Gavin Williamson, MP for South Staffordshire, attended the Perton Springwatch Festival on Saturday 20th.
The free annual event, which is hosted by Wild About Perton and Perton Library, celebrates the wildlife and wild places of Perton.
This was the sixth edition of the festival. The event, which attracted over 1600 hundred people in 2012, links in with the hugely popular BBC Springwatch programmes.
From 10.30am to 3pm, the library was filled with fun and educational activities for the family. This year, there was a new outdoor display area – courtesy of South Staffordshire Council – featuring flights by birds of prey. New activities inside the library building included ferret racing, meet a hedgehog, healthy herbs and woodland crafts.
On attending the event, Gavin said: “I am always amazed about the diversity of wildlife that we have in South Staffordshire and holding the Springwatch event is a brilliant way of demonstrating to people, young and old, the massive range of animals, trees and fauna that we have in our local area.
“I hope it encouraged all the people who visited to get more involved in preserving the wonderful wildlife that makes South Staffordshire so special. I am also very much enjoyed getting to know some of my feathered, furry and prickly constituents a little bit better at the event.”
A series of wildlife and environmental groups from Wolverhampton and Staffordshire attended, including: Staffordshire Wildlife Trust, Halfpenny Green Owl & Falconry Centre, who will be displaying rescued birds of prey, Forest of Mercia - The Community Forest for the West Midlands with forest & woodland crafts, Hedgehog Rescue with rescuedm hedgehogs, Thyme to be Healthy - all about holistic health and wellbeing using herbs, Wolverhampton Ferret Rescue with their special collection of rescued ferrets, RSPB, Perton Gardeners, Butterfly Conservation, Bumblebee Conservation, Staffordshire Bat Group and Butterfly Conservation.
The Owl and Falconry Centre, based at Halfpenny Green, is an accumulation of one man's passion of over 30 years of flying these magnificent birds of prey. At Springwatch, people were able to watch these birds soar through the skies, while discovering why it is that we need to save and protect these wonderful creatures.
Visitors also had the chance to explore the wildlife garden, make a seed-bomb with Perton Guides, identify the magnificent mini-beasts found in Perton lakes and pond with Wild About Perton, get up close and personal with bats with Staffordshire Bat Group, as well as find out more about our endangered bumblebees with Bumblebee Conservation.
Butterfly Conservation explained all about the butterflies found in Perton’s Green spaces, as well as the many night-time moths. In addition, there were quizzes, herb and wildlife walks and displays of library stock. Refreshments were available throughout the day.
Acclaimed cartoonist, Andy Gilbert, also entertained visitors with cartoon demonstrations and workshops with a wildlife theme.