Are you a Cycle Friendly Motorist?

Ask yourself, how much space do I give when I overtake a cyclist? 

If it's less than the width of another car, you can be prosecuted  for driving without due care and attention. 

Cycling safe space

Cycling groups have welcomed the latest Parliamentary Report. 

Parliamentary group reports on cycling and the justice system

The All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group's report on cycling and the justice system was published, with fourteen recommendations to reduce danger and ensure justice..... 
There's still a lot to be done by everyone, drivers, cyclists, the Police and Sefton if more of us are to take up cycling regularly. In the meantime, give cyclists more space, we share the roads,  not for racing but to get from point A to point B safely. 
 
 
 

St George's Day, William Shakespeare, Sun and Sundials

William Shakespeare was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He died on 23 April 1616.

William Shakespeare is quintessentially English who is also universally known. As is the case with St George, the Patron Saint of England, who's memory we celebrate annually. 

Shakespeare wrote:

SunDial BaseCarve out dials, quaintly, point by point
Thereby to set the minutes, how they run,
How many make the Hour full, complete,
How many hours bring about the Day.
        King Henry VI. Pt. III. Act II. Sc. 5.

In the last few days we've been blessed by glorious uninterrupted sunny weather and I was looking for an appropriate short story to link these events and Formby together.

This incomplete sundial is in the grounds of St Peter's Church in Freshfield.

It's one of a number of historic items and places registered on the Historic British Listed Buildings list, which is an online database of buildings and structures that are listed as being of special architectural and historic interest.

The details recorded on the list describe it as follows:

FORMBY GREEN LANE (east side)
2/39 Sundial approx. 5.5 m. south of Church of St. Peter G.V. II

Sundial. Probably C18. Stone. Tuscan column with square abacus on cyma moulding. Metal plate; gnomon missing.

(Source: http://www.britishlistedbuildings.co.uk/)

And the Gnomon that's missing well that's the part that normally casts a shadow on the dial showing an approximation of the time, they look like this image below, which explains the way they work.

Sundial Gnomon
ASundial Columns a resident of Formby since 1972 I've lost count of the number of times I've passed this column when walking into Formby Village from my house.

I've never noticed it before, which I suppose just illustrates how often I walk or cycle around with my eyes closed to the details of our rich environment.

This is the stone column to look out for.

There's also a very interesting building opposite St Peter's Church, which is not recorded on the British Historic Buildings list.

I think this is a surprising omission. It's an old building and looking at old maps suggests it was a 'Public House'.

Two places serving the 'Spirit' side by side.

 

 


National Trust Formby is 50 years old

The National Trust is celebrating 50 years caring for the coast at Formby.

NTFormby 50 Birthday
The conservation charity has cared for 210 hectares of this special stretch of coast since 12 April 1967, when it was safeguarded through the Neptune Fund, set up specifically to purchase and protect coast around the UK.

The stretch of coast at Formby is an area of great importance for its mobile sand dunes – some of the best in the entire UK - and the wildlife that lives here, including rare Natterjack Toads, sand lizards and red squirrels in the pine woods. It is also much loved by locals and visitors with its stunning views that stretch out towards Wales, the Irish Sea and the Lake District.

Volunteers and staff marked the occasion by blowing out the candles on a 50th birthday cake created by local Formby-based cake designer Lisa Lill, who runs Cake Amour by Lisa and featuring fondant models of the iconic dunes, pine woods and wildlife.

Justin Matthews, Ranger for the National Trust at Formby, commented:

“50 years is a fantastic achievement and we are so proud to reach this milestone. We couldn’t do it without our dedicated staff and volunteers and the support of our local community who work so hard to help care for the coast, managing it and maintaining it for generations to come. We’re looking forward to the next 50 years and hope that everyone will join in the celebrations by coming along to one of our events happening throughout the year or just taking time out to enjoy this special place.”

2017 is particularly significant because it marks Sefton Council’s Year of the Coast. It was also recently announced that the Trust is in conversations with the Council about the possibility of caring for an additional 204 hectares of land, currently managed by Sefton.

A spokesman for Sefton Council said:

“We know how important the coast is and reaching 50 years in Formby is a significant milestone for the National Trust.

With 2017 being the Year of Sefton’s Coast and the positive discussions taking place between National Trust and Sefton Council over the potential transfer of land in Formby, there is so much to celebrate. Here’s to the next 50 years as well!”

Visit https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/formby/whats-on for a list of events at the National Trust Formby - exploring everything from wildlife to asparagus and what is living in the rock pools to the prehistoric footprints on the shore.

 (Image source: NTFormby website)

 

 


Formby Point Update

Comments in relation to the potential land transfer of land in Formby from Sefton Council and the National Trust have been received.

Earlier this month, Sefton Council published a formal notice considering the disposal of land to the northern and southern side of Lifeboat Road (Formby Point).

The closing date for comments was March 22 with most correspondence in support of the scheme. This included a petition with 69 names on it in full support of the potential land transfer.

Positive conversations have taken place and will continue regarding the transfer of land at Lifeboat Road and Ravenmeols from Sefton’s ownership to The National Trust.

If agreed, it would see more than 204 hectares become part of the National Trust Formby portfolio which is home to one of the very best mobile sand dune habitats in the entire UK.

The comments made will now form part of a report going to Cabinet in May which will look at the possibility of transferring the land to the National Trust.

Sarah Kemp, Executive Director at Sefton Council, said:

"So far the feedback over the potential transfer of land in Formby to the National Trust has been very supportive.

"We strongly believe this potential land transfer will enable the National Trust to make a significant contribution to the outcomes of the Sefton 2030 Vision. It will also enable a positive impact in terms of managing the broader landscape for the benefit of people, the local economy, natural wildlife and the environment.

"Further discussions will take place with National Trust with the view of transferring the land to them to develop a richer visitor experience with local communities and secure the future of this extraordinary coastline. This will be reported back in May."

The dunes themselves are home to rare wildlife including sand lizards, Northern Dune Tiger Beetles and the rare Natterjack toad. The pine woodlands that fringe the coast provide a wonderful habitat to rare and much loved red squirrels.

The significance of the land at Lifeboat Road recreation area and Ravenmeols has been recognised as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, Special Area of Conservation and Special Protection Area.

Rebecca Burton, National Trust Assistant Director of Operations, said:

"We are really encouraged by the feedback received to the potential land transfer and the petition in its support. We appreciate just how important the Formby Coast is to the people who love it and use it and for the rare wildlife that makes its home here.

“As we head towards the milestone 50th anniversary of our care for land at Victoria Road on 12 April, our aim is to continue to ensure that this special place can to be used and enjoyed by future generations. We want to continue caring for and protecting this special piece of coastline, working closely with our neighbours, key stakeholders and partners.

“We are excited about the future opportunity the land transfer would offer to invest in things that local people and users have told us they would like. These include better visitor facilities and access, working alongside local people to shape our plans.”

The potential land transfer coincides with 2017 being the Year of Sefton's Coast and also the 50 year anniversary of the National Trust in Formby.

 


Formby Beer Festival

Award-winning beers from award-winning breweries across the UK and overseas will be available at The Lifeboat in Formby during a 12-day beer festival.

Lifeboat Inn Beer festival from 22 March 2017
The pub in Three Tuns Lane will be serving a range of beers from Italy, Brazil, Holland and the USA, as well as the UK, during the festival which runs from Wednesday 22 March until Sunday 2 April inclusive.

All beers will be priced at £2.39 a pint.

The overseas beers are;

Back Garden (Bagby Brewing, USA), Mild the Gap (Birrificio MC-77, Italy), Flink (Brouwerij 'T IJ, Holland), Burton Pale Ale (Bodebrown Brewery, Brazil) and Continental IPA (St Louis Brewery, USA).

Each of the overseas brewers has won awards for its beer in its respective country.

The UK beers include; Salopian Lemon Dream (named The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) National Champion Speciality Beer in 2012), Mauldons Blackberry Porter (winner of SIBA East's Champion Speciality Beer in 2016), Harviestoun Bitter & Twisted (voted Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) Champion Beer of Britain 2003) and Acorn Darkness (winner of a bronze medal at the 2016 CAMRA Great British Beer Festival).

Several unusual flavours will be present in some of the beers, including blackberries, coffee, lemon and lemongrass.

Customers will be able to sample any three of the real ales in special third-of-a-pint glasses for the price of a pint.

Pub manager Ashleigh-Jane Briscoe said: "We are promising our customers a superb range of award-winning ales, including some great beers from overseas and many others from brewers across the UK.

"The festival will be the perfect way for real ale enthusiasts to enjoy a range of excellent beers over 12 days."

Tasting notes on all of the beers will be available in the pub.

 


Lifeboat Road Drop-In Event

Local people and coastal users are invited to come along and find out more about the potential transfer of land at Formby Point to the National Trust at a special drop-in event on Saturday 18 March at the Lifeboat Road car park from 11am to 3pm.

Formby Point land acquisition by NT

Staff and volunteers from the National Trust and Sefton Council will be on hand to talk to residents and users of the coast at Formby and to answer any questions. Children can get hands-on with free activities and coffee, and ice creams will be available for purchase

The event follows the announcement last week that positive discussions have taken place between the National Trust and Sefton Council over the potential transfer of 204 acres of land at Lifeboat Road and Ravenmeols. If agreed, this would mean that the dunes and pine forests would become part of the National Trust’s portfolio. 2017 marks 50 years of the National Trust caring for land at Formby and is also Sefton’s Year of the Coast. The area is of vital importance for its mobile dune habitat and is home to rare wildlife including sand lizards, Northern Dune Tiger Beetles, Natterjack toads and red squirrels. It is also much loved and used by residents and visitors.

Joanne Hudson, General Manager for the National Trust in Central and South Lancashire, said:

"We are excited about the opportunity this transfer would offer to improve visitor facilities and access along the coast, working together with local people to shape plans. We’ve already been talking to people over the past year about what they would like to see improved. So far, we know that they would like more toilets, to buy a cup of coffee and to continue to visit this special place. Our aim is to ensure that this amazing stretch of coast will be protected and can continue to be used and enjoyed by future generations. We hope you will come and talk to us, ask any questions you may have and tell us what you would like to see happen at Formby Point.”

Cllr Ian Maher, Labour Leader at Sefton Council, added:

“Positive discussions have taken place with National Trust with the view of transferring land to them to develop further and secure the future of this fantastic coastline.

We see this as an amazing opportunity where National Trust can improve and invest on this piece of land for the benefit of our communities and the many visitors to our borough. The drop in session is a perfect opportunity for people to find out more about this exciting development so please come along and feel free to ask any questions. We want to hear peoples’ views to help develop this site for future generations.”

Residents can also discover what makes this stretch of coast, so special on a series of Spring walks and talks throughout April and May. These will provide a chance to explore the local wildlife, including learning more about its rare squirrel and toad residents. For more information, please visit https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/formby/news/the-future-care-of-formby-point


Any objections or representations to the proposed disposal must be made in writing and addressed to Mr David Street, Assets and Property Manager, Sefton Council, Magdalen House, 30 Trinity Road, Bootle, L20 3NJ, no later than March 22, 2017.

 


Sefton Council in Discussions With National Trust Over Land Transfer at Formby Point

Listen to Sefton Council and the National Trust speakers as they explain the proposed transfer of land around Formby Point.

Sefton Council has just released this short video featuring Councillor Paul Cummins of Sefton Council and Rebecca Burton of the National Trust.

They explain what the proposal is about and the sort of benefits they hope to achieve.

 


NT Woodland Live

 


National Trust Could Acquire Formby Point

Discussions have taken place between Sefton Council and the National Trust over the potential land transfer of land in Formby.

Sandcastle on Formby beachSefton Council has just published a formal notice considering the disposal of land to the northern and southern side of Lifeboat Road (Formby Point).

In light of this, positive conversations have taken place regarding the transfer of land at Lifeboat Road and Ravenmeols from Sefton’s ownership to The National Trust.

If agreed, it would see more than 204 hectares become part of the National Trust Formby portfolio which is home to one of the very best mobile sand dune habitats in the entire UK.

The dunes themselves are home to some very rare wildlife including sand lizards, Northern Dune Tiger Beetles and the rare Natterjack toad. The pine woodlands that fringe the coast are also home to rare red squirrels.

The land at Lifeboat Road adjoins an area whose significance is reflected by being part of the Sefton Coast Site of Special Scientific Interest, Special Area of Conservation and Special Protection Area for birds.

The potential land transfer coincides with 2017 being the Year of Sefton's Coast and also the 50 year anniversary of the National Trust in Formby.

Cllr Ian Maher, Labour Leader at Sefton Council, said:

"As part of the Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership Board, we constantly work with partners to continue to conserve and enhance the natural landscape that forms the Sefton Coast. This is done while managing growing visitor numbers in a sustainable and responsible manner.

"Residents and visitors to the borough made strong representation through the consultation process for the Sefton 2030 Vision for their desire to access and enjoy all the benefits the Sefton coast has to offer. The consultation also revealed how people wish to preserve the cultural, historical and ecological assets that are much cherished.

"In light of this, discussions are taking place with National Trust with the view of transferring land to them to develop further and secure the future of this fantastic coastline.

"We see this as an amazing opportunity where National Trust can improve and invest on this piece of land for the benefit of our communities and the many visitors to our borough."


NT and Formby Point LiveIt is hoped the acquisition of the land at Lifeboat Road and Ravenmeols will enable the National Trust to have a much bigger positive impact in terms of managing the broader landscape for the benefit of people, wildlife and nature.

Rebecca Burton, National Trust Assistant Director of Operations, said:

"The Formby Coast is very important both to the people who love it and use it and because of its environmental significance and the wildlife that lives here.

"As one of our key neighbours and partners in the management of the coastal area at Formby, we are continually talking to Sefton Council, local people and with our other partners, about the best way to manage this special area for the benefit of both wildlife and people.

"2017 marks 50 years since parts of Formby came into the care of the National Trust. This stretch of coastline is of international significance for its sand dunes and is home to rare wildlife including red squirrels and Natterjack toads.

"Our aim is to ensure that this special place can continue to be used and enjoyed by future generations, whilst recognising that the coast is a continually evolving and changing environment.

"We are excited about the future opportunity to invest in better visitor facilities and access across this area of the Sefton coast, working with local people to help us design our plans

"By working closely with our neighbours, key stakeholders and partner organisations, we will continue to care and protect this special piece of coastline in a way no other organisation can."

Any objections or representations to the proposed disposal must be made in writing and addressed to Mr David Street, Assets and Property Manager, Sefton Council, Magdalen House, 30 Trinity Road, Bootle, L20 3NJ, no later than March 22, 2017.

(Source: Sefton Council and NT)