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Get outdoors safely across Sefton this winter

Sefton’s heritage parks and green open spaces, along with its 22-mile coastline and exciting nature reserves are here to be explored this winter. The Council is encouraging residents to enjoy the outdoors in line with current government guidance.

Whether its walking, cycling or simply getting outside for a breath of fresh air, which many people may look to do over the festive break, staying local and exploring Sefton’s natural assets are a fantastic resource for residents as they continue to adapt to everyday life under COVID-19 restrictions.

Cllr Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:  “This year we’ve seen unprecedented use of our outdoor spaces, particularly throughout the summer months along our beautiful coastline. We joined forces with colleagues and partners to implement our Coastal Action Plan and we were delighted with the support we got from residents and visitors, the vast the majority of whom took note to enjoy our beaches safely.

“Now we’re embracing the seasonal changes and the onset of winter, and I would encourage everyone to continue to make the most of some fresh air when they get outdoors, as well as enjoying everything that nature has to offer in our Borough. That’s not just on our coastline but also our canal walks, cycling routes and Sefton’s many small open spaces and parks.”

Downloadable resources and ideas for places to explore locally in Sefton are available on the Visit Sefton website: visitseftonandwestlancs.co.uk.

Cllr Moncur continued:  “I would like to thank our residents and visitors who are continuing to act responsibly in line with current restrictions. And I would just remind everyone to continue to practice social distancing when getting outdoors, to adhere to current tier two guidelines, and to show respect to both the landscape and the wildlife that we are so lucky to have in Sefton.”

Residents are being reminded that as well as following government guidelines, that they should be prepared for winter differences before getting out and about locally around Sefton’s parks, coastline and open spaces.

The words: Have a wonderful winter in Sefton, with images of winter trees

Cllr Moncur added: “Following this advice and going through a quick check list before heading out and about will ensure that people get the best out of spending time outdoors. You never know what wonders you might find on your doorstep if you explore locally this winter.”

Green Sefton’s advice and checklist is:

  • Always check the weather forecast as conditions can change quickly and check tide times before you set out to the coast.
  • Be prepared for winter weather with appropriate clothing and robust footwear.
  • Remember that the evenings get darker earlier so carrying a torch or wearing reflective clothing would be advisable.
  • Sefton’s entire coastline is environmentally sensitive and protected – please respect this precious landscape.
  • Do not disturb wildlife, livestock or damage habitat – keep a close eye on dogs and keep them away from pools of water or resting birds.
  • Follow the Countryside Code.
  • Camping, BBQs and fires are not permitted.
  • Leave nothing but your footprints – take all your rubbish home with you and recycle wherever possible.
  • Some facilities like public toilets may not be open in winter months at parks and nature reserves.
  • Beach car parks are closed and will not re-open until the spring – please park responsibly in the limited parking available nearby.
  • There are no RNLI patrols on Southport or Ainsdale beaches during winter.
  • If walking or cycling in remote areas, ensure you take a fully charged mobile phone and be aware that signal may be poor.
  • Make sure someone knows where you are going and when you plan to return.
  • Stay local and walk or cycle rather than taking a vehicle where possible.
  • Remember to follow current COVID-19 guidelines and observe social distancing.

Green Sefton – Sefton Council’s service that looks after parks, green spaces, coast and countryside alongside volunteers and partner organisations – is asking residents to report anything that requires attention when they get outdoors and can email the team at greensefton@sefton.gov.uk

Green Sefton may not be able to commit as many resources to regular inspections during the COVID-19 outbreak, so visitors can play their part in helping the Council to maintain Sefton’s outdoor spaces.