Beach Safe 2017 Starts

The Beach Safe 2017 campaign is under way.

The initiative by Sefton Council in partnership with Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue and the National Trust will promote safe use of the beaches along Sefton’s 22 miles of coast.

     They are encouraging people to be aware of potential risks and dangers of being on the beach, as well as being respectful to the environment and other beach users. The Beach Safe campaign is an annual summer collaboration of partners hoping to ensure everybody stays safe and enjoys our beautiful coast.

          “We are delighted to work with partners again to deliver these important messages. We want all beach users to be safe and to have a great time enjoying the Sefton coast. We ask that beach users be respectful to each other and the environment.”

via mysefton.co.uk

 Beachsafe2017

 

 

 


Sefton Circular Cycle Route

Sefton Council launches circular cycle route

To mark the launch of a brand new cycle route, the Sefton Active Travel Team is holding a cycling day to encourage more people to get on their bike and explore the borough.

The new Sefton Circular cycle route covers 24 miles, 20 miles of which is traffic free and is officially launched on Sunday, May 21. Cyclists of all ages and abilities are encouraged to attend and complete all or part of the route. On the day there will be three main starting points: Formby Railway Station, Mecycle Café in Ainsdale and the main hub on the day will be Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre. Here participants will be able to access further information about cycling as well as refreshments throughout the day.

Ride registration will take place at 10am at each of the three start points and ride leaders will be on hand to start you off on the route at 10.30am. Riders will then be free to cycle the route in a clockwise direction at their own pace. The theme of the day is participation, and while participants will be encouraged to cycle all 24 miles, people are also invited to ride just a section. The event will be self-led but all riders will receive a map of the route, including turn by turn directions. There will also be directional markers along the way and cycling marshals will be patrolling the route all day.

Test

Red Squirrels Future under the Microscope

There are thought to be about 140,000 red squirrels left in the UK.

Researchers are embarking on a new project aimed at helping to safeguard the future of the red squirrel in the UK.

The Nottingham Trent University study is investigating how red squirrels currently utilise and exploit urban environments – so that this information can be used to help better manage these habitats to their advantage.

via phys.org

Formby residents are accustomed to seeing Red Squirrels out and about in gardens or crossing roads from property to property. It's clear that many of our local Squirrel population have learnt to live with their human neighbours. 

Nonetheless, this research is to be welcomed, the more we learn about the Squirrels, the more likely they are to survive and thrive.  We take their presence for granted rather too much. Their survival is probably  an indicator of our own long term chances.  Research

 


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.