About

About The Wirral Society

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A Little Bit of History…

The Wirral Society was formed in May 1928, following a public meeting at St Michael’s Church Hall, Claughton in Birkenhead. The meeting, was chaired by the Professor of Civic Design at Liverpool University, Sir Patrick Abercrombie. Concern was voiced at the many unplanned developments that were taking place around the Peninsula, which were affecting its character.

View over the River Dee to the Welsh coast
Did you know…? Wirral is one of only 14 areas in the UK with designated Green Belt; yes, you read the number correctly, 14.

It was agreed that a Society should be set up, called ‘The Wirral Society’. It was to act as a non-political ‘watchdog’ for the Wirral environment. An Executive Committee was established, to act on the Society’s behalf.

A Constitution was drawn up with its objectives being to protect the Wirral Peninsula’s natural beauty, architecture, flora and fauna and its sea coast.

Ninety-plus years on, those objectives still apply, but have now been extended to include the urban and suburban areas of the Peninsula.

An early action of the new Executive Committee, was to agree to an invitation to become the Wirral District Branch Committee of a national organisation, the then Council for the Protection of Rural England (C.P.R.E.) – now the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

The Society has been pleased to accept this dual role, which has continued with only a short break, to this present day.

Path to 'The Dungeon', Wirral Country Park
There’s nothing quite like an early Spring morning on Wirral.

For the last ninety-plus years, the Society, through its Executive Committee, which meets monthly, has done its best to take an active role in preserving what makes Wirral unique. It has tried to keep a careful eye on any proposed plans or developments which it believes threatens or is detrimental to, what currently exists.

The Society aims to be constructive about change, and whenever possible, will offer an alternative solution to anything we consider to be undesirable. Over the years, thanks to the “eyes and ears” of members, the Society has been able to act effectively on many local environmental issues – some successful and some not (you win some, you lose some!)

The Society is a Registered Charity and currently has some 300+ members, which it tries to involve wherever possible. A quarterly newsletter, “Wirral Matters”, is sent to all our members, and also local Councillors, local MPs, the media and libraries. This includes news and information about our current activities, and is now included on this Website as an archive.

If you also feel strongly about the Wirral peninsula, you might like to consider joining us in the ongoing task of protecting the Wirral environment!

Operational Details

So how do we get things done and where do we focus scrutiny? To answer, here’s a basic outline of how we operate.

Area Covered…

The Society covers the area known historically as, ‘The Hundred of Wirral’, better known today as the Wirral Peninsula. This includes land under the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, the Borough of Ellesmere Port and Neston and (part of) Chester City Council.

We Were Founded…

On 22 May 1928, the Wirral Society was created as an independent Society. However, in the following years the Society has acted as the Wirral District Committee for the Campaign To Protect Rural England (CPRE).

As an Organisation…

The Society operates with a membership of subscribers under an Executive Committee that meets monthly. The Executive Committee is elected at the Society’s Annual General Meeting and comprises of elected Society members. Some of our Committee also represent other local Societies.

Activities…

Outside of our environmental work, we also run a number of regular committee-driven activities which we do by:

  • Engaging in dialogue and commenting on planning applications and other proposals for change, e.g., RPG, Local Plan, regeneration initiatives etc.
  • Funding worthy local environmental initiatives, including supporting the work of other groups (e.g. Tree planting), founding of ‘Friends’ groups etc.
  • Representation on other related organisations, including CPRE Cheshire Branch and its Planning Committee, Wirral Coastal Partnership, Dee Estuary Conservation Group etc.
  • Giving talks to other Organisations.
  • Giving lectures and occasional publications aimed at increasing appreciation of the area.

Contact With Members

We thrive on feedback from our members (and non-members for that matter!) and keep our supporters updated about our activity via:

  • Publication of ‘Wirral Matters’ several times annually.
  • An Annual General Meeting and an Annual Summer Meeting.
  • Three ‘W. Victor Smith Memorial’ lectures per year.

We are also a registered charity (number 252854) and our work is funded by gifts, donations and membership subscriptions.