Court Hey Park

Court Hey Park (Diane Miller)

Description

Court Hey Park has a rich cultural and natural history. Having once been a part of the extensive land estate owned by Lord Derby the land was later purchased by Robertson Gladstone who built his estate including a mansion and  walled garden on the site. After changing several hands the site is now managed by Knowsley Council and until 2017 was the home of the National Wildflower Centre Millenium project. This park is very popular with the local community with an active friends group as well as cricket, bowling and cycling clubs based here. The site is also the home of the North Merseyside Local Environmental Records Centre, Merseyside BioBank.

This rich history and cultural history can also be seen in the park natural heritage. The site boasts a surprising range of specimen trees rarely found elsewhere, which formed part of the Gladstone collection. The site also boasts a rich diversity of native species encouraged by the activity of the National Wildflower Centre over the years and supported by the continuing sensitive management of the parks groundsworkers.

Wildlife Conservation

Part of Court Hey Park is a designated Local Wildlife Site, previously known as Sites of Local Biological Interest, recognised for its importance to local biodiversity.

The 2003 cited features of the park include;

  • 1 Priority BAP Habitats, 1 regionally important. (Neutral grassland - unimproved)
  • 11 habitats recorded.
  • 1 WCA Schedule 8; 1 species of conservation concern; 1 regionally important. (Native Bluebell - Hyacinthoides non-scripta)
  • Total of 64 plant species.
  • 87.5% of the plants are native to North Merseyside. Colonisation hasbeen aided by man and the site has been physically altered.

More recent monitoring has also raised awareness of other species of interest, including breeding populations of conservation priority species such as Great Crested Newt (Triturus cristatus), Toad (Bufo bufo) and Frog (Rana temporaria) and White-letter Hairstreak butterfly (Satyrium w-album). Other unsual finds include Waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus), Ring-necked Parakeet (Psittacula krameri), a small populaiton of a limestone specialist bryophyte, Wall Scalewort (Porella platyphylla) and the nationally rare worm Helodrilus oculatus!

The site is a superb place to encounter wildlife more generally. Bats or regularly encountered on the site as are a range of birds, butterflies, wildflowers and other invertebrates.

Community

You can get in touch with the Friends of Court Hey Park or find out more about the site using the links below;

Knowsley Council

 

 

Wildlife Recording

Join the Court Hey Park recording page

Enter a wildlife sighting

Explore record details