Hunt for the winning rock

Paula
Join us in the Race To Find The Winning Rock and the chance to win a £30 Amazon Voucher.

Over the Bank Holiday Weekend of Saturday 25th May 2019, we will be hiding some bright and colourful rocks for you to find in some of our favourite Canine Adventure Trails around Formby.

Follow the instructions on the rocks. Take a picture and share it on Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) using the hashtag #paulaspetservices.

One special rock has a different message on the back.

The first person to find it, post it on social media using #Paulaspetservices will win a £30 Amazon Voucher to spend on whatever you choose.

Read our Terms and conditions on our website www.paulaspetservices.co.uk

 


Bluebells, wild hyacinth, wood bell, bell bottle... which name do you prefer?

Bluebells 2
“A fine and subtle spirit dwells
In every little flower,
Each one its own sweet feeling breathes
With more or less of power. “

(Opening lines of a poem by Anne Bronte celebrating ‘The Bluebell’)


I can still recall a childhood memory of walking through a vast, seemingly, everlasting bluebell wood. It was sunny, and my parents had decided on a ‘Mystery Trip’ one Sunday afternoon.

I’m sorry to say we picked armfuls of the flowers to fill vases on getting home. Nowadays, and rightly so, you can look, but not touch or pick.

What started this line of thinking was a small valiant patch of bluebells  I spotted thrusting outwards from beneath an adjacent garden fence while walking the footpath from Green lane towards Paradise Lane.

It displayed obstinate vigour in seeking its place in the sun.

I wonder will it still be growing there next year?

It is against the law to intentionally pick, uproot or destroy bluebells. IIn the United Kingdom, Bluebells are protected species under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. Landowners are prohibited from removing common bluebells on their land for sale, and it is a criminal offence to remove the bulbs.

The bluebell has many names: English bluebell, wild hyacinth, wood bell, bell bottle, Cuckoo’s Boots, Wood Hyacinth, Lady’s Nightcap and Witches’ Thimbles, Hyacinthoides non-scripta

I can’t decide which of the names above I prefer, but ‘Cuckoo’s Boots’ is amongst my preferences.

Almost half the world's bluebells are found in the UK; they’re relatively rare in the rest of the world. Bluebell colonies take a long time to establish - around 5-7 years from seed to flower.

Bluebells can take years to recover after footfall damage. If a bluebell’s leaves are crushed, they die back from lack of food as the leaves cannot photosynthesise.

Although the bluebell has several popular representations, it’s most often known to signify humility, gratitude and everlasting love. Insects love bluebells, as they provide an early supply of nectar to hungry bees, butterflies and hoverflies.

Bluebell bulbs were often crushed in Elizabethan times, to provide starch for ruffs, collars and sleeves. Even the sap was used to bind the pages of books, while the Bronze Age saw bluebells used to set feathers into arrows.

Finally and to discourage you from picking them. They contain toxic glycosides, poisonous to both animals and humans. As all parts of the bluebell contain this toxin, they can cause skin irritation for some people, just through any form of direct contact with the plant.

My small colony of newly spotted flowers have a long haul before them and a long time to properly establish a permanent site if the sun.

Next time you walk that footpath look out for them.


Bike & Go offers fun-seekers cut-price day out this April

Bike and Go with Friends 2Groups of friends looking for an alternative way to see the local sights are being invited to enjoy a half-price day out, courtesy of Bike & Go.

The bike hire scheme, which offers bike hire facilities from 22 participating train stations across the Merseyrail network, is running a special deal for groups of people who want to experience a different kind of sight-seeing trip this spring, with half-price subscription and a ‘rent two, get two free’ offer.

The offer means that those signing up before April 30th, 2019, will pay just £5, rather than the usual £10 subscription fee. In addition, for the duration of the offer period, they will be able to rent out four bikes for the price of two – a saving of £7.60 for each 24-hour period for which the bikes are hired.

Those watching the pennies over the Easter period will be particularly delighted by the deal, with the total price of a new subscription and bike hire for four people working out at just over £3 per person.

And Bike & Go are hoping that locals and visitors to the region alike will use the cost-effective deal to tour the area and take in the sights from a different viewpoint.

Suzanne Grant, Director of Bike & Go said:

“Cycling is a lovely way to get out into the fresh air and socialise with friends, and now that spring is here there’s no better way to see the attractions on offer in the region.

“This April, we want to encourage people to take to two wheels and enjoy the numerous physical and mental health benefits that cycling can bring, while having a great day out in the process. We have adjusted our prices to make the experience accessible to as many people as possible.”

Studies have shown that cycling with friends or a partner boosts cyclists’ pedal power, with Strava’s 2018 Year in Review report revealing that group riders average a 52% increase in mileage compared to those who cycled alone.

It also brings out cyclists’ competitive streak, with a Kansas State University study showing that people who worked out with someone they thought was better than them increased their intensity and time spent exercising by 200%.

Those wishing to take advantage of the offer can head to one of the 22 participating train stations across the Merseyrail network, including Liverpool Central, Moorfields, Aigburth, Southport, Ormskirk and West Kirby. There are also bike hire facilities at Seacombe Ferry Terminal and Leasowe Castle, in addition to a further 49 participating train stations across much of the North West, North East and Yorkshire, East and South East of England, and Scotland.

To hire a Bike & Go bike, users simply need to register their card details online, which they can do via smartphones, tablets, or at home, and pay the annual subscription fee, priced at £5 during the offer period.

To claim the half-price subscription, users should select the ‘Bike 19’ promotion option when completing the online form, and enter promotion code ‘bike’.

They will then receive a user number via email which will allow immediate bike hire – usually charged at just £3.80 per 24 hours up to a maximum of 72 hours - while they wait for their Bike & Go membership card. When hiring the bikes, subscribers should simply ask staff for four bikes instead of two, then cycle off to enjoy a healthy day out with their friends.

 


Bike & Go offer Valentine’s Date for under a fiver

Bike hire scheme Bike & Go are inviting Formby subscribers to go on a Valentine’s date with a difference thanks to a ‘buy one get one free’ offer.

Bike & Go Valentines 2019
Those signed up to the bike hire scheme – which costs £10 a year and allows users to rent two bikes as often as they like – can pay just £3.80 to hire two bikes and enjoy a bike ride between Thursday, February 14 and Sunday, February 17 this year.

Even if customers sign up to the scheme to take advantage of this offer alone, the deal still adds up to a great value Valentine’s date, with the annual membership and the rental charge totalling just £13.80 for 24 hours bike hire for two.

Couples can take to two wheels for a relaxing day or evening out, cycling to one of the region’s many beauty spots or enjoying a tour of the area’s most romantic attractions.

And with exercise widely accepted to act as a natural aphrodisiac, the Bike & Go team say cycling is the perfect activity for couples to enjoy on Valentine’s Day.

Suzanne Grant, Bike & Go director said:

“Cycling together offers couples the chance to have fun and to enjoy a genuinely romantic experience for what can add up to less than two cinema tickets.

“Just pack up a picnic and wrap up warm to create a very special date you’ll never forget.”

Here, Bike & Go their top five suggestions of where to head for a romantic bike ride date:

Another Place, Crosby Beach

Beaches aren’t just for summer enjoyment; and with Sir Antony Gormley’s world famous ‘Another Place’ sculptural installation on our doorstep, Crosby Beach is certainly a year-round destination. Park up the bikes and enjoy a picnic overlooking the haunting figures and the waters beyond.

Albert Dock/Pier Head

The Albert Dock and Pier Head is a great option for those who want to enjoy an evening ride, as the lights illuminating some of the city’s most stunning landmarks provide a beautiful backdrop to a romantic date. Add a drink and a warming blanket so that you can snuggle up and look at the lights and enjoy a date with a difference.

New Brighton

With its view of the Liverpool skyline that’s equally as pretty during the day as it is in the evening, head to New Brighton and take some couple-selfies for a date that’s as Instagrammable as it is romantic.

Clieves Hill, Ormskirk

Following rural backroads and boasting a panoramic view which, on a clear day, offers views of the Lake District, this is a ride best enjoyed in the daytime. Once you reach the peak, stop off for a picnic and bask in the knowledge that you’ve conquered an uphill cycle climb together.

Calderstones Park and Allerton Park Loop

Romance is at a premium at the beautiful Calderstones Park, with its mansion house, lake and extensive grounds. Follow the full route [https://www.letsride.co.uk/rides/43860] for a four-mile ride that also passes Allerton Tower Park and across Woolton Road into Clarke Gardens.

Bike & Go offers bike hire facilities from 22 participating train stations across the Merseyrail network, including Liverpool Central, Moorfields, Formby, Ainsdale, Aigburth, Southport, Ormskirk and West Kirby. There are also bike hire facilities at Seacombe Ferry Terminal and Leasowe Castle.

To hire a Bike & Go bike, users simply need to register their card details online, which they can do via smartphones, tablets, or at home, and pay the annual £10 subscription fee. They will then receive a user number via email which will allow immediate bike hire – usually charged at just £3.80 per 24 hours up to a maximum of 72 hours - while they wait for their Bike & Go membership card.

 


Keep a close eye on Sefton’s beloved furry friends

Among Sefton’s most beloved residents are its beautiful red squirrel population, found mainly in Formby.

Red Squirrel on a tree trunk

Their role in Sefton should not be taken for granted and special care is taken to sustain their numbers.

An important part of this is observing and recording both red and grey squirrel numbers. Lancashire Wildlife Trust is hosting a squirrel monitoring workshop at Coronation Park in Crosby, January 19, 10.30am – 12.30pm for those who want to volunteer for this important role.

If this sounds like it could be right up your tree, visit the Lancashire Wildlife Trust Facebook page

(Source: Sefton Borough Council)