Exhaustion has led to me not updating my blog – apologies.

The New Ferry Butterfly Park Open Day last week was fantastic, the caravan was finished in time and the day went really well.

Amazingly well, we had over 500 visitors during the afternoon.

Our local MP, Alison McGovern opened the caravan visitor centre officially and really seemed to love all the work, which is great.

My lecturers came and one of the ladies from my MA course, an old family relative I’d never met that my dad hadn’t seen for 50 years turned up after finding out about it on facebook – quite remarkable.

Lots of the local shops sponsored the day in some way and so many of the people attending lived close by and yet still I had people saying ‘I never even knew this place existed’.

The headmistress of the school that i have been doing all the workshops with came by and loved seeing all their work in one place. I recognised a good few of the kids too.

A few people approached me about doing art workshops in their schools and I’ve made some great contacts for workshops in the park over the summer.

The artists all got their work up for the trail in time and ALL of them looked fabulous, so many positive comments flying around.

4 of the art stall holders let me down, one I knew about a few weeks before which was absoloutely fine, 2 let me know a few days before and one just didn’t bother turning up, how rude! When I emailed her afterwards to check all was ok I got a one line email saying, ‘sorry got my dates mixed up’…..that was it.

As it happens the artists who did come along were all so good we didn’t need the others, the work on the tables was beautiful and I just wish I had some money left to actually buy some for myself.

The caravan did look really professional by the end,(unrecognisable compared to when I started) some friends came to help that last 2 days for one last push and one (thanks Julie) stayed with me til midnight the night before to help with the artifying of it all.

It was very well used during the day, lots more childrens drawings to add to our display folders. Success and such a relief!!!!

I have spent all week trying to recover but amidst a hospital visit (I dropped a table on my foot on the open day), work, a studio Open night (light night)and making work for a charity fundraising day and a *different* charity art auction I failed to succeed with any rest so this week I will mainly be catching up with some sleep.


One week left until the Open Day and I am praying that the weather stays so great.

There are butterflies in abundance at the park this week, it’s too early for a lot of them but the sun has brought them out regardless.

If it’s cold or rainy next week we wont see a single one….however there will be a lot of new artworks to see.

Carolyn Shepherd has installed her piece of work, it looks great already though will grow with the park and will look even better over the course of the summer when the nettles at the back have grown up more. The work will then blend into its surroundings more.

Julie Dodd has begun the install of her plastic bottle butterflies, the shadows through the plastic onto the container are beautiful – more realistic than the butterflies themselves, though their simplicity is a vital part of the piece, the shadows seem to tell a different story.

Roy Lewis work is next to go in, a sundial made entirely from old motorbike parts. It’s stunning but Roy is an ex motorbike mechanic he doesn’t class himself as an artist at all, after seeing the piece I beg to differ.

Terry Hayes is having trouble with his resin casts, he assures me all will be well and will install Friday. Fingers crossed.

Leandra Holder + Chris Turrell-Watts will install Saturday, this piece is certainly more craft based than contemporary art but I’m sure once the sun catches the light on the recycled glass butterflies hanging in a tree the effect will be quite lovely.

Will the addition of craft into the trail make it a provincial art show? I’d like to think not, I think though we are a small nature reserve in an off the road Urban Wirral setting we seriously could stand up against some of the more well known contemporary art trails. I worry about the ‘craft’ effect but then I think there is something for everyone at least. The Open Day will have a small village fete kind of feel I hope but will nonetheless contain some very credible artworks.

The Mobile Allotment is growing well, I’ve only had to transplant one parsley plant and that was simply because I’d forgotten to put drainage holes in the bottom of a teapot.

The Caravan Visitor Centre is on something of a tight schedule.

SO much work has had to go into refurbishment that though all my plans are done I’ve yet to start making it into a visitor centre.

Presently it is rot free and has had a respray. The lepidoptera drawers are made, most of the art books are made , the posters, photo’s flyers, brochures etc are all done.

My husband/art technician has worked ridiculously hard just to get it in a road worthy condition, walls are going in finally today + tomorrow. I will be painting on Thursday and then have one day left to actually put everything in place before install on Saturday.

There will be very little sleep happening this week.

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Flyers going out this week but for now I’m off to the park for a picnic with the kids to have a few hours relaxing for a change!


My (non existant) sign writing skills came into play this week, I hand painted a sign onto the allotment – it took me all day!!

I’d have much preferred to have a real butterfly painted on the side, the comma, which seems to have become our ‘logo’ but I had to use specific wood paint and we had no black or orange to I had to use a bit of artistic licence on the butterfly front.

I’m not sure what the scientific types will think of that but it looks ok to me.

Planted on the Mobile Allotment are:

Sorrel, when young can be eaten as a salad leaf and is a larval plant for the small copper.

Marjoram, thyme and mint are good nectar sources for several butterflies.

Cabbages for the whites is also great.

Nettles for comma, red admiral, small tortoiseshell and peacock.

Garlic chives
lavender (edible in small quantities as flavouring)
pot marigold (Calendula sp.), which has edible flowers

Most of the herb bed is attractive to bees and butterflies when in flower:
Particularly marjoram (especially the perennial, sometimes called pot marjoram)
And thyme.

Then borage, sage + rosemary (all for bees)

All the bean family (broad, French and runner beans and peas) are attractive to bees, indeed bumbles are essential to pollinate runner beans as honey bees are too light to open the flowers.

Courgettes too are bee pollinated.

Wild strawberries attract butterflies + bees but are also loved by birds (of which we have may at the park).

Concentrating on the caravan now until the opening + then i can start planning out a wee tour with allotment I hope.


Two days spent at the local school, the first making butterflies, sandwich bag ones, splat painting ones and some beautiful drawings. Today was spent planting up the mobile allotment, each child choosing a plant, given them the task of finding out which particular butterfly is attracted to their specific plants.

Great day though, the kids were all part of the school eco council and were just so keen. A few haven’t got gardens and were delighted by the idea of planting in teapots + shoes etc. They were going home to tell their Mums they can have herbs growing in tin cans on the wondow ledges :)

I had to get the planting done before thetrailer is fully finished or the plants might have died so now I have to spend some time painting the trailer with the park name and some butterflies probably.

An A-frame detatchable roof will have to be made after that too, once the plants get much taller I wouldn’t be able to tow the trailer far without them breaking. I didin’t want a ‘glasshouse’ type roof in the end,the plants are all specifically chosen to attract butterflies and bees, it seems daft to then trap them in a greenhouse. They need to be in the open air in order to do their job. So the roof will just be put on when we’re out and about travelling.

The caravan is coming along, more damp found so we’ve had to basically strip all the internal walls out and treat it, waiting for it all to dry out now and then we’re back in putting new walls in soon. Can’t have the Lepidoptera drawersI originally wanted as they won’t fir through the caravan door haha, never thought of that!!!

Decided instead to keep some of the old cupboard carcasses and will make drawers to fit, much narrower but it was only ever meant to reference an actual museum, it’s not like the butterflies in them will be real so it should be ok.

It’s an artwork at the end of the day,a working visitor centre yes but it will be more than that really.