Converting a breeze block tin shed into a house

Warrington Nature Conservation Forum are pleased that the Planning Chiefs have turned down the planning application 2021/38827.

Chair Geoff Settle said “As a former member of the planning committee I have been present when some strange applications have been put forward and converting a breeze block mushroom shed with no proper foundations and a tin roof into a house is certainly one of the weirdest.

He was contacted in March 2020 by a former work colleague Bob Hignett who moved to Weaste Lane eleven years ago attracted by its rural setting in the Green Belt. Geoff said “Bob contacted me about his concerns over a planning application that intended to use their narrow shared driveway and then cross their main garden and perimeter fence. The local residents association WLARA also wanted to know if I could advise on any relevant wildlife issues.

“After a site visit and a discussion with Bob and some of the neighbours, I consulted with my WNCF members and lodged an objection on behalf of our committee. I could not believe the condition of the barn and the misery and disruption the project would cause residents. There was a storm of objections from many Weaste Lane residents. WBC Highways Officer visited and produced a detailed analysis of the site. The application was then surprisingly withdrawn at the 11th hour.

This wasn’t the end of the matter and a new application was lodged that proposed to use a public footpath as an access point from the A50. In preparation for the application the applicant cut down a row of mature trees along the A50 and was proposing to use the footpath as an access.

Geoff as WNCF chair is a former steering group member of the Mersey Forest and a path warden. He advised the local Residents to contact Simon Twigg (WBC Forestry Officer) and also the Rights of Way officer.

He said “Trees of this age should in my view be protected. I contacted Simon a few years ago about an application to build flats on the Latchford railway embankment. All the trees on the right hand-side railway bridge had been cut down by the time I was contacted by shop keepers in Latchford Village. Simon was able to halt any more destruction by placing TPO’s on the left-hand side to protect them and the wildlife that they support.

“Definitive footpaths are also protected because they are public rights of way. People have fought long and hard for their right to roam and in this case, it is a popular route for walkers and also a useful connection for residents.”

Geoff went to see the footpath at the proposed access point on the A50. He was shocked when he compared the current view with an image on Google Maps. The tranche of healthy trees had been removed near the proposed access. All he found was newly sawn stumps with fresh sawdust and the hedge cropped near to the ground.

At this time Geoff was still getting used to his new replacement left hip and struggled on the muddy, stony pavement. Due to the pandemic, he was used to fewer cars on the Warrington highways and became acutely aware of the traffic speed and volume at this narrow section of the A50.  Speeding traffic on the 60 mph A50 is a regular occurrence and cars driving at 70+ mph are often seen on the wrong side of the road.

Geoff said “A vehicle coming from the M6 over took a car on the other side of the road to me heading down hill towards Town. The first I knew was feeling a gust of wind as it sped past, missing me by inches.  

“It was like the feeling I get on the first night of practice week at the Isle of Man TT where I’ve marshalled for ten years. John McGuiness’ record average speed is 132.70mph but his top speed is much higher in places.  This car caught me by surprise as I had my back to it. At the TT your brain adapts to the speed of the bikes and side cars as they come hurtling towards you. But they don’t come from behind you!”

Geoff submitted a second list of objections. These included the poor quality of the applicant’s ecology report and omission about the wildlife of the surrounding fields and brooks. In addition the unsuitability of the footpath as an access, the unnecessary destruction of trees and the suspect nature of the barn as suitable for conversion are all reasons why we believe that it should have been turned down.

Looking on the WBC website, other people objecting included 30+ local residents, the Grappenhall & Thelwall Parish Council, Councillor Ian Marks. John Groves formerly WBC and now an independent consultant did a review of the application against current regulations for conversions.

Geoff said, “We cannot have developers calling the tune to WBC. There are rules laid down and these are being abused with some commencing work before submitting their applications or being given permission”.

“The residents are allowed their say and, in this case, they have all done a brilliant job but I believe like Arnie that the applicant will appeal, and he’ll be back.”

Geoff Settle (

Chair WNCF

Birch Avenue; Wall of Mud (Feb 2021).

Birch Avenue, wall of mud

Last year neighbours in Birch Avenue invited Warrington Nature Conservation Forum (WNCF) to investigate doing a bat survey for them. They wanted to know the species of bat flying overhead in the evenings.

Unfortunately, it poured down with rain and the evening came to an early close. However, the residents took the opportunity to talk about other wildlife and the new fence that had been erected without planning permission. The planning inspector had said that on reflection the fence could stay.

Twelve months later the fence has been vandalised and the owner is building a replacement wall with a mound of soil and metal barrels.

Chair of the WNCF, Geoff Settle said, “I saw the wall on Facebook, that Satnam had constructed. After receiving my COVIC-19 jab with my wife on Saturday I took a short detour to Birch Avenue to see what all the fuss was all about.

“I was dumfounded and horrified. This style of construction reminded me of the 6ft wall made up of old tyres near Kingsway Bridge a few years ago.”

One resident said to me “What an eyesore! Would you want to live opposite this monstrosity?”

Geoff who studied Geography and Planning at the University of Coventry said that “This sort of action is unacceptable to my members. Why do people think that they get away with using such material to trash the environment?

“If this is acceptable to a planning inspector, then planning has gone to the dogs!”

WNCF are also asking where has the soil came from? Are there any invasive plants and seeds within? Are the barrels toxic and what will happen when the rains come? What will be the impact on residents, wildlife, and nature?

Geoff said, “The WNCF are always highlighting such things across the borough. There is too much of it going on. This incident reminded me of fly tipping on a grand scale resulting in a very unattractive wall of mud that will spill in the coming rains on to the pavement making it dangerous”.

“Is this what happens when the Prime Minister calls for a Lockdown?  It seems like developers can do what they want with little or no regard to resident’s views. Where is the enforcement from Warrington Borough Council when you need them? As a former member of the planning committee it is my view that this should not be happening.”

Kind Regards

Geoff Settle 

Wildlife Wonders – Birchwood Shopping Centre August 2019

On Saturday Risley Moss Action Group (RIMAG) hosted an event entitled Wildlife Wonders at Birchwood Shopping Centre’s Micro Park.

Organiser Paul Speake, RIMAG chair, said “It was a lovely warm sunny day. We invited eight partner groups to take part to help raise awareness of Birchwood’s natural environment and wildlife.

Model of New viewing platform to be erected at Risley Moss

“We had experts as well as enthusiasts to answer questions, give out free leaflets and activities for the young along with wild birds of prey on display.”

The wildlife partners taking part included Carbon Landscape Partnership, Warrington Nature Conservation Forum, Friends of Gorse Covert Mounds, Friends of Birchwood Forest Park, Friends of the Walled Garden, Birchwood Plant and Seed Swap, Birchwood Hedgehog Rescue and Wild Wings of Prey.

The Carbon Landscape Partnership

The unpredictability of British weather produced a few gusts of wind around midday. The first casualty was the Hedgehog Rescue gazebo that was blown over and had to be dismantled. Ironically hedgehogs are an endangered species, but it was the lovely hand-made ones that needed to be rescued. They were available for adoption at £5. The second gust hit the next-door Friends of Gorse Covert gazebo where Jill’s frog dip game was being enjoyed. The frogs took fright and dived below the water line.

It got a bit blowy during the afternoon

Jenny Griggs Carbon Landscapes – Community Engagement Co-ordinatorsaid, “No sooner had we rescued the hogs our gazebo flipped over backwards. We realised that the best way to stabilize it was remove the sides because they were acting like sails and carried on without incident.

“We were very grateful to Birchwood staff and Nigel Balding for their prompt help in the recovering the gazebo. I noticed the two girls who had been working on a Carbon Landscape activity, hadn’t moved inch. They’d been so engrossed in colouring and carried on for a long time.”

Geoff Settle, Warrington Nature Conservation Forum (WNCF) chair said, “We were sharing Jenny’s gazebo and our identification leaflets and books were scattered. The books are written by Rob Smith, local author and ecologist, about the birds and amphibians of Risley Moss.”

Rob is selling his books and donating the proceeds to a RIMAG fund that will go towards the costs of a replacement for the Observation Tower that was burnt down. A model of the replacement was on display at the RIMAG table.

Paul concluded by saying that “We are very grateful that Birchwood Shopping Centre for letting us use the Micro Park. It is a lovely outdoor space with play facilities and picnic tables.

“We are pleased to have achieved our main objective of raising people’s awareness about the variety of wildlife in Birchwood and how to get involved.

“It was great to see Jenny Griggs from the Carbon Landscape Partnership. All the groups here today have an association with the project that extends from Wigan to Warrington. It incorporates the Pestfurlong and Risley Mosses as well as Rixton Clay Pits, Woolston Eyes and Paddington Meadows. You can discover more by going to their web site .”

The Big Butterfly Count – 19th July – 11th August

The Warrington Nature Conservation Forum (WNCF) have joined Chris Packham in urging people to join in the Big Butterfly Count.

WNCF media manager Paul Speake said “This is a great annual event and just like the Garden Bird Count anyone can take part.

“All you need to do is to log onto the Butterfly Conservation web page and download a The Big Butterfly Count Chart containing 19 species of butterflies and count how many they see in a place in 15 minutes. The results can then be easily entered on your mobile or PC.”

Chris Packham, who is patron of Woolston Eyes where you can find most varieties, launched the Big Butterfly Count on BBC 1 TV. He said that over 100,000 people took part last year and recorded one million sightings across the UK.

He said “We need the raw data to learn more about the natural world and what is happening to butterflies, its good science.

“This is also a great opportunity to get people outdoors and help improve their mental health.  We are proud to be doing this in association with MIND this year.”

WNCF chair, Geoff Settle said “I’ve seen most of the butterflies on The Big Butterfly Count Chart this year and all within five minutes-walk of my house. One good place for me is standing on the “new” environmental bridge that crosses Spittle Brook. It was built as part of the environmental flood protection scheme for Cinnamon Brow and has fantastic view across the stream’s floodplain where there is a tremendous variety of wildflowers.

“In the early warm Spring weather, I spotted the following butterflies in the area: Brimstone, Ivy Blue, many Peacocks, Commas and loads of Orange Tips during the warmer months early in the year.

Comma ( Polygonia c-album)

Unfortunately, since then there has been a lot of rain which has put a dampener on the butterflies. They need the warmth of the sunshine to bring them out and it’s only recently that the Large and Small Whites have appeared flying high and fast and the meadow browns scurrying between the tall grasses.”

Geoff is now looking forward to a buddleia cutting, given to him by his brother some four years ago that has begun to flower attracting Peacocks and Red Admirals butterflies. He said “The buddleia has taken ages to grow but this year it is looking good and open for business.

“The rest of the garden contains many plants that my wife who is a keen gardener has planted flowers that have attracted many insects and butterflies to the garden, including the Holly Blue.”

Holly blue ( Celastrina argiolus)

To find out more about the Big Butterfly Count and plants to grow in your garden go to and like Chris Patten says get out there and enjoy the experience.

Warrington Nature Conservation Forum – Draft Local Plan – Press Release June 2019

Warrington Nature Conservation Forum (WNCF) whose members include ecologists and wildlife specialists are urging people to ask themselves

“Is wildlife under threat on your doorstep by the proposals in the draft local plan?” 

WNCF enjoying Wigg Island

The WNCF was established in 1992 as part of Agenda 21 which was itself a spin off from United Nations Rio Summit on the Environment, the forum’s aims are to involve local people in decision making on matters affecting the natural environment and enable the management of wildlife habit threats in the Borough of Warrington and provide better access to nature alongside our Wildlife partners.

Ecologist and WNCF media officer, Dr Paul Speake said “Hardly a week goes by without a reference in the media to threats on wildlife and climate change, for example

Les Jones, ornithologist welcomes the plans acknowledgement of the Borough’s natural assets that include 55 local wildlife sites, 5 local nature reserves, 4 Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and 3 Special Areas of Conservations (SACs). He said “Warrington has so much more that also needs protecting especially on very small sites such as the rare orchids (Bee and Northern Marsh) from being mowed down in Stockton Heath and Birchwood Way verges. Other wildlife species are sprayed with herbicides.”

A sign WBC should invest in?

“Our view is that a plan should begin with an assessment of the natural environment. What we see is a plan driven by exaggerated Central Government housing targets and a lottery for land grab by developers. Sacrificing the Green Belt is not an option that we support.”

Since 2014 the town has been without a natural environmental officer, Brian Martin renowned ornithologist said “We are renewing our call for WBC to re-instate the role of a natural environmental officer which was killed off five years ago because of austerity. This is a very significant role which has been contracted out to Greater Manchester Ecology Unit based in Tameside.

“Warrington needs to re-instate the role in-house that is so important because of the sheer amount of planning applications due to be processed. There have been too many examples of developers destroying creature’s habitat like badger sets, small thickets or ponds.

Paul Speake said “People should contact us (via our web site or Facebook) or the Cheshire Wildlife Police Officer via 101 if they suspect anyone causing damage to local habitat.

“A shopkeeper alerted Geoff to a tree chainsaw massacre taking place on the Latchford railway embankment prior to a planning application being made for flats. He was able to contact the WBC Tree Officer to investigate and he immediately served tree preservation orders on the remainder. Time is of the essence in the cases some developers are either ignorant or don’t care. There is no excuse for ignorance in such matters”

The Mersey Forest based at Risley Moss have a plan for Warrington that is of great importance to the borough which is not referenced in the plan. It contains a Tree Strategy Planting Map with 21 policies and opportunities for the borough. As a former steering group member for nine years Geoff is very aware of the leading role that the MF play in the UK Community Forest network and their numerous awards for conservation excellence.

He said “The council has a great partner in the Mersey Forest who can understand the greater importance of trees to capture carbon and pollution to help mitigate climate change. This would reduce impact of sound alongside busy roads and motorways. In addition, tree roots bind earth and help fight against soil erosion and flooding whilst their canopies provide a wildlife corridor for bats, insects, birds etc. and shade.

The WNCF welcomes the recognition in the plan that it’s environmental assets, including its sites of international, national and local importance for biodiversity must continue to be protected and opportunities taken to enhance their function and value, including improving linkages between them, through a comprehensive Green Infrastructure network.

Geoff said “As a geographer and a parish path warden, I hope there will be an opportunity to establish new footpaths even though WBC is without a rights of way officer. From a wildlife point of view, I would like to see the development of Linescapes or green footpaths for wildlife as advocated by Hugh Warwick.

“He told me about his lifetime research of hedgehogs and their movements. He argued that the principles are applicable to other species to get to places to feed or breed. They should be protected, and any obstacles removed or mitigated.”

The WNCF are very concerned about loss of parts of Moore Nature Reserve.Brian Martin said “The well-established evidence of the health benefits of exposure to wild places and wildlife which will be no longer available to the hundreds of people who regularly visit Moore Reserve if it is lost.

“Many of them tell me how important the Reserve is to them as a refuge from all the stresses of everyday life.  I see no evidence in the Plan that such important issues have even been considered.

“The wet woodland habitat found here is increasingly rare and is home to several Red List species such as Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and Willow Tit as well as the bittern with its deep boom. Recreating wet woodland would not be easy and inevitably take a long time. Planners seem to take the simplistic and uninformed view that any loss could easily be compensated: it can’t.”

Ecologist and author (on birds of Risley Moss) Rob Smith a member of the RSPB said “When new members receive their information pack they are immediately struck by the strap line ‘GIVE NATURE A HOME’ this is the message that we  believe should also be at the heart of the Local Plan.” Once the natural environment is concreted, bricked or tarmacked over they will be lost forever.”

The closing date for comments about the local plan is June 17th click on for more details.”

Geoff Settle (Chair WNCF).

Wild Flower Conservation 2019

A letter sent by our Chairman to Warrington Borough Council in the spring of 2019

can you pass this email onto the person in charge of the mowing team please and ask for a response?

I am writing on behalf of the Warrington Nature Conservation Forum as chair and checking up on the holding off mowing in two small area of land for a month or so. Birchwood Way grass verge alongside the cycle path (People are amazed at the sight of Bee-Orchids) and Greenall Avenue Stockton Heath at the edges of the small field along side the footpath by the woods).  This gives rare orchids and other wildflowers to grow and supports many other things into the bargain.

Firstly – pass on our thanks for not mowing the grass either side of the M6 bridge that goes from Poulton North to Birchwood on the left grass verges. We note that there has been a minimal border cut which is fine.

What has emerged is clear evidence on many rare bee-orchid spikes, but no northern marsh as of yet. There have been no signs of either during the last couple of years because of mowing.

Bee Orchid ( Ophrys apifera)

In the second area at Stockton Heath this morning beyond the WBC vehicle and woodland there is only about 6 spikes and these are on the right hand side of the path through the thicket. Five years or so ago I recorded about 50 bee-orchid spikes. There are none around the small edge of the field and clear evidence that the mower is being worked close to the small wood. However there is one solitary purple orchid that has so far survived. It would be nice if this could be preserved in some way.

The WNCF would like to meet up with a representative to see if anything can be done to protect wildflowers in Warrington – perhaps not to the extent of a Scottish Sign that I have attached but certainly something along these lines.

I will copy in to this email Gail Quartly-Bishop whose specialises in identifying where Warrington wildflowers are located and can perhaps be part of the process to build up maps, processes etc that could prove useful in protecting them and ultimately helping people of Warrington to appreciate their beauty, well-being and preservation.

Return of Swifts to the Towers of Warrington

Swifts (Apus apus) are superb fliers; you will see them soon when they return to Warrington from Southern Africa. They spend most of the year in Africa but during our summer the birds migrate to the UK to breed from May to September

The Warrington Nature Conservation Forum (WNCF) hope that they will nest in the St Elphin Tower in the swift nest boxes that they installed late last year and in the Swift Tower close to the Warrington Guardian Head Office on Centre Park.

Swift Tower at Centre Park, Warrington

They nest inside cavities, mostly in buildings across traditional terraced housing estates in Warrington and their nests are located high up in the roof space under the eaves of old houses and churches where the birds can drop into the air from the high nest entrance.

There used to be a colony of swifts breeding in St Elphin’s Church Tower in Warrington for many years where their acrobatic displays were a great sight to see. Unfortunately, populations of these magnificent birds have fallen by 51% in their breeding numbers in the UK between 1995 and 2015, swifts are now an amber-listed species and no longer nest in the tower.

Brian Martin, former Chair of the Warrington Nature Conservation Forum has been studying the swifts for decades and has documented the changes across Warrington and Cheshire. He is a renowned expert on the species and said, “There are still colonies of swifts that can be seen across the town where older housing stock exists, Westy for example is a good place to see them. However, our survey results in the town confirm the national trend that their numbers have fallen.

“I have been looking at ways to reverse the downward trend by advising new house builders to design the eaves of houses to accommodate them. I have also tried to persuade people to stop blocking up existing nest entrances and encouraged others to mount swift boxes below the eaves of their houses. They are not too expensive, and you could put one below the eaves of your house.

Swift Boxes in the tower at St Elphins Chuch, Warrington

Brian’s comprehensive records show that there used to be a successful swift colony breeding in the St Elphin’s Church Tower several years ago. He has been investigating ways to improve the chances of enticing them back and after a lot of tireless work it looks as if his efforts may soon be rewarded.

He said “I contacted ornithologists Louise and Jim Bentley for their expertise in designing, constructing and installing boxes. They came to look at the site and confirmed that it was an excellent one with a high chance of establishing a colony.

With this positive news myself and Helen Lacy contacted the Rector of St Elphins, Paul Wilson, to get permission from members of the Parochial Church Council to permit the installation of the swift boxes. The Rector was very supportive, and I am pleased to announce that work to install swift boxes by Louise and Jim Bentley assisted by Les Jones of the forum took place late last summer.”

Helen said, “In an effort to draw swift’s attention to the new site and tempt the birds into the boxes at St Elphins and the Sift Tower at Centre Park recordings of swifts will be played in both towers.

It is hoped that the recordings may entice investigation by swifts that may be fruitful in future years. There is no immediate guarantee, but it is hoped that we will be able to look up at the tower this summer and see the birds in action during our warm pleasant evenings catching insects on the wing.”

Chair Geoff Settle said “I took over the Chair of the WNCF from Brian 10 years ago. I consider myself so lucky as a rooky amateur to be able to draw from expertise and knowledge from members like him and champion their work.

“Click on this link to hear an interview with radio 4, a couple of years ago, talking about the birds of Woolston Eyes at this time of the year

“I’m sure that after hearing this you will want to find out more about Warrington’s SSSI site Woolston Eyes “

Geoff Settle

Chair WNCF

WNCF reaction to the Local Plan

Here are my initial thoughts about the Local Plan published today 

Responding to the draft local plan, Geoff Settle Chair of the Warrington Nature Conservation Forum says:

“Good to see that our request for the concept of Linescapes, remapping, enhancing and reconnecting Warrington’s fragmented wildlife sites by enhancing and improving linkages has now been incorporated.” But “Very concerned about the Port of Warrington’s impact on Moore Nature Reserve”

“Concerned about the inclusion of Peel Hall – the inspector currently says a big fat NO to applicant”

“Loss of Green Belt unacceptable there must be a better way – if not it’s gone forever”

“Need greater assurance that WBC will properly scrutinise planning applications for potential impact on wildlife and scrutinise and enforce planning guidelines on cowboy developers”

“Our grandchildren are going to hate us if we get this and climate change wrong, we have to deliver a sustainable plan that protects the natural environment”

Whilst a comment from an exec member reads:

My only comment in such as short time is – and it’s based on something that’s happened in the past week.

A piece of land near the Spar at Risley has just been cleared & the trees along the roadside have been felled.  I assume its for construction of a new office block/warehouse which – if true, is surprising given that there are several empty warehouses/office blocks around the area that are up for rent or sale.  Surely part of the plans priority and development should be about utilising these buildings or the land they stand on rather than using new land for construction or these properties standing empty.  

How many buildings like this stand empty & unused around the town and potentially could be brought back into use as housing or even better flats, thereby taking the pressure of green belt land perhaps?

And in response to the article Geoff wrote

Thanks Freddie, I got a degree in Geography and Economics at Lanchester Polytechnic Coventry University) and I look bad at what we were taught the in planning etc and look at what is happening now with disgust – guess who was at the same place as me a certain director Andy Farrell? Why does he not have the same ethos as me? I spent time in my Mayoral year helping to redevelop the WNCF page on the council web site (having had a thirty year career in IT) and I felt that the changes were very good we had a backlog of our WNCF newsletters etc.

Approximately 4 weeks later the page was taken down due to a need to save money blaming austerity it was like a smack in the face but only worse – what about the expense already spent on the IT man’s time what a waste e was up to date and virtually maintenance free. Unbelievable but at least Andy is going to retire like me this year. I used to have time for him but I can’t understand why protection for the Natural Environment is not top of such a Local Plan. Oh did I say Natural Environment well what hurt me most was the loss of Warrington BRILLIANT Natural Environmental Officer – she had to go to save money! Fortunately she got a job straight away and is doing very well and with the kind help of RIMAG (Risley Moss Action Group) we have a new WEB Site

There’s saving money and there’s ..I could go on but …take a look at our Facebook site that I set up some time ago and pls like it.

BTW Russ Bowden did a tremendous job on the fight to stop the Rixton Clay Pigeon Shoot castle from being built – that was one we lost at the Inquiry after the cowboys had built the thing without planning permission and no meaning full enforcement by the council plus in the process they got the Wildlife status of the area removed because they found a loop whole in the Cheshire Wildlife evidence – they showed the Inspector that due process of the survey they did was flawed because they missed out talking to a farmer. The planning world is crazy and I spent 4 years on the committee. Having said this the bad experience has helped me fight Peel Hall along with a FANTASTIC drive of local residents none more so than Margaret Steen – the Fountain of knowledge (and Queen of Peel Hall) about planning in relation to the area since 1999 and more recently Wendy Johnson-Taylor. Two BRILLIANT ladies who have shown great leadership qualities. We still have a long fight ahead but all sorts of stuff is and has been going on that we always try and get across to the Inspector as we get to the Inquiry stage for the umpteenth time – there is very little time between successful milestone plans. We also have Steve (Wildlife Photographer extraordinaire and WG Green Champion of the year a while back). Its such a boost to have them and a couple of others who won’t give up easily. Rant over.

On a general note please lets us know via our web site if you have an items of concern that you think might impact wildlife and the natural environment.


Geoff Settle

Re-establishing a colony of swift at St Elphins Church

For many years there used to be a colony of swifts breeding in St Elphins Church Tower in Warrington.

Since it was interrupted, Brian Martin has been working tirelessly to try and get the colony re-established.  His attempts have taking another step recently with the installation in early June of bird nest boxes specifically designed for swifts.


These will be enhanced with recordings of swifts to tempt birds into the boxes.  Although this will not happen this season at least the recordings may entice investigation that may be fruitful in future years.  WNCF would like to thank firstly, Louise and Jim Bentley for their expertise in designing, constructing and installing the boxes, the Rector of Warrington, Paul Wilson, for his support for the project over many years and members of the Parochial Church Council at St.Elphins who helped in so many ways. Les Jones of the Forum did a lot of carrying of materials and assisting with the installation on the day. Last, but by no means least, thanks must go to Helen Lacey who worked with Brian Martin on this project for several years and is so delighted to hear that the boxes are now in place and awaiting their first breeding Swifts. The population of these magnificent birds has fallen by over 50% since 1995 and it is through initiatives such as this, that we hope to maintain and even increase the numbers of breeding Swifts in Warrington. They certainly need our help!

Brian Martin on Radio 4

Brian Martin : The Living World

On Sunday last I woke up and switched the radio on just after 6 30am and suddenly heard my voice! it was on a programme called the Living World that was recorded at Woolston in 2000. I walked around the Eyes with a man called Lionel Kellaway who introduced the programme for many years. It was part of a new series highlighting the apparently best of the old Living Worlds. I didn’t know it was going to be broadcast but in the following hour received 3 emails and 2 telephone calls from people who had heard it. It can be found on the BBC  iPlayer for Radio 4 starting at 6 30 am on 24th June.


Radio 4 The Living World Woolston Eyes


Brian Martin