<b>savethefestivalgardens@googlemail.com</b>
The Woods and the Wildlife  
Wood Sculpture Tree Stump from this year's clear felling Walkways abound - but are dangerous and derelict Aerial view

Home

The
Woods
The
Concrete
The
Campaign
The Public
Inquiry
In Depth Info
& Hot Links

WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO SAVE


  • Since they were planted for the International Garden Festival in 1984 the woodlands at the Festival Gardens have grown into a beautiful landscape and a very successful wildlife habitat for the Liverpool waterfront.

  • In 1984 more than 250,000 trees and shrubs were planted at the site - including a major planting for the waterfront landscape along the prom from the Britannia Arms south towards Otterspool. The waterfront woods were designed with more than 25 different varieties of trees to provide a harmonious setting of shades and shapes across the seasons.

  • Unlike the Festival Dome and the formal gardens - all of which became derelict through neglect by the Council and the companies who were supposed to be responsible for the site - the woodlands have grown bigger, denser and more impressive over the years.

  • These woods support a huge and varied population of birds. Each year more than 100 species of birds visit the Festival Gardens - with more than 30 species breeding. Just listen to the dawn chorus along the prom - without rival anywhere in Liverpool!

  • These woods are enjoyed by thousands of people who use the prom every week - people love the landscape and the tranquility of this special part of the prom. It is especially popular for people in wheelchairs - both young and old - and there are many regular visitors from care homes and hospitals.

    IF THE LANGTREE MCLEAN PLAN GOES AHEAD ALL OF THIS WILL BE DESTROYED


  • The woodland landscape will be cut down and replaced by a concrete curtain of seven huge apartment blocks each 8-storeys high (that's 23-metres or more than 90-foot) stretching along and overhanging the prom.

  • During years of building work this part of the prom will be boarded up and the grass picnic area which stretches in front of the woods will be turned into an access road for construction vehicles.

  • Although it looks like a natural part of the Liverpool waterfront the Festival Gardens are in fact a very clever man-made landscape designed to use nature to transform deadbeat industrial dereliction into the setting for a better future.

  • Beneath today's trees and thriving wildlife lies some 6 million tons of toxic waste capped by a thick layer of clay.

    The 88-acre site sits on top of one of Liverpool's largest landfill sites which in itself lay on top of very contaminated land from a previous oil jetty.

  • The hills at the Garden Festival Site are themselves man-made designed to calm down the breezes and storms blowing in from the Mersey.

  • The hills are said to cut strong breezes down by about 45% - which is one of the reasons why these woods have such an unusually welcoming micro-climate and why they attract so much wildlife.
  • These woods play an important part in the the visual appeal of the prom waterfront - and in its current success as a pleasant environment.

    [The prom in itself is now being increasingly recognised as a valuable and very distinctive part of what Liverpool has to offer as a city - the only problem being that the Festival Garden woodlands are now the last tranquil part of the prom left.]


  • The woods at the Garden Festival Site were planted as saplings in 1984 to provide the backdrop to the display gardens, water features and the large Festival Hall at Liverpool's International Garden Festival of 1984. Altogether some 250,000 trees and shrubs were planted - plus 50,000 bluebells.

    The biggest 'specimen' trees were already 30 foot high when they were planted in 1984 - but even lesser saplings were already ten years old on planting.

    The woodland consists of a more than 15 varieties of native or naturalized trees including: alder, beech, hazel, limes, maples, English oak, holm oak, Turkey oak, and American oak, rowan, Scots pine, poplars, silver birch, whitebeam, and willows.

    Schoolchildren were given a special role in building and planting the site - and there is a whole generation of Liverpudlians who had a hand in planting the woodland on the waterfront.

  • Approached from the City the Garden Festival provides a natural landmark marking the move from the 'built-up' prom walk of industrial properties and waterfront apartments to a greener, more spacious and more tranquil part of the Liverpool.

  • Closer up the woods reveal themselves to be the home of a huge variety of bird species - and a tremendously loud dawn and evening chorus.

  • Altogether more than 100 species of birds visit the woods according to local eco-experts - and more than 30 species of birds have bred this year including: blackbird, blackcap, bullfinch, carrion crow, chaffinch, chiffchaff, collared dove, dunnock, goldcrest, goldfinch, great spotted woodpecker, jay, linnet, magpie, mallard, mistle thrush, moorhen, robin, song thrush, sparrowhawk, stock dove, Tawny Owl, blue tit, coal tit, great tit, long-tailed tit, whitethroat, willow warbler, woodpigeon and wren.

    Species which have bred in recent years include the Lesser Whitethroat, Lapwing, Grey Partridge and Lesser Redpoll. Three grassland species of birds - bunting, skylark and meadow pippit - also breed in the rough grasslands to the south east of the Garden Festival Site. Several species of bird which actually nest outside the area such as Swifts, House Martins and starlings also use the Garden Festival Site during the breeding season.




    Home

    The
    Woods
    The
    Concrete
    The
    Campaign
    The Public
    Inquiry
    In Depth Info
    & Hot Links

    Web Site design by David Morton
    davidmmorton@hotmail.com