Stories of the people, the place and the areas surrounding Formby. Formby is a coastal town with a beautiful beach, fabulous sand dunes, pine woods, red squirrels all managed by the National Trust. The town boasts an attractive village shopping centre where there's much to see, eat and drink. Because of its popularity, parking close to the beach is limited, often full and large queues form by noon at weekends and bank holidays.
I guess most of us living in Formby assume we live surrounded by a large number of trees. The recent village tree felling drama shows that the community seems to value trees. I was surprised, therefore when I came across the following.
Long before Homo sapiens first appeared, nature had cloaked the earth in a green mantle that nurtured all existing forms of life as well as those yet to be. The tattered remnants of that verdant covering are our inheritance.
No longer continuous, it now exists only where we humans allow it to remain.
Other pieces are usurped, deemed too valuable to be left "undeveloped," as civilization consumes them to feed its insatiable growth.
(Source: Green Nature Human Nature by Charles A Lewis)
So how much tree cover does Formby have? Could. should we have more?
Despite the pinewoods, it appears that we may be wrong in our assumptions. According to this survey, Formby only has a relatively low 17% tree cover. But we know that trees are a vital component in combatting increasingly powerful climate change effects.
I don't know about you, but so far in the current local elections, all I've heard from candidates is the sharp exchange of insults or contrary standstill proposals. I want to vote for a candidate that has a series of definite ideas to take Formby forward.
I suggest a concerted attempt to increase the tree cover would be one small local step forward in facing the global threat from Climate Change.
Urban Forest Cover or Canopy Cover is the layer of leaves, branches, and stems of trees that cover the ground when viewed from above.
The principal aim of a canopy cover assessment is to help decision makers understand the urban forest resource, particularly the amount of tree canopy that currently exists and the potential amount that could exist.
Measuring canopy cover has helped city planners, urban foresters, mayors, councils, local authorities, and communities see trees and forests in a new way, focusing attention on green infrastructure as a key component of community planning, sustainability and resilience.
When you look at other communities tree cover statistics using the tool it's clear that some towns are taking this issue seriously. Here's an opportunity for us all.
With support and leadership from our local Councillors, every one us living in Formby could be encouraged to 'Plant a Tree' for our town and the future of the earth.
Formby could, with a bit of imagination, inspiration and public involvement become an Arboretum Town. A tree friendly town, a Greener town.
When and if you next see one of the candidates ask them what are they going to do for the future and tell them you want positive, not negative suggestions to take Formby Forward together as a community.
At the forthcoming local elections, residents of Harington Ward get the opportunity to exercise an extra vote. Following the recent resignation of Cllr Mike Coles, the Parish Council is seeking a replacement
Some candidates have been proposed, and their details are shown below.
Description (if any)
Name of Proposer
Reason why no longer nominated*
49 Hawksworth Drive, Formby, Liverpool, L37 7EY
Formby Residents Action Group
19 Derby Road, Formby, L37 7BN
Conservative Party Candidate
Asparagus Cottage, St. Lukes Church Rd, Formby, L37 2DF
*Decision of the Returning Officer that the nomination is invalid or other reason why a person nominated no longer stands nominated.
I don't know about you; I'm looking for someone who proposes new definite ideas to take Formby forward, rather than a candidate who bases their campaign on the failures of the others or their parties.
Our native Natterjack neighbours were in full throat last Thursday evening and night, according to recent reports from Sefton Coast. But unlike the nuisance caused by human neighbours, we're being asked to tolerate them and even take steps to protect them.
By Christian Fischer, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=166869
I don't know about you I've always felt a degree of unease when thinking about picking up toads. Their size and cold clammy body and the heavily reptile appearance, are off-putting, to say the least.
Smaller than the Common Toad, Natterjacks are very rare. They breed in warm, shallow pools in sand dunes and on sandy heaths in just a handful of special places. They are mainly nocturnal. In the spring, the males all sing together at night to attract females.
Natterjack toads are claimed to be Europe's noisiest amphibian, with the male call audible over several kilometres.
Its ratcheting call has brought it two local nicknames: the Birkdale Nightingale and the Bootle organ.
Having spent the winter hibernating in its deep burrow, often with other natterjacks and even common toads for company, it reappears as the weather warms up in March and April.
Over the last four years, the water table along the Sefton Coast has been so low that vital breeding pools have failed to materialise. However, Natterjacks only need to successfully breed once every four or five years to sustain their population and with all the recent rain. it could be a bumper year.