Image: Great spotted woodpecker by Victor Dennett
We hope everyone’s had a lovely start to 2023 so far!
2022 saw lots of exciting things happen for the Trust. We welcomed a new Chief Executive and two new members of staff. We also welcomed our volunteer Zoology student Joanna, who helped us surveying orchids and invertebrates.
In March we ran the ‘5 Ways to Well-being” Nature Challenge project, working with local primary schools. We set the children the challenge of taking photographs of wildlife on Wigg and Spike Island, to later record and identify using the iNaturalist app. Lots of leaves, spring flowers, ladybirds, and even some butterflies and birds were spotted. Erin who took part said: ‘It was great to be in touch with nature. 10/10 stars’.
We held our research conference in the summer with a great turnout and talks from our speakers Alison Curtis, Jack Muskett, Jeff Clarke, and our PhD students Lucy Dowdall and Jake Jackman, who gave us a fascinating look into the research being conducted along the Mersey Estuary; from natural capital and eDNA, to environmental monitoring, bird surveys and vegetation transects!
Sadly last year we lost a valued member of the Trust, Paul Oldfield. Paul was one of our Directors and was instrumental in setting up the Mersey Gateway Environmental Trust. An accomplished ecologist, Paul cared deeply about the natural world and, through his determination and unique vision, had a profound influence on nature conservation and those he was friend and mentor to. Paul was and will always be an integral part of the MGET, and we will endeavour to continue his legacy.
The past few months we’ve been monitoring the saltmarsh and surrounding blue and green spaces along the Mersey Estuary, and conjuring up some exciting plans for 2023…
This year we’re working towards connectivity. Connecting people to nature, connecting habitats, and connecting people together. Some of the projects we’ll be working on include research and management of fascinating species such as white-clawed crayfish and smelt, remote monitoring of the estuary’s impressive reedbed system, and using innovative ways of searching for some of the Mersey’s more elusive resident bird species… watch this space!
Steph – MGET Conservation Officer