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October 2018

Village Trees Latest Report

Formby Parish Council has received and published a copy of the latest Arboriculturalist's report on the state of the Horse Chestnut trees threatened with felling by Sefton Council.

To download and view the report use the link posted on the Parish Council Facebook page:

I have to confess to a little confusion regarding the outcome. The consultant is clear both of the trees concerned are not a risk to the public at the moment, each tree is;

currently structurally at a point where there is no risk to the general public.

Good news on first reading but, he also notes the trees are diseased, they exhibit signs of Bleeding Horse Canker. He writes;

Horse Chestnut Outside Boots Chemist
There is some exudate and minor superficial bark cracking associated with Bleeding Canker in several locations.


Horse Chestnut Tree Outside Cassidy’s shop
There is Bleeding Canker present, evident by brown staining and exudate.

Horse Chestnut Disease
Source: Wikimedia Commons

In a later section of the report, there is a section that describes the nature and history of the Bleeding Canker infection in this country;

Until recently, the disease was considered to be uncommon and had only been reported from the south of England (Strouts and Winter, 2000).
Reports from 2003 indicate it has spread as far north as Glasgow.
Trees of all ages have been found with the disease, but the impact is most striking on large, mature trees. 

And he concludes this section with the following paragraph;


Removal of an infected tree by felling to grounding level, grinding to remove the stump and disposal of all infected arisings, preferably by burning.

I've added screengrabs of extracts from the report below, but I recommend you read the full report for yourself. You may also find the Forest Research website a useful and additional resource, the relevant page is here:

Note Forest Research is;

Great Britain’s principal organisation for forestry and tree-related research (

Their advice on the management of diseased trees and eventual disposal of them is quite sobering and demanding in the care needed to avoid the further transmission of the disease.

They also add this disappointing comment;

Our surveys and research reveal that where owners have replaced mature diseased trees with young horse chestnuts, some of the replanted trees have shown signs of infection within a few years. We therefore do not recommend replanting with the same species.

Formby may eventually have to accept that the sight of Horse Chestnut trees in our village will be a thing of the past.

Let's hope the disease does not infect other Horse Chestnut trees in the rest of Formby. Whatever the case, it's incumbent on both Sefton and Formby Parish Councils to look ahead and perhaps see this issue as an opportunity to renew the village and find opportunities to plant more trees throughout Formby.

Formby Parish Council first knew of this issue in 2011 (See: Village Trees Statement, seven years have now passed, is this the final point of no return?)

In summary, the trees are considered structurally safe at the moment, in the view of the Formby Parish Council Consultant, but his report confirms they are diseased and according to all the experts will need felling eventually.

In the meantime, they are likely to be a source for the spread of the disease because of the Chapel Lane location, lots of traffic movement and the unwitting transmission of the disease by conker collectors.

If you've taken one and planted it in your garden, you might want to uproot it.




Do you know the signs of a 'hypo'?

NHS Southport and Formby Commissioning Group (CCG) is asking if we know how to spot the signs of a 'hypo' and how to treat it.

A 'hypo' is hypoglycaemia, this is where the level of sugar (glucose) in your blood drops too low and mainly affects people with diabetes, especially if you take insulin, or tablets from the families of tablets called sulfonylureas (such as gliclazide, glimepiride, glipizide) or glinides (such as Repaglinide or Nateglinide).

There are a number of signs to show your blood sugars may be too low:

  • feeling hungry
  • sweating
  • tingling lips
  • feeling shaky or trembling
  • dizziness
  • feeling tired
  • a fast or pounding heartbeat (palpitations)
  • becoming easily irritated, tearful, stroppy or moody
  • turning pale

You can reduce the chance of having hypos by eating regularly and if you drink alcohol to follow advice about sensible drinking.

Dr Douglas Callow, clinical lead for diabetes at NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said:

"Many people with diabetes will recognise the signs to show that their blood sugars are dropping - their mood will drop, they'll feel hungry and shaky.

"Someone who knows they're at risk should carry dextrose tablets or a small carton of smooth orange juice - you want something that works quickly, and that probably isn't a chocolate bar."

If not treated, you may then get other symptoms, such as:

  • weakness
  • blurred vision
  • difficulty concentrating
  • confusion
  • unusual behaviour, slurred speech or clumsiness (like being drunk)
  • feeling sleepy
  • seizures (fits)
  • collapsing or passing out
  • You may need to eat more carbohydrates both before and after physical exercise.

With the risks of passing out, it's important for those injecting insulin or taking diabetes tablets to check their blood glucose level before driving. They should not set off on their journey if their blood glucose level is less than 5mmol/L.

Dr Callow added:

"It would also be sensible to keep glucose treatments in the car at all times and if they have a hypo whilst driving to stop the car as soon as possible.

"Take the keys out and, if it’s safe to do so, move into the passenger seat before treating the hypo. Don't ignore the symptoms."

You can find out more about diabetes and hypoglycaemia on the NHS website:



Hospital Annual Older People's Day

Join us here at Southport and Formby District General Hospital on Wednesday 3 October, between 10.30 - 3.30pm for our annual Older People’s Day. 

Therapist with patient
The event will be held in the gym in the North West Regional Spinal Injuries Centre with free tea, coffee and biscuits provided for all.

Find out how local services can support you, seek advice from experts, gather relevant information and make useful contacts.  If you live in Sefton, Formby or West Lancashire, this open day will have all the information you and your loved ones need when facing some of the challenges that come with age.

Meg Langley, Head of Older People’s Care, explains:

“We serve a community here which is older than the national average. Because of this, we are working hard to make sure our services are designed to support our patients and to ensure that people are aware of and able to access beneficial support. 

“We aim to help people to live well at home. Our Older People’s Day should provide help and guidance to make that happen for as many local people as possible. 

“Hopefully, lots of people come along and manage to take home something useful, and have an enjoyable few hours meeting the teams here!”

On the day, visitors can expect to meet over forty local services for Sefton, Formby and West Lancashire. These include hospital-based teams and services, Macmillan, Home Instead, Wiltshire Farmfoods, Alzheimer’s Society, Age UK, befriending schemes, ambulance services, fire safety, Queens Court Hospice, Healthwatch, Foodbank, lunch and leisure clubs, sexual health, active lifestyles, a variety of care and support providers, and community services.

To find out more, contact Meg Langley on 01704 704933 or email


Sefton Latest on Formby Village Trees

Sefton Council has published this statement regarding the future of the trees in Formby Village.

Horse Chestnut

Further discussions have taken place between Sefton Council and Formby Parish Council regarding two dangerous trees in Formby village due to be removed next month.

Both trees, situated outside Cassidy’s and Boots, will be removed between October 4 and 15 after they were declared unsafe and dangerous.

However, Sefton Council has written to the Parish Council asking for them to agree to a number of conditions that could halt the works taking place.

This includes the Parish Council using an independent arboriculturalist to inspect the trees and provide a written statement saying both trees can be retained and pose no threat to the public or to property in the short term.

A written statement would also be needed to indemnify the Council for any costs or claims that may arise should any part of these trees cause damage to people or property during the winter period and beyond.

Formby Parish Council would need to cover all costs for the written statements and works and any commitment would need to be received by the Council by October 1, 2018.

In addition all works required to make the trees safe must be carried out by October 15.

If this deadline is not met the scheduled removal will take place between October 4-15.

The two horse-chestnuts are scheduled to be removed due to the significant health and safety risk the dying trees are causing.

A spokesman for Sefton Council said:

“Our priority is and always will be the safety of residents and visitors to Formby.

“We believe both trees pose too much of a risk giving the impending winter weather and have earmarked them to be removed between October 4-15.

“However, following further discussions with Formby Parish Council, we have written to them with a number of conditions to try and draw a conclusion to this matter.

“We have given them until October 1 to meet these conditions otherwise the scheduled work to remove them will take place later that month.”

Sefton Council has published a number of Frequently Asked Questions regarding the removal of these tress and to view it, click here.


Superheroes are landing at Splash World!

Superheroes are landing at Splash World!

Splash World’s own mascot Murtle the Turtle will be joined by Superman, Spider Man, Captain America, Wonder Woman and Supergirl on Saturday, September 22 and Sunday, September 23 from 10am to 4pm.

Photo opportunities and the chance to win exclusive prizes throughout the weekend will be included with Splash World admission.

Southport-based party company StarKidz will bring the characters to life and provide fun and entertainment around the centre and at the poolside.

For an extra £5 per person, guests can enjoy a special VIP experience from 1pm-2pm including party games and lunch with the characters!

There are limited places on the VIP experience so call 01704 537160 to book in advance.