Woolston Community Protection Camp


Woolston Community Protection Camp started in Spring 2015 as a protest against Peel Holdings & the extreme energy industry who plan to start Coal Bed Methane mining just yards from one of the Norths’ biggest nature reserves – Woolston Eyes

The Camp has grown organically into a community & the protectors on-site have increased community awareness of the extreme energy industry with a number of community awareness days, Festivals & Solidarity Sundays

Protectors brave all sorts of weather conditions to keep the camp happening and the Community Protection Camp organisers welcome donations, so if you want to help with the anti-fracking movement, please visit the camp & donate food & useful items during the winter months, when the support is most needed!

The site is highly controversial with many question marks over the original Ecology Reports that were used for the permits, and huge community concern over the prospect of extreme enery mining happening in such close proximity to an internationally important nature reserve

The Woolston Community Protection Camp is a beautiful show of the people standing their ground against the dirty extreme energy industry & big business, and the presence of the camp is a very real and constant reminder that we still have a lot of work to do to get rid of the extreme energy industry, it is also an opportunity for people new to the growing anti-fracking movement to join in, get involved & see what we are fighting for!

Northern Quota: Woolston Anti-fracking Camp

The Woolston Community Protection Camp is situated yards from the Old River Mersey


Support Woolston Community Protection Camp


Bentley On Mersey – Where Fracking Ends In England ?


Woolston Protectors Are National Heroes


Frack Off! Woolston Community Protection Camp


Manchester Ship Canal World Heritage Group says “No More Destruction!”


Fracking still has NO SOCIAL LICENSE!!



Local media on Woolston Community Protection Camp

Solidarity Sunday @ Woolston Community Protection Camp, July 2015


Green Surge


Todays’ big bird news along the Manchester Ship Canal is the sighting of a drake North American Green-winged Teal at Woolston Eyes Nature Reserve in Cheshire

For more details on permits & access please visit:


This Autumn has seen an influx of North-American Green-winged Teals to the UK with a ringed drake on the Hayle Estuary in Cornwall (thought to have been ringed in the USA – details still to be confirmed), 2 drakes on Caerlaverock Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust Nature Reserve in Dumfries & Galloway, and sightings of drakes at Dee Estuary in Cheshire, Martin Mere in Lancashire, Venus Pool in Shropshire, Saltholme RSPB on Tees-side, Belvide Reservoir in Staffordshire, North Ronaldsay in Orkney Islands, & Tiree on the Western Isles

Birders Get Twitchy On #LancashireDay


Lancashire Day is the 27th November, a superb time of year to celebrate the amazing numbers of wading birds and wildfowl that fly into Lancashire for the winter, creating a unique nature spectacle on our marshes and estuaries

The highlight of Lancashire Day was a rare duck from North America, the North American Green-winged Teal spotted on Vinsons Marsh at Martin Mere Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust

Lancashire goose watchers deserve big credit for all the hours spent looking through the huge Pink-footed Goose flocks for rare geese – on the Ribble Estuary SSSI 3 Tundra Bean Geese, a Eurasian White-fronted Goose & 3 Barnacle Geese were located at Hesketh Bank and at Preesall Park on The Fylde a Greenland White-fronted Goose and a Barnacle Goose were spotted in amongst the “Pinks”

Greater Scaup & Long-tailed Duck are species that are associated with coastal environments, but this winter both species are present on inland waters such as Pennington Flash Country Park

3 Greater Scaup have delighted duck-watchers on Fairhaven Lake and a female Greater Scaup was on the Freemans’ Pools on 25th

Eurasian Bitterns were seen at Bryn Marsh on the Greenheart Wigan Flashes, Leighton Moss RSPB, Marton Mere Local Nature Reserve & Brockholes Lancashire Wildlife Trust, while sightings of Great White Egret & Cattle Egret are becoming regular in Lancashire these days

Bohemian Waxwings have made it to Lancashire from Scandinavia in time for Lancashire Day with sightings reported from Silverdale & Blackburn

A pair of Bearded Tits were spotted on The Fylde on Lancashire Day – on the Fleetwood Marsh Nature Park at grid reference SD337465

Great Grey Shrikes have graced two Lancashire Wildlife Trust nature reserves during November – Brockholes & Little Woolden Moss

Also in Salford, 16 Goldeneye on the River Irwell (“The Goldeneye Capital of the North”), and a female Eurasian Wigeon is a superb sighting for the new Castle Irwell Wetlands Nature Reserve

Celebrate #LancashireDay


#LancashireDay – Time To Celebrate Lancashires’s wildlife/environment/scenery

The now annual Lancashire Day is upon us, with the official day on Sunday 27th November

It is a time to celebrate all things Lancashire, our food, culture, environment & wildlife

One of the first events happens – a screening of “Before The Flood” the Leonardo diCaprio film – on Friday 25th November from 7pm-9pm Mystery Tea House, 23 Cannon Street, Preston P31 3NR (organisers suggest a donation of £2:50 entry)

“Before The Flood” was released recently via National Geographic & is a very clear film highlighting the big global environmental issues of our time – if you want to know what everyone is on about talking about climate change, then watch this film!

On Sunday 27th November there is a “Birding For Beginners” Course during the morning at Leighton Moss RSPB

Rare birds seen recently in Lancashire include Desert Wheatear & 4 Purple Sandpipers on Blackpool Beach, American Wigeon & Great White Egrets on the Southport Marshes & Leighton Moss RSPB, Cattle Egrets on Marshside RSPB, Siberian Chiffchaff at Brockholes, 3 Greater Scaup on Fairhaven Lake, North American Green-winged Teal at Martin Mere, with small numbers of Barnacle Geese amongst the huge flocks of Pink-footed Geese









Mandarin – Symbol of Manchester National Park City


A stunning advert for Manchester National Park City is the Mandarin Duck – it is a very colourful representation of a changing world & a strong ecological link between China & Manchester

During the 1990’s and the 21st century the Mandarin Duck has become a star bird on the birding scene in Greater Manchester – the Mandarin is now a big part of the local wildlife in the Manchester area with a recent increase in the population

The biggest numbers are present around the south-east of Greater Manchester – along the River Goyt, River Etherow, Mersey Valley & the River Tame, including Reddish Vale

Etherow Country Park is THE site to see Mandarin Duck, it is the Mandarin capital of Manchester, the habitat seems to be perfect for this species at Etherow Country Park

Mandarins need healthy freshwater systems such as rivers, streams & canals, & woodland to nest in tree-holes, therefore a thriving Mandarin population is a great advert for a healthy Mancunian ecosystem & these birds are a marketing persons’ dream

Mandarins can also be seen to the south and west of Manchester – in rural Wigan, Worthington Lakes, the stately manors of Dunham Park & Bramhall Park & along the Bridgewater Canal

A pair were present on Salford Docklands during Spring 2011, with perhaps the same pair present on the River Irwell adjacent to Manchester city centre

The estimated 2500 breeding UK pairs would seem to be bigger than the Russian & Chinese populations put together, therefore, the UK population seems to be significant in terms of the global conservation of this species


Birders flock to The Fylde in Lancashire


Photo: The Fylde Future marketing campaign suggests EcoTourism as a new growth industry for the area, along with Renewable Energy and Sustainable Agriculture

Birdwatchers are currently flocking to The Fylde in Lancashire to see a very rare bird, a Desert Wheatear, that can be found on the beach between Lytham & Blackpool & still present this morning, Sunday 20th November 2016

As the name suggests, the Desert Wheatears’ natural range is deserts, North Africa, the Middle-East & Asia

In recent years the Desert Wheatear has become a regular late autumn vagrant in the UK, with some famous previous Lancashire birds – one on Crosby beach on Merseyside in 2008, one in traditional Lancashire, Salford, on Irlam Moss – a spring male in March 2007, a male in Blackpool, November 1994 that drew a large crowd to a Tesco’s cark park!, and a very popular female bird in Fleetwood on the Rossall Point Golf Course in November 1991

The current bird is a smart looking male, and was apparently found on an RSPB trip on Fairhaven Beach on Saturday 19th November

Also in the area, 3 Greater Scaup on Fairhaven Lake, 2 Great White Egrets on Lytham Quay, Bittern at Marton Mere, 4 Purple Sandpipers on Blackpool North Beach, with big flocks of Pink-footed Geese dotted around The Fylde, including a flock of 2500 at Stalmine with 2 Barnacle Geese, and a big flock of Whooper Swans on Eagland Hill

The Fylde Bird Club provide a superb information service @


EcoTourism is an industry on the rise with Tourists worldwide looking for environmental experiences during holidays – The Fylde is perfectly situated to benefit from an increase in Northern England EcoTourism, with a big accommodation industry, scenic beaches, estuaries and farmland, the Solaris Centres, the Wyre Estuary Country Park, Marton Mere, occasional pelagic trips, a recognisable Renewable Energy symbol (the Lytham windmill!) & the Rossall Point Visitor Centre


New Books Celebrate Salford Docklands


“The Birds Of Salford Docklands” price £4:99

Available online @ Amazon Kindle

Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MQICE2S


“Fruitful Futures: Imagining Pomona” price £15:00

Available online @ Cornerhouse Publications

Link: http://www.cornerhousepublications.org/publications/fruitful-futures/


Two new books available online celebrate Salford Docklands – the heritage of the past, wildlife and habitats here in the present and what could be in the future with ambition and foresight

Both books are the result of years of hard work from a community of ecologists, journalists, campaigners, students and academics who appreciate the heritage and ecological value of the docklands area, once known as Salford Docks and now known as Salford Quays

Author of the “The Birds Of Salford Docklands”, James Walsh says “It is a big pleasure to be involved in the writing of both of these books that document a professional approach to this unique, urban, inland docklands”

“With “The Birds Of Salford Docklands” I have taken the approach of a Bird Report where all the birds that have been recorded on the site are listed in scientific order with scientific names and a summary of each species’ status”

Three generations of James’ family were Salford dockers and James sees parallels with the dockers and the Salford Docklands community that has formed today “The Salford dockers took pride in their work and a similar pride and attention to detail can be found in the style of these books – respect to the Pomona crew”

“The Birds Of Salford Docklands” takes a scientific approach whereas “Fruitful Futures: Imagining Pomona” takes a more artistic view and focuses on Pomona Docks, the flora & the potential of the site to be an Eden Project North

“If you read both books you should get a really good flavour of the alternative view of Salford Docklands – the internationally important heritage, the huge amount of flora, birds, bees and butterflies that are present in this urban jungle and some superb thoughts and plans on what could happen here in the future if the scientific, business, political and local community work together”



That’s Manchester coverage of “Fruitful Futures” Book Launch, thanks to @alecherron


Salford Star Article: The Birds of Salford Docklands Launch

Castleshaw Thing


Photo: Whooper Swans on Castleshaw Reservoir (copyright: @MancunianBirder)

Birdwatchers have recently scored a wildfowl double on Castleshaw Reservoirs near Oldham with sightings of Red-crested Pochard & Whooper Swan

On 31st October local birder Steve Suttill found a group of 3 Red-crested Pochard, including a spectacular adult drake, all the birds were un-ringed & fully-winged
This Eurasian species has a small population in southern England, with the Cotswold Water Park & the Idle Valley being the main sites, but is very rare in Greater Manchester
On 1st November James Walsh (aka the Mancunian Birder) found 4 adult Whooper Swans – these beautiful birds are likely to have just flown in from Iceland
The best site in the North of England to see big numbers of this species is Martin Mere Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in Lancashire where hundreds gather in the winter
Castleshaw Reservoirs are gaining a decent reputation amongst birdwatchers and earlier in the year a Great Northern Loon, a species of bird rarely seen inland, spent 4 months on the reservoirs attracting many birdwatchers to the site during its’ long stay
During the winter this site can attract rare gulls that visit the British Isles from the High Arctic such as the Iceland Gull and Glaucous Gull
James Walsh who is one of the founders of the new North England EcoTourism said “The Oldham area has many green assets that could be utilised for EcoTourism, such as Dovestones RSPB Reserve and Castleshaw Reservoirs, that could form an integral part of a wider Greater Manchester EcoTourism and Green Economy Plan”

The Birds Of Salford Docklands Book Now Online


Kindle: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01MQICE2S?ref_=k4w_ss_store_lp_uc

As the BBC airs David Attenboroughs’ “Planet Earth 2”, Manchester ecologist James Walsh aka The Mancunian Birder tells the story of the wildlife on the doorstep of the BBCs’ Media City in brand new book “The Birds Of Salford Docklands”

Sunday 6th November 2016 sees the first Television airing of David Attenboroughs’ phenomenal “Planet Earth 2”, the follow-up to the spectacular “Planet Earth”

Also on Sunday 6th November 2016 the Manchester Ship Canal World Heritage Group launched “The Birds of Salford Docklands”, a big compilation of thirty five years of ecological observations on the post-industrial docklands and the follow-up to the recently launched “Fruitful Futures: Imagining Pomona” book

James, the author, explains “As a child I was brought up with the Salford dockers, so I feel blessed that I am able to tell the story of Salford Docks from an ecologists’ perspective, this book takes a prolonged, intimate, careful look at a special urban area”

“Three generations of my family worked on Salford Docks, and now I have spent 10 years watching, recording, photographing and filming the wildlife of this area, including time as an ecology student and a professional ecologist with the Greater Manchester Ecology Unit, therefore I’m in a pretty unique position to tell the alternative story of the Salford Docklands”

“Ever since Salford Docks closed for business during the early 1980’s the docklands have become a Peoples’ Nature Reserve and I think people should be amazed at the amount of birds seen here”

“The book also highlights the international nature of Salford docks & wildlife – where once it was ships sailing into Salford docks from all over the world, now it is birds that are the global connection with birds flying into the site from all points north, south, east & west”

“In a way this book is about highlighting some unsung heroes, the Salford dockers were the unsung heroes of the industrial revolution, & the citizen scientists, the local patch ecologists of today are also unsung heroes, they monitor wildlife populations & campaign for the conservation of local sites, often volunteering to do so because they have a love & a passion for a site and its’ wildlife”

“In total 131 bird species have been recorded on the site, and in the book I suggest that this could just be the start of something special, the Manchester Ship Canal World Heritage Group have already started to do Birdwatching Cruises and environmental walks around the site, we have an official Big Five species to promote the site and Salford Docklands could become an official nature reserve”

The interest in the wildlife and environment of this site is peaking since the recent release of “Fruitful Futures: Imagining Pomona” and “The Birds of Salford Docklands” takes the ambition and creativity of that book to the next level

“We are now in the era of the Paris Agreement and we have to look at how we can utilise green assets on our own doorstep in the most positive way both for the economy and the environment, this book is a big step on that journey”

NEET Letter To Welcome Yorkshire


Dear Mr Verity,

I am writing to you regarding the EFRA Commons Select Committee meeting, scheduled for Wednesday 16th November 2016

I have EcoTourism & Tourism qualifications & an Ecology degree

I have had many amazing Yorkshire holidays that include family holidays to the Yorkshire Dales, the North York moors & coast

As a birdwatcher I have spent many good times at the nature reserves around south Yorkshire, Humber Estuary & Yorkshire coast

I find it very depressing & worrying that some of the places that I love are being touted as possible fracking sites – I have researched the fracking industry for more than 3 years & that includes up close & personal as we had test drilling on Barton Moss near Salford in Greater Manchester, I have also researched Crawberry Hill & the Kirby Misperton site – I cannot believe that the frackers are attempting to frack near to FlamingoLand!!

I urge you to read up on the One Million Climate Jobs campaign, the Zero Carbon Britain campaign & also the most recent events at COP22 / Paris Agreement

Here in the North of England we have a huge opportunity to be a world leader in Renewable Energy – we have the workforce, we have the scientists, we have the industrial background & experience

We also have the scenery, the wildlife & the nature reserves to be a world leader in EcoTourism

Fracking is completely the wrong direction to be heading in the UK, especially when you consider the possible effects global warming & sea-level rise could do to the Yorkshire coast, & the negative effects that the pollution could have on the Tourism & Agriculture industry, also I believe the Yorkshire Pot-Ash mine should be scrapped!

I urge you in the meeting to represent the thousands of Yorkshire people who are working very hard campaigning against the dirty fracking industry to safeguard land & water, & the jobs of the future

The anti-fracking community has always campaigned not just AGAINST fracking but in a very pragmatic & positive way FOR the alternative, the clean, green jobs of the future, climate jobs that can be created in Yorkshire with a clear vision & sensible investment

Yours faithfully

Mr James Walsh

Twitter: @MancunianBirder