Local Environment

Saughall Massie lies in the valley between the two sandstone ridges of Bidston Hill and Thurstaston. Up until 200 years ago the village lay on the edge of the Bidston marsh which extended from Bidston over to Meols. This was flooded on high tides with the sea entering both the north coast of the Wirral near to the Leasowe lighthouse and the wide inlet leading to the Wallasey pool now the Birkenhead docks. At high spring tides Wallasey was, in fact, an island. The marsh has since been reclaimed by the construction of the sea wall along the north coast of the Wirral and constructing the dock entrance at Birkenhead.

The Arrowe Brook flows through Saughall Massie and along with the Fender and Newton Brook is one of three tributaries of the River Birket.

The Arrowe Book is the second main tributary of the Birket and rises at Pensby joining the Birket between Meols and Leasowe. It appears to have maintained its natural course apart from when it enters Arrowe Park where it has been dammed to create a small lake, a high ornamental weir and shallow, stepped weirs further downstream.

Along the way, it passes through a variety of landscapes, from the rather bitty, urban fringe land at Pensby, alongside a housing estate, to the low lying North Wirral Plain. At Irby, it passes through the wooded valley of Harrock Wood, an attractive mixed woodland owned by the National Trust. Then, it runs alongside housing at Limbo Lane Plantation, across to and through Arrowe Park and on to skirt the side of Upton Meadow beyond. North of Greasby Road, it runs alongside more housing before briefly entering open fields at Saughall Massie. The Arrowe Brook then turns abruptly through and alongside more urban development on its way to the Birket.

The Brook

Prior to being culverted (in the 1960's) on its way through Saughall Massie, the brook took a more meandering route through the village, regularly flooding the adjacent farmland. See Link - The 1945 Appendix D page 11 of 24 Wirral Borough Council Appraisal

The Environment Agency (EA) publish flood alert areas and there is one for Saughall Massie which comes up the Arrowe Brook from Moreton but stops at the small weir adjacent to the Diamond Farm fields. Full details can be seen on the EA website, code 013FWFME8.

HeronThe brook still attracts a selection of wildlife including kingfishers, herons, mallard, moorhens, coot and a variety of smaller reed birds. Buzzards and sparrow hawks can also be seen on a regular basis due to the numbers of pigeons which collect on the fields. Woodpeckers, nuthatch and tree creepers along with summer migrants such as warblers may also be seen. Goldfinches, green finches, a variety of tits including long tailed and sparrows are also regular visitors.

A variety of wild flowers can also be seen during the spring and summer, including the attractive pink flowers of the Himalayan Balsam which is an unwelcome visitor as it is extremely invasive. Growing up to 3 metres high and with a rapid spread, it quickly colonises and takes over waterside areas and adjacent land. Action has been taken in recent years to reduce its spread and this will need to continue for the foreseeable future. This is a voluntary exercise being undertaken by the society. However recent legislation has put the responsibility for managing invasive species firmly into the hands of the local authority so the society are currently encouraging WMBC to formulate their policy on how they will deal with these nuisance plants. Japanese Knotweed, of course, can have a significant impact on property values apart from potentially causing structural damage.