Nature at
Ashton Park

The Lake

The lake is the single most important feature in Ashton Park and along with the children’s playground draws the most attention of most passers-by and visitors.

Part of the fascination with the lake is that it hosts a variety of birds that thrive around a watery habitat, some permanent residents some seasonal visitors and other occasional visitors seeking food.

A noticeboard containing information on the more common water birds can be found by the Dunraven Road gate.

Mallards (both the colourful male with the green head and the brown female) are residents as are tufted ducks, coots and moorhens.

Herring Gulls have come to colonise the lake unfortunately drawn in by the ready meals of bread brought by visitors feeding the ducks.

Herring gulls also feed off the baby duckings, coots, moorhens and even Canada Goose goslings. So please avoid feeding the Herring Gulls!

If you are feeding the ducks consider the contents of the notice below (also fixed to the sluice railings) carefully and buy our floating duck food (sold at the Waverley Newsagents on Banks Road and the Ashton Park teashop) rather than bring bread.

And remember what the lake can look like when you bring bread on a busy weekend in the park. Not only does it look unsightly, pollutes the water but it encourages rats in our park.

Other water birds that can be seen on the lake are shoveller, canada geese and occasional herons and cormorants round the island seeking fish in the lake. Small “tiddlers”, goldfish and garden pond carp can be seen in the lake on occasions.

Other birds and bats

Pipistrelle bats can be seen during the summer and autumn around the park. Good places are around the Lower Bowling Green and on the Wirral Way.

Commonly seen (or heard) birds in the rest of the park include:

    • Blackbird
    • Carrion Crow
    • Chiff Chaff
    • Dunnock
    • Fieldfare (winter visitor)
    • Finches – Goldfinch, Greenfinch, chaffinch
    • Jackdaw
    • Jay
    • Magpie
    • Nuthatch
    • Owl – Tawny
    • Redwing (winter visitor)
    • Robin
    • Starling
    • Swallow
    • Swift
    • Thrush – Mistle and Song
    • Tit – Blue, Coal, Great and Long-Tailed
    • Wagtail – Grey and Pied
    • Woodpecker – Greater Spotted
    • Wood Pigeon
    • Wren

Grey squirrels and foxes can be seen (or heard) in the park as well as, unfortunately, rats, and badgers are present in the area.

Flora and fauna

As an urban park with a lot of cut grass and overgrown shrubberies and dark tree canopy, there is not a huge variety of flowers but primroses, cowslip, daffodils, snowdrops, crocuses, aster, yellow flag, daises, foxgloves, St John’s Wort and some invasive plants like pendulous sedge, alexanders, ivy, mare’s tail and ground elder are spreading rapidly.

Ashton Park has a fine selection of mature trees, although sadly gales and disease are taking toll of some fine and interesting specimens such as the Araucaria Araucaria or Monkey Puzzle (said to have been donated by Edward Hadwin’s brother who was Head gardener at Holker Hall, in South Cumbria).

Wirral Council has a tree plan for the park to replace lost trees with new specimens where there is room to replant.

The FOAP has produced a tree trail featuring:

  • Atlas Cedar
  • Cherry
  • Common Ash
  • Common Beech
  • Common Yew
  • Copper Beech
  • English Oak
  • Holly
  • Holm Oak
  • Horse Chestnut
  • Lombardy Poplar
  • London Plane
  • Monkey Puzzle (now lost)
  • Palm (Cordyline)
  • Purple- Leaved Plum
  • Scots Pine
  • Silver Birch
  • Swamp Cypress
  • Tulip Tree
  • Weeping Willow
    Other trees found are: Betula Utilis Jacqumontii, Hawthorn, Hornbeam, Liquidabar (Sweetgum), Sorbus Aria, Sycamore.