Wirral projects share of £500k Community Environment Fund

Metro Mayor Steve Rotheram has named the successful projects that will be funded through the £500k Community Environment Fund (CEF), launched last year.

The 58 successful projects are set to contribute to the city region’s target of being net carbon zero by 2040, improve people’s surroundings across the Liverpool City Region, while also bringing health benefits, encouraging long-term behavioural change and promoting community engagement and participation in environmental education programmes.

birkenhead.news spoke to Neil Eaton who is a trustee of the Wirral Barn Owl Trust, one of the projects to benifit from the fund.

Neil Said, “We are a small local conservation charity and our aim is to encourage a viable population of wild Barn Owls on the Wirral peninsula. We cover an area from Leasowe to Mollington and across to Shotwick.”

Wirral Barn Owl Trust builds and installs Barn Owl nesting boxes and on their website, you can see a live stream from inside one of these boxes.

A still from the livestream inside one of the nest boxes.

“As a small charity we rely entirely on donations from our members, without the additional funding from bodies such as the Community Environment Fund we would not be able to afford the necessary broadband and hosting fees to continue to operate live streaming of video from the nest boxes.”, Neil told us.

The money from the CEF will be used to fund the live stream from one of the trust’s Barn Owl nest boxes and to purchase and replace boxes which are no longer viable with new Eco boxes.

One of the Wirral Barn Owl Trust’s nest boxes.

Other projects include creating community gardens, wild flowering meadows, composting projects, understanding our carbon footprint, reducing food waste, boosting bee populations and encouraging cycling.

Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said, “Since I was elected Mayor, tackling the climate crisis has been one of my top priorities and I was proud that we were the first Combined Authority in the country to declare a Climate Emergency in recognition of the scale of the challenge we face.

“But it’s not something that we can tackle alone and that’s why I launched the Community Environment Fund: to empower local communities to take action to improve their local environment. Together, lots of small actions can help us make a big contribution to making our region cleaner, greener and more sustainable.

“There were some fantastic projects put forward and I’m excited to see the impact they have over the coming months and years.”

The successful Community Environment Fund projects support the following themes:

  • Climate change and resilience
  • Air quality and transport
  • Water
  • Accessible green spaces, habitats and biodiversity
  • Waste and resources
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Carbon and environment literacy
  • Energy reduction
  • Food and agriculture

Gideon Ben-Tovim, Chair of the Liverpool City Region Climate Partnership, established to act as an advisory body to the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, and of Nature Connected, said, “Our local action here can make a real difference to a global problem. We have seen over lockdown how much people care about their local environment, and how important it is to their lives.

“Applications to the Community Environment Fund have been breath-taking in their range and scope. As a city region we will be able to build on that enthusiasm and take action through these projects.”

Other Wirral projects to benifit from the funding include:

Wirral Environmental Network – Community Green Hub – Rejuvenation of neglected green space currently used for fly-tipping, creating a tree nursery, an orchard, a community allotment, a pollinator area & outdoor craft-upcycling space, supported by workshops.

Woodchurch High School – The Good Life Happy Earth Project – Delivering workshops on the school farm aimed at educating people on how to reduce their carbon footprint.

Friends of Warwick Park – Butterfly Sensory Garden & Escape – Creation of Butterfly sensory garden to provide a place of tranquillity and contemplation for the local community in Upton.

St John Plessington Catholic College – Ban the Bottle – Recycling single-use plastics at St John Plessington, Bebington – Promote the use of reusable water bottles in school & provide recycling bins for students to recycle single-use plastics and reduce waste.

Parish of St Paul and St Luke – Tranmere Welcome to St Pauls – Creation of a community wildlife garden, with garden furniture built from reclaimed wood, and a school mural educating people about local environmental issues.

Tam O’Shanter Urban Cottage Farm Trust – The Old Pig Field – Transformation of disused muddy pig field into a publicly accessible green space in Bidston.

Rotary Club of Mid Wirral, Heswall and West Wirral – Wildflowers on the Puddydale – Creation of summer wildflower area in an urban setting, increasing biodiversity and engaging the community.

Wirral Barn Owl Trust nest box live stream.

Wirral Barn Owl Trust website & Facebook.