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Active Sefton launch spooktacular half term calendar

Be Active has prepared a ‘spooktacular’ line-up of activities for Sefton’s youngsters this October Half Term (October 28 – November 1).

Registration is now open and parents across the city region are encouraged to sign their youngsters up before the places are filled.

Be Active offers half term camp days and activities at leisure centres across Sefton including Bootle Leisure Centre, Crosby Lakeside Adventure, Crosby Leisure Centre, Litherland Sports Park, Maghull Meadows Leisure Centre, Netherton Activity Centre and Dunes Splash World.

Designed with October Half Term in mind, Spooky Spectacular camp days will include obstacles courses, archery competitions, hand ball, sports tournaments and more. Children are invited to attend in Halloween fancy dress on Thursday October 31. 

The LFC Foundation will return with its popular Football sessions that include drills, challenges and small sided games with prizes to be won each day.

Dance Mash-ups will also return this October with sessions dedicated to The Greatest Showman, Aladdin and Halloween Themes.

Be Active will also be launching a series of pool-based activities including ‘Spooky’ pool parties, inflatable parties and a range of swimming sessions.

As well as it’s half term camps, Active Sefton also leads a number of after-school and weekend activities throughout the year. Jump into Gymnastics classes for ages 2-8 are held weekly at Crosby Leisure Centre and Football for ages 2-10 is held on and Sundays at Netherton Activity Centre.

To book a place on any of the activities or to find out more information call 0151 288 6286 or visit www.sefton.gov.uk/BeActive, or follow us on social media – Facebook: Active Sefton, Twitter: @activesefton & Instagram: @active_sefton.

‘Mooving’ date brought forward for cows on the coast

Ainsdale Local Nature Reserve will once again play host to cattle this winter after Sefton Council came to the rescue of flood stricken bovines.

High levels of floodwater in Lancashire has pushed forward the ‘mooving’ date for the annual arrival of Redpoll cattle, which spend the winter months grazing and enhancing Sefton’s coastal ecological system.

Sefton’s Green Sefton team were expecting the arrival of the livestock later in the month, however the cattle will now take to the dunes from October 1 following heavy rainfall in the cattle’s summer surroundings.

cows grazing in Ainsdale

The borough’s coastline is one of the most important areas in Britain for nature conservation and enjoys the highest level of protection under UK law as a site of specific scientific interest for its flora and fauna.

The dunes are home to many specialised plants and animals such as Natterjack Toad, Sand Lizard, Great Crested Newt, and other protected species such as Petalwort.

However, this dune habitat is increasingly under threat from invasion by coarse grasses and non-native scrub species.

In order to combat this Sefton Council secured a special conservation grazing scheme which has seen cattle on the site for a number of years around wintertime.

The Redpoll is a relatively small native English breed. Having been originally bred in Suffolk and Norfolk, the breed was developed to produce good dairy produce while also being able to fatten well.

Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said “Conservation Grazing is a fantastic, cost effective and natural way to protect our natural dune systems and we look forward to seeing the cattle make a return this week.

“Visitors to the site may also have noticed that a number of small fenced ‘exclosures’ have been installed. These will help monitor any differences between grazed and un-grazed vegetation within the fenced grazing areas.”

For more information about Green Sefton’s coastal work visit www.sefton.gov.uk/beaches.

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British Musical Fireworks Championship goes off with a bang!

Crowds in their thousands visited Victoria Park, Southport at the weekend to watch an incredible fireworks spectacular.

Due to the changing wind conditions on Friday, September 27 the decision to cancel the displays for that evening was made by for the safety of all visitors.

Despite the weather conditions throughout the weekend the competitors worked tirelessly to fire Friday evenings displays across Saturday and Sunday, delighting visitors with an extra display each evening.

An incredible display by Distant Thunder Fireworks, who performed the 4th display on Saturday evening slot, was enough to wow the judges and seal first place.

Second place was awarded to ‘Pyro 2000’ who fired first on Sunday and third place was given to 1st Galaxy Fireworks who fired second on Sunday.

For the first time in the history of the event, the show closed with an incredible exhibition display by last year’s winners, Illusions Fireworks, who also included a moving tribute to late judge Wilf Scott.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council’s Labour Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said: “The British Musical Fireworks Championship was yet again a fantastic weekend for Southport and Sefton.

“The safety of our visitors is our priority and with the change in wind direction and speed, the conditions were no longer suitable to carry on with the competition on Friday evening”

“Despite that thousands of families enjoyed incredible displays in Victoria Park and Saturday was full to capacity, selling out completely, proving what a draw the Fireworks and Southport really are.

“I would like to congratulate everybody involved in putting on this year’s championship, which was a fitting and fantastic end to our 2019 Sefton events calendar along with big thanks to Sefton’s tourism team who work tirelessly on the event.

“As the season draws to close once again, it is also important that we acknowledge the huge economic impact these fantastic events have on our borough.”
“Planning is well underway for the 2020 Borough of Culture making the next 12 months very exciting for the borough”.

Maintenance works to continue on Marine Way Bridge following bad weather

Routine maintenance will continue to take place on Marine Way Bridge, Southport over the next two weeks due to bad weather delaying works.

The extensive works are scheduled to continue on the bridge, which is now fifteen years old, from Monday, September 30.

In order to carry out the works safely and to allow for access for large equipment, Marine Way Bridge will be closed to all traffic, including pedestrians during weekdays until Friday, October 18.

However to compensate for increased traffic on weekends, the bridge will be reopened temporarily for both weekends commencing October 5 and October 12.

Diversions will be in place throughout the closure to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum.

Cllr John Fairclough, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Locality Services, said: “While contractors worked tirelessly to carry out as much work as possible, we are powerless to stop nature from getting in the way!

“The Marine Way Bridge is a vital asset both to our highways network and is the gateway to some of the most beautiful coastline in the North West.

A diversion route will be in place to direct traffic across Marine Lake and advanced signs on Marine Drive at the North and South will allow motorists to choose their preferred route to the East or West of Marine Lake.

For more information about road closures across the borough please visit www.roadworks.org

Southport Waterfront to Host Snooker’s top stars at Players Championship

Southport will host a snooker world ranking event for the first time early next year when the Coral Players Championship comes to the town.

The event will run from February 24th to March 1st in 2020 at the Southport Waterfront. Tickets will be on sale soon.

The Coral Players Championship features the leading 16 players on snooker’s one-year ranking list. Ronnie O’Sullivan won the title last season, beating Neil Robertson in the final. The match had a memorable finish as O’Sullivan made the 1,000th century break of his career in the last frame.

Other top stars in the field last season, when the event was staged in Preston, included Judd Trump, John Higgins, Mark Selby, Mark Allen, Neil Robertson and Mark Williams.

The one-year ranking list started at the Riga Masters last July, and the cut-off point for the Coral Players Championship is the Shoot Out which finishes on February 23rd. The top 16 on the list at that point go through to Southport.

The 16 players will start in a seeded draw, with a knockout format. All matches will be best of 11 frames, until the final which is best of 19.

It’s the second of three events in the Coral Series, preceded by the 32-man Coral World Grand Prix in Cheltenham (February 3-9) and followed by the eight-man Coral Tour Championship in Llandudno (March 17-22). The player earning the most money across the series will receive the Coral Cup and a £100,000 bonus. All three events are televised live by ITV.

Total prize money in Southport will be £385,000 with the winner to receive £125,000.

A spokesman for World Snooker said: “We are very excited about bringing this prestigious tournament to Merseyside for the first time. We know there’s a lot of support for snooker in the area so we’re expecting big crowds, and once tickets are on sale fans must get them booked early as many of the sessions will sell out.

“The Southport Waterfront is a fantastic venue in a beautiful location on England’s North West coast. It’s will be a superb stage for snooker’s biggest names.

“The Coral Players Championship will bring together 16 of the best players on the planet. The great thing about the Coral Series is that all 128 tour players begin the season on zero as they start the race to qualify for the three lucrative events. So only those in form make it into the elite field.

“That race is well underway now and it will be fascinating to see whether all of the big names make it to Southport, or whether we get new faces and outsiders earning a place in the line-up.

“For fans in the area it’s fabulous news as it’s a chance to see live sport at its very best, and the value for money is exceptional.”

Emma Lloyd, Head of Creative for Waterfront Southport said:
“This is huge for the venue and the town. We are delighted to be working with the team at World Snooker to bring it to the Waterfront and we hope it’s the start of a great working relationship. The North West is known for its love of snooker and Southport is no different!”

Ticket details will be announced as soon as they are available

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