Monday, 16 June 2014

Step back in time and discover a hidden history at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands

RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands trail

There's a hidden history to be uncovered at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands this month. From the picturesque mere itself, created by the family of former Prime Minister, William Gladstone, to the Iron Age hill fort at Burton Point, the nature reserve in the corner of the Wirral is home to far more than just wildlife.

A  Burton History Walk  will be held on Sunday 29 June, jointly led by a local historian and members of the RSPB team, to reveal the fascinating history of Burton village and the surrounding area. The reserve team has also linked up with Burton Manor Cafe  to provide a light lunch for participants at the end of the walk.
Dan Trotman, Visitor Development Officer for the RSPB s Dee Estuary reserve, said:  We focus so much on the brilliant variety of wildlife here that often we forget about the history and heritage that this land holds. Our role is to look forward and plan how we can help more wildlife to thrive here, but looking back to the past can be just as significant and rewarding in a different way.

Burton village was at one time all part of the Gladstone family estate, with the family home at Burton Manor, where we will culminate for lunch at the caf . Gradually the estate was broken up and sold, before the RSPB bought land at Burton Point Farm in 1988, giving us ownership of the hill fort.
This landmark was scheduled as an Iron Age promontory fort of national importance in 1995, and whilst similar to Iron Age forts found on the rocky coasts of Cornwall, Wales and the Isle of Man, it is the only example of this type in this area of England. Unusually, the fort may also have served as a high status homestead during the post-Roman period; few such sites have been identified in this area. The rich history of Chapel Field and Station Road will also be explored as we make our way up into the village centre.

We are really looking forward to sharing the fascinating history of Burton and hope as many people as possible can join us for this interesting walk.

Burton Point is not currently an accessible part of the reserve, so the walk allows an exclusive look at the hill fort, with dramatic views over the vast wetlands, across to the Welsh hills and as far as Hilbre Island at the mouth of the estuary. The circular walk, which requires participants to have a decent level of fitness, is approximately 3 miles in length and crosses grassed farmland in places.

The guided walk starts at 10 am from Burton Mere Wetlands and costs  £9 per person, ( £7 for RSPB members), which includes lunch at Burton Manor Cafe .  To book a place or for more information, phone 0151 353 8478 or email

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