Burton Mere Wetlands
OS Grid Ref:-SJ319739
Opened in the Autumn of 2011, RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands, on the south of The Wirral Penninsula, is the RSPB's newest reserve. Together with Morecambe Bay, and the Ribble and Mersey estuaries, the Dee Estuary forms part of Europe's most important wetlands network for migrating birds, hosting almost a million every year.
Formerly known as Inner Marsh farm, the reserve includes areas of marshland, woodland and arable fields. The woods are a delight in spring when they are covered in a carpet of bluebells. Three shallow, freshwater pools have been created over which a hide looks. The nature trails which meander through the newly planted reedbeds are alive with all sorts of birds and creatures and Burton pools have lily pads and colourful wild flowers all around.
The wildlife changes there throughout the seasons. In autumn there are plenty of ducks and water birds as well as kingfishers and little egrets which can be seen fishing.
Birds which visit the site include Black-tailed Godwit, Spotted Redshank and Ruff. Winter also brings many ducks including Pintail, Teal and Wigeon, also small numbers of Bewick's Swan and Whooper Swan. Breeding birds include Sedge, Reed and Grasshopper Warblers and Reed Bunting. Raptors of interest can be seen over the marsh, from the reserve or from nearby Denhall Lane; these include Short-eared Owls, Hen and Marsh Harriers, Merlin, Kestrels and Peregrine Falcons.
Some of the wildlife is much more secretive, but there are brown hares, water voles, badgers and harvest mice living there too.
RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands nature reserve is open daily, with the reception building open from 9.30 am to 5 pm. The reserve is just 10 minutes from the M56. To get there turn off the A540 (Chester High Road), signposted 'The Craxton Wood Hotel' and the entrance is located down Puddington Lane, near Bishop Wilson Primary School.