The Friends of Hilbre Newsletter
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Memoirs of Hilbre - a Member's Story
One of our members of The Friends of Hilbre, Mr. H.
L. Ross has written his memoirs. A local man born in 1928, he
has of course memories going back further than many of us.
Here are some extracts from his writings and we intend to include more
in a future newsletter.
Editors note: it is not safe to swim and walk across from the Wirral / Hilbre to Wales due to dangerous currents, deep gullies and quicksand!
YOU HAVE ANY MEMORIES OR STORIES ABOUT HILBRE ISLAND?
On Wednesday 2nd May myself, Pam and Sue met Matt Thomas our Ranger for
the Day in the Marine Lake Car Park. The weather was clear, sunny and
very warm and by the time we reached Hilbre the Island was alive with
birds. As we drove along the Island, there were Wheatears and Willow
Ken Stackhouse [Mid-week Task Co-ordinator]
The Friends work to protect many aspects of the islands.
Examples of work
- Routine maintenance of buildings including, repairing, painting and making weather proof.
- Litter picking: making the islands a pleasant place to be, and a safer environment for birds and small animals such as field voles.
- Clearing invasive species in designated areas, e.g. bracken pulling on the Welsh side of ‘Heather Mount’ has resulted in a wonderful display of English Bluebells and a resurgence of the heather. Work like this helps to enrich the variety of habitats on Hilbre. However, members need to be mindful to pull bracken in designated areas only. The bracken provides a wonderful nesting habitat for birds, in the spring and early summer; birds also nest in bramble thickets. It is an offence to deliberately disturb nesting birds so care must be taken at all times.
- Repairing fences and pointing between the bricks of the sea defences.
- Informing the public about the islands so that they can appreciate the beauty of Hilbre and avoid causing damage to the islands, the fauna or flora.
Letter from Dave Cavanagh
Dear Friends of Hilbre.
It’s been a while since I left the island and I’ve finally got around to putting pen to paper. Firstly, thank you all so much for your very kind gift of a book token, it was unexpected but very gratefully received. It’s been quite a while since I left Hilbre in what felt like such a rush and was a very final end to a long chapter in my life. When I first took the job of the Hilbre Ranger I thought that I would stay for possibly three years. That came and went in a flash so I thought I’d stay a little longer. I almost left after seven years, but when Fi and I got together, life on the island changed for the better. Eventually I ended up staying just short of fourteen years.
In that time I achieved many important things, one of the most rewarding of which was helping to set up the Friends of Hilbre. I have worked with many Friends groups during my long career as a Ranger, some were good and some not so good, and I can honestly say the Friends of Hilbre are top of the list (the good list that is). Even if some of our ideas clashed, we all knew that we were working towards the same goal and we would work out any differences of opinion in the end. It has been a pleasure to work with such an excellent Friends group for such a long time.
Life on the mainland is very different, no tides to race for a start, and heating and water whenever I want. I’ve taken a massive change of direction in career, and it’s working out very well. The best change is the time I can now spend with my family which has just increased by one with the birth of our second son, Angus, at the start of July.
So thank you again for all your help over the years and I’m sure I’ll see some of you over on those wonderful islands that brought us all together in the first place.
We are proud to announce the completion of Andy’s Seat!
Volunteers, led by Andy Williams, have worked hard over the last couple of years to repair the sea defences on the Welsh side of Hilbre and to incorporate a seat into the design.
The seat is in a lovely place to sit and contemplate life, the universe (and all that!), whilst having a lovely view over the River Dee estuary and to Wales and the sea beyond.
You can find Andy’s seat by descending the stairs on the Welsh side (opposite the Telegraph Station) but, instead of continuing right to Shell Beach, take a left turn instead and walk across the lower cliffs until you find the seat. Enjoy!
Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes!
Please note that it is necessary to be a member of the Friends of Hilbre and over 18 years of age to be a volunteer. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries.
Friends of Hilbre
You are invited to renew your membership for 2012/13
Subscriptions are due on the 1st May 2012
We warmly welcome new members to our group.
If you would like to join us please email the Membership Secretary for an Application Form at: email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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).
FOR YOUR INTEREST
HILBRE BIRD OBSERVATORY BLOG HAS DAILY SIGHTINGS ON:
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.
COASTAL PARK NEWLETTER BY THE RANGER SERVICE
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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
All articles and photographs in this web site are © COPYRIGHT of The Friends of Hilbre
unless specifically otherwise stated.