Merseyside Mega Picnic on Hilbre Island
Sunday, 13 May 2012
Size:  (not chosen)
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On 11th August 2012, we are inviting the National and International Geocaching communities to come together, and experience the very best of the North West, at the 5th Annual UK Mega Event, being held at Cartmel Racecourse, Cumbria. This is the one of a series of regional events being held across the 5 counties of the North West to mark the countdown to the Mega
Sunday 13th May 2012 between 10:30am and 4:00pm
Hilbre Island in the Dee Estuary, Wirral, Merseyside.
Join members of the North West England 2012 Mega committee on a day out, with a picnic lunch, exploring beautiful Hilbre Island in the Dee estuary.
The three tidal islands lying at the mouth of the Dee Estuary, Little Eye, Middle Eye and Hilbre, have been designated a Local Nature Reserve. Although access is free of charge, the Wirral Country Park Rangers need to know of groups planning to visit the islands. All the necessary arrangements have already been made with the visitors centre at Thurstaston.
The only way to get to Hilbre Island is on foot, and it is about a two-mile walk each way from Dee Lane Slipway, West Kirby, via both Little Eye and Middle Eye. It is possible to take a pram, but the beach is soft sand; it is also rough in places, so a well-sprung pram with large soft tyres is needed. Collapsible buggies used for shopping etc with small solid wheels are totally unsuitable.
There are no shops nor is there any fresh water on the Islands so we need to take our own food and drinks. There are now a couple of (compost) toilets on the island. Being a Local Nature Reserve, dogs must be kept on their leads at all times. Wear some form of strong footwear, preferably walking boots (or Wellingtons), as rocks, barnacles and broken glass can cause serious injury (the commonest cause being a slip on the seaweed/mud covered rocks).
These Islands are cut off from the mainland by the tide for up to four hours out of every twelve. On 13th May low tide is at about noon and it is relatively small, so hopefully we should not be cut-off during our visit, but we are advised to start our return journey by 3pm. This date has been selected as “The Friends of Hilbre” are holding an open day at the islands telegraph station lookout interpretive centre, as well undertaking seal watching in the Dee estuary.
You will need to bring your own picnic lunch (including drinks). Hopefully the weather will be sunny so bring sun cream, sunglasses and a hat, but as the weather can change very quickly, also bring waterproofs and extra/warm clothing as there is very little shelter. Finally, don’t forget the camera and binoculars, as there will be lots to see and photograph whilst on the island.
The proposed itinerary is :
10:15am - Meet at Dee Lane Slipway, West Kirby
10:30am - Depart for Hilbre Island
11:30am - Approx arrival time at Hilbre Island – free time to explore, seal watch & visit the open day
13:00pm - Group picnic lunch (bring your own) at the picnic area below the Telegraph Lookout
13:30pm - More free time to chat, sunbathe or continue exploring the rest of the island
15:00pm - Depart from Hilbre Island
16:00pm - Approx arrival time back at Dee Lane Slipway, West Kirby
Car parking in West Kirby is mainly on roadsides, but as it is a popular area, arrive early or expect to park a little further away and walk to the Dee Lane Slipway. There is a large supermarket very close to the slipway should anyone wish to buy food, drinks etc. For those arriving after 10:30am, you can walk across to Hilbre yourselves and meet the rest of the group. Read the links below for the route to be followed. Everyone should start their return journey by 15:00pm so that the tide doesn’t cut them off!
Being a local nature reserve, geocaches are not allowed to be placed on the islands. However, the first stage of Hilbre to the Hill is on the island. For those who like geocaching challenges there is also the opportunity to complete Hilbre Island Walk.
If interested, please read these links carefully.
Wirral Borough Council - http://www.wirral.gov.uk/my-services/leisure-and-culture/parks-beaches-and-countryside/parks-greenspaces-and-countryside/local-nature-reserves/hilbre-isl
Friends of Hilbre - http://www.deeestuary.co.uk/hilbre/
Safe Crossing Times - http://www.pol.ac.uk/appl/hilbre.html
Please remember to keep visiting North West Mega website for the latest information on North West England 2012 - The 5th Annual UK Mega Event.
(No hints available.)