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Coastal and Visitor PSPO approved by Licensing and Regulatory Committee

On Monday 27th June, Sefton Council’s Licensing and Regulatory Committee Panel were asked to consider a drafted Public Spaces Protective Order (PSPO) for coastal and visitor areas.

A Public Space Protection Order is an official measure that is an enforceable part of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.

Although the vast majority of visitors know how to behave, sadly there are some who can act in an inappropriate manner that cause distress and disturbance to local residents and businesses, as well as causing damage to infrastructure in the area.

PSPOs along Sefton’s coastline and visitor areas help the Council’s officers and its partner agencies manage visitor behaviour by making clear what is acceptable and unacceptable.

The order is based on the existing Sefton Byelaws and will support wider legislation already in place, including laws in line with the protected status of the Sefton Coast.

Feedback from local communities, visitors and partner agencies have been used to shape the drafted order, which is intended to provide enforcement powers to protect the public from anti-social behaviour.

A public consultation on the proposed PSPO ran for five weeks, up until 24th June 2022.

Support was given on restrictions such as, confiscation of alcohol from those causing anti-social behaviour in certain locations, a total ban of fires and BBQs, and no unauthorised motorised vehicles in visitor areas.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Cabinet Member Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said: “The use of Public Spaces Protection Orders are favoured by many local authorities as there is the opportunity to issue fixed penalty notices at the time of the offence being committed, allowing Officers more powers in managing visitor behaviour.

“We want all people coming to our beautiful borough to enjoy their visit but also to do their bit to protect our spaces for other people, for local residents and for generations to come.”

The proposed PSPO will now be taken to a full Council meeting on 14th July 2022, with the aim for the order to be active from July 2022 to July 2025.

Green Sefton celebrate World Sand Dune Day with guided dune walks

Saturday 25 June is World Sand Dune Day, a day celebrated annually by coastal communities and projects across the world.

Established in 2021 by Dynamic Dunescapes and Sands of LIFE, two projects working to restore coastal sand dune systems, the day offers an opportunity to highlight the importance of sand dunes.

Ainsdale sand dunes
Ainsdale Sand Dunes. Photo by Natural England

Along Sefton’s natural coast we are fortunate to have one of the best ranges of dunes in the country and one of the most important dune stretches in Europe.

The Dynamic Dunescapes project has worked on a number of activities on our Nature Reserves, including control of the invasive Rosa rugosa and scrub removal at Queen’s Jubilee Nature Trail in Southport.

Most of the work to the sand dunes can only take place in the winter months to avoid disturbance to breeding species, so summer is a time to enjoy the spectacle of the dunes.

Guided Dune Walks

To mark the occasion, John Dempsey from the Council’s Green Sefton service will be running two free guided walks in the natural splendour of Ainsdale Local Nature Reserve on Friday 24 June and Saturday 25 June.

The first event will explore the dunes south of Shore Road at Ainsdale, while the Saturday trek will take place in the nature reserve north of Shore Road.

The walks are taking place as follows:

  • Friday 24 June – Meeting at Ainsdale Discovery Centre (PR8 2QB), running from 1pm to 4pm
  • Saturday 25 June – Meeting at Ainsdale Discovery Centre (PR8 2QB), running from 10am to 2pm

Booking is essential for the walks and unfortunately, both are now full.

Dynamic Dunescapes Ainsdale event

However, the Dynamic Dunescapes team will also be at Ainsdale National Nature Reserve to host their World Sand Dunes Day event on Saturday 25 June, from 10am to 3pm.

There will be lots of free activities running throughout the day, from Tai-Chi to Viking dress up. There is no need to book, people can pop along to Pinfold Meadow and join in the fun. To find out more, people can head to Dyanmic Dunescapes website.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “Sand dunes are among the most threatened habitat on the planet due to climate change, invasive species, and people pressure.

“It is fantastic to be celebrating and highlighting the importance of Sefton’s dynamic sand dunes. Our natural coast is a cherished asset among our local communities and visitors alike, and it is wonderful to see many free events available for people to learn more about our special landscapes.”

People can also get involved by sharing photographs of the dunes over on social media! Don’t forget to tag us @seftoncouncil / @greensefton_ and use the hashtag #WorldSandDuneDay

 

Sefton Council supports RLSS Drowning Prevention Week campaign

The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), have launched a brand-new animation to encourage children to get learn more about water safety as part of their national Drowning Prevention Week campaign.

Over 400 people die each year in the UK and Ireland from accidental drowning.

In a recent survey, only 30% of parents surveyed said they are ‘very confident’ that their child knows how to stay safe in and around water, which leaves a lot of parents less confident that their child would know how to stay safe around water. As well as this the survey showed that of those surveyed only one in five children have had any formal water safety education at school in the last year, showing that there is a gap to be filled for children when it comes to understanding water safety.

Even for parents of children who can swim, there is still much to be done, as research conducted by RLSS UK shows that despite 88% of parents whose children have swimming lessons being confident their child knows how to stay safe in and around water, the statistics show there is still a concern for swimmers. In RLSS UK’s analysis of 76 accidental drownings of 8-18 year-olds in the UK, 61% were described as swimmers.

Lee Heard, Charity Director at RLSS UK said: “With June, July, and August proving to be the months with the most fatalities, it is vitally important that everyone has an understanding of water safety, especially during the summer months, and we believe it is never too early to start learning about water safety.

“We have seen a rise in the number of drownings over the last few years, with peaks during the summer. In July 2021, there were 49 accidental drowning fatalities in the space of just two weeks in the UK, and we know that with the right water safety knowledge, accidental drownings are avoidable.

With this in mind, for Drowning Prevention Week this year, RLSS UK have launched a brand new animation which is freely available to watch on YouTube to give parents the opportunity to engage their children in learning about water safety in a fun way.

For more information on the campaign and tips to keep yourself safe this summer, please visit the RLSS website

Get Outdoors in Sefton this Half Term

Whether you live in Sefton or are planning a visit, there is an abundance of beautiful outdoors spots that offer something for everyone.

Historic Parks and Greenspaces

Those planning to get out and about over the Half Term break may want to consider a visit to one of Sefton’s parks where playgrounds and sports facilities offer a space for people of all ages to spend time outdoors.

Sefton has over 30 parks across the borough, as well as 61 play areas and 183 open spaces. This ranges from the stunning Botanic Gardens in the north to the historic Derby Park in the south.

Botanic Gardens, located in Churchtown, are renowned for its community-maintained floral displays, aviary and fernery.  For more information, head to https://www.sefton.gov.uk/around-sefton/parks-and-greenspaces/botanic-gardens-in-churchtown/

South of the borough is Derby Park, an important cultural asset that was built in 1895! The park has been recognised by its designation as part of the Derby Park Conservation Area and its listing on the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. Facilities at the park include a play area, bowls green, zip wire and a multi-use games area. To learn more, head to: https://www.sefton.gov.uk/around-sefton/parks-and-greenspaces/derby-park-bootle/

Natural Coast

Sefton’s environmentally protected coastline stretches for 22 miles from Crosby in the South to Crossens in the North and is a nature haven that offers something for everyone.

In the north there is one of the largest areas of wild dune land left in Britain, the Ainsdale and Birkdale Sandhills Local Nature Reserve. A series of trails leads visitors around the dunes which form the backdrop to magnificent Ainsdale Beach.

For directions and further information, head to: https://www.sefton.gov.uk/around-sefton/coast-countryside/ainsdale-and-birkdale-sandhills-local-nature-reserve/

Further south there’s Crosby Coastal Park, home to Antony Gormley’s famous Iron Men statues. The site is ideal for many informal activities such as birdwatching, flying kites, walking and picnics. Facing west, the beach makes an excellent spot to watch the sunset and there are fantastic views of the Iron Men, the docks and North Wales.

The pop-up food and drink venue, The Bus Yard, has returned to Crosby Coastal Park once more this summer. The Bus Yard is an outdoor space with a fully licensed mobile bar on the lower deck with a roof top terrace and kitchen container serving delicious street food. Check them out on Instagram – @the_bus_yard

Wildlife

It is also home to an incredible array of flora and fauna – from the famous Red Squirrels, to the rare Natterjack Toads and Sand Lizards. The range of dune habitats and rare species found along Sefton’s coast are unique and protected as a site of special scientific interest.

People can play their part in keeping the coast’s precious wildlife safe by taking all their litter home and by not lighting fires or BBQs anywhere at the coast.

To learn more about Sefton’s wildlife and their different activities through the year, people can read our Nature Calendar by heading to: https://www.sefton.gov.uk/around-sefton/coast-countryside/seftons-nature-calendar/

Travel Smart

Visitors looking to head to the coast are being encouraged to explore travel options such as walking or cycling to avoid traffic jams and delays. And drivers are being urged to be considerate to local residents when parking and to avoid fines by using official parking spaces only.

Car parking is available at both Ainsdale and Southport beaches through the summer months.

Ainsdale, which has 2,000 spaces and Southport, which has 400, are among just a handful of on beach car parks across the UK. Unsurprisingly they are closed at some high tides and there may be limited in capacity at other times.

All day beach parking costs £8 at Southport and £10 at Ainsdale. Prices are halved after 4pm subject to available space and the cost for horseboxes or minibuses at both sites is £16 per day.

This funding provides essential support to contribute to the costs to provide our services and preserve the natural beauty of our coastline for generations to come.

RNLI launch water safety campaign and QR codes at Crosby beach

The RNLI and Her Majesty’s HM Coastguard have launched a water safety campaign, urging everyone to remember that if you get into trouble in the water, Float to Live.

To do this: lean back, using your arms and legs to stay afloat. Control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety. In a coastal emergency, call 999 or 112 for the Coastguard.

Lifeguards in the North West dealt with 1,550 incidents last summer. With this summer expected to be just as busy, the RNLI is piloting a new QR code initiative to ensure beach visitors stay safe.

Three lifeguard units across the North West – Crosby, New Brighton and West Kirby will be kitted out with new QR codes, which visitors can scan with their mobile phones for the latest safety advice. The code will lead the user to specific advice for that particular beach and a film with a guide to any specific risks at that location.

The videos will contain a message from the lifeguard who patrols the beach being visited.

RNLI lifeguards have now returned to their posts on a daily basis in Sefton, at Formby, Ainsdale and Southport beaches. The RNLI already provides 365 days a year service at Crosby Coastal Park.

Chris Cousens, RNLI Water Safety Lead for the North West says: “It is important that anyone visiting the coast understands the risks of the environment. It can be very unpredictable, particularly during early summer when the risk of cold water shock significantly increases, as air temperatures warm but water temperatures remain dangerously cold.

“If you get into trouble in the water, Float to Live: lean back, using your arms and legs to stay afloat. Control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety. In a coastal emergency, call 999 or 112 for the Coastguard”

The RNLI is also reminding people to visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the red and yellow flags this summer.

A full list of RNLI lifeguarded beaches can be found here: rnli.org/find-my-nearest/lifeguarded-beaches

For further information on the water safety campaign visit: RNLI.org/FloatWales2022

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