our Ranger for the day) ready to be transported over to Hilbre for our first mid week task day. On arriving, Sue took on the task of sorting through the paper work kept from the clearance of Telegraph House, and later staffed the telegraph station, as we had many visitors to the island that day.

Matt had arranged to take out a quantity of water in the trailer. We attempted to carry on with wall building, unfortunately due to mixed weather we had to curtail this. We helped Matt tidy up Fog Cottage and an assortment of containers, not labelled or out of date, were placed in a safe box on the trailer along with a large quantity of rubbish which was to be disposed of back at the Rangers HQ. As the day drew to an end Matt thanked us for our support. 

Wednesday 21st September was our second mid week task day. Myself, Pam, Sue and two new members Steve and Elaine, met up with Frank our Ranger for the day.  On arriving on the Island, we were able to load the bags of rubbish gathered from the previous weekend task day on to the trailer. Under Sue’s guidance we worked on some repair work to part of an eroded cliff face. Then we tidied the corner of the garden next to the fig tree. We all enjoyed the visit and returned to West Kirby buffeted by a strong south westerly wind.
The Rangers are very happy with the support that we can give mid week especially over a low tide, so we are planning to continue these tasks in 2012.
 Ken Stackhouse.

We warmly welcome new members to our group. If you would like to become a member and/or join us as a volunteer please e-mail the committee at: thefriendsofhilbre@hotmail.com

Back to 'Inside this issue'.


DO YOU HAVE ANY MEMORIES OR STORIES ABOUT HILBRE ISLAND?
We would love to hear from you - please email your contributions to
the Newsletter Editor at thefriendsofhilbre@hotmail.com.

MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC
Please note that members of the public can visit Hilbre Islands’ Local Nature Reserve throughout the year. The Friends of Hilbre do not guide visitors across the shore to the islands. 

TIDE TIMES AND INFORMATION
Please contact the Coastal Rangers at the Thurstaston Visitor Centre, Wirral Country Park.
Tel. 0151 648 4371 (10am to 4pm, seven days a week).
email: wirralcountrypark@wirral.gov.uk

FOR YOUR INTEREST
HILBRE BIRD OBSERVATORY BLOG HAS DAILY SIGHTINGS ON:

www.hilbrebirdobs.blogspot.com

DEE ESTUARY BIRDING

The Dee Estuary is one of the UK’s premier birding locations for wetland and shorebirds. The Dee Estuary Birding web site describes the best Dee Estuary birdwatching areas with detailed maps and latest bird news for dedicated twitchers and casual birdwatchers alike.

www.deeestuary.co.uk


COASTAL PARK NEWLETTER BY THE RANGER SERVICE

This newsletter is available by e-mail only.
To receive an electronic copy by e-mail (Adobe Reader required) please contact:
email: wirralcountrypark@wirral.gov.uk

SAFETY NOTICE
Always check the tides before going out to Hilbre. Tides change each day.
Use the safe route; it is dangerous to use any other route.
For full details of when to cross safely and the safest route to Hilbre see our page:
Planning your visit to Hilbre Island

PLEASE NOTE
All articles and photographs in this web site are © COPYRIGHT of The Friends of Hilbre
 unless specifically otherwise stated.