Caring for nature and wildlife at Speke Hall

National Trust ranger digging a spade into the ground, with a volunteer placing a small tree into the ground

Speke Hall is home to a whole world of precious flora and fauna that we're proud to care for. Find out how we're helping nature at this special place and learn how you can help nature yourself at home.

Follow us on social media @NTSpekeHall to enjoy photos, news and behind the scenes access to the work we do. Don't forget to tag us or use #SpekeHall to share your own nature adventures here with us.

A new woodland for Speke

In March 2022, community groups and volunteers planted over 1,200 trees on Speke Hall's estate to improve habitats, store carbon, and help bring people closer to nature. From local schools and businesses to officers from Merseyside Police, as well as our own volunteers and staff, nearly 150 people have helped make this woodland a reality.

A bigger and better home for nature

Several tree species have been planted, including oak, scots pine and birch, which have been chosen to complement the native species already on the estate. This is important as we know they will be able to tolerate the soil and weather conditions. The woodland will support a variety of wildlife, particularly birds, who already enjoy a safe haven in Speke Hall’s woodlands and the adjacent Speke and Garston Coastal Reserve. We hope smaller birds such as tits, finches and warblers will benefit alongside mammals and bats, which will all be able to feed on the variety of insects attracted to the area.

The Mersey Forest

The woodland has been planted in partnership with The Mersey Forest, one of England’s Community Forests, which has been growing a network of woodlands and green spaces across Cheshire and Merseyside for 30 years. Speke Hall is one of hundreds of sites across the area that are being planted as part of the national Trees for Climate programme, a multi-million-pound woodland creation project, part of the Government-led Nature for Climate Fund.

Paul Nolan, director of The Mersey Forest, said: “Speke Hall is one of many sites across the country being planted this year as part of the national Trees for Climate programme. These trees will play their part helping the country tackle climate change with this new woodland storing 430 tonnes of carbon over the next 100 years. The wider range of benefits include reducing flood risk, supporting increased public access to woodland and creating more places for nature to thrive.”

Restoring the Speke Hall estate

Speke Hall sits in an unusual position surrounded by industrial estates and Liverpool John Lennon Airport, but it obviously wasn't always this way. In the early twentieth-century, the estate was vast in size, but after the death of the Hall's last owner Adelaide Watt in 1921, most of it was subsequently sold to the Liverpool Corporation to create the new town of Speke.

Our area ranger, Ian Ford area ranger, said: “Historically, the field where the woodland is being planted was once part of the existing-Clough woodland. It was then used for agricultural purposes, with the last recorded crop of winter oats in 1920, so it’s wonderful to see this area being restored to what it was centuries ago."

By visiting Speke Hall, becoming a member, donating or volunteering, your support will help us continue to care for the new woodland as it grows. Thank you.

 

What we're doing
Colour in the wildflower meadow

Planting trees and wildflowers

We're breathing new life into the orchard by planting a new wildflower meadow amongst the fruit trees in the style of a traditional English orchard. This will further meet our target to increase priority habitats at Speke. We're also planting more wildflowers as well as trees and bulbs across the estate to diversify our habitats even more, making Speke a great place to live for all wildlife.

Father and daughter looking from a bridge through binoculars for wildlife

Wildlife counts and surveys

While it's not hard to spot Speke's bustling wildlife, we want to know exactly what species live here and how many there are. By carrying out counts and surveys of everything from wildflowers to birds, we'll be able to paint a clearer picture of how well nature is thriving here and whether any of these species might need a helping hand from us. Spot any interesting wildlife while you're here? Tell us!

Bird box at The Firs

Introducing more wildlife homes

We all deserve somewhere comfortable to live. So that Speke's wildlife have more places to sleep and rest, we're adding even more 'homes' across the estate for the birds, bats and bugs that live here. They'll be safe and secure, giving these species the best chance possible to thrive at Speke.

Flora and fauna you'll find here

Things you can do at home

Activities for young nature explorers

A couple walking in the grounds of Speke Hall

Explore the gardens 

This spring, discover new blooms and celebrate the lighter days as you explore the gardens at Speke Hall. There are plenty of places to relax and marvel at the sights of spring.