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Government funding set to transform two Sefton parks and greenspaces

Sefton Council is one of 85 local authorities identified by the Government who have received a £85,000 grant for much-needed improvements to two of the Borough’s parks and greenspaces.

Poets Park in Bootle and the open space on Seaforth Road will benefit from improvements as a result of the funding. Community engagement and education campaigns will be carried out alongside the work.

Improvement works

The open space on Seaforth Road will see boundary improvements, new footpaths, and a new litter bin. Some of the existing mounds around the site access points will be opened up, helping to increase the feeling of safety for park users.

There will be informative signage installed and the Council will consult with local stakeholders to re-name the space, creating more of a community identity.

The works will also include some much-needed Health and Safety Tree works, a number of trees have been identified for removal along the park boundary with Crosby Road South. It is always unfortunate when trees are identified for removal but leaving these trees would pose an unacceptable Health and Safety risk to the public.

However, there will be over 35 new trees planted on the site, which will bring colour and year-round interest to the park, help improve air quality, and over time, create a barrier between the park and the busy road.

At Poets Park, with the additional support of Ward Councillor funding, there will be a further 41 new trees planted that will provide more shade, help improve air quality, and support wildlife. New site signage will also be installed.

Tackling litter and fly tipping

Environmental charity, Keep Britain Tidy is being commissioned to support the Council in its delivery of a community engagement campaign to discourage litter and fly tipping. The aim is also to generate a sense of community between the parks and local residents.

Cllr Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at Sefton Council said: “Every park and greenspace in our Borough provides an important community space for residents, and it’s fantastic to see improvement plans for Poets Park and the Seaforth Road open space that will benefit people of all ages in the area.”

The works are planned to begin in the coming weeks.

 

Dog owners urged to put dogs on lead after cow found dead at Birkdale Hills Local Nature Reserve

Sefton Council, and coastal conservation partner, Lancashire Wildlife Trust, are dismayed to find one of the conservation cattle on the Birkdale Hills Local Nature Reserve has died after seemingly being chased down, by one or more dogs.

Chased

A post-mortem on the animal, which was found dead on Thursday 9th February, confirmed that the otherwise healthy animal had suffered from exhaustion and stress consistent with having been chased.

The cattle grazing at Birkdale Hills Local Nature Reserve

Green Sefton’s Countryside Officer, Gordon White said: “Each winter, we bring grazing animals onto the Local Nature Reserves to help control vegetation growth.

“Our team cares for these animals every day and have great concern for their welfare and wellbeing.

“The small herd has not been with us long and it’s shocking and sad to learn that one of them has apparently died in this way.”

By helping control the growth of vegetation, the cows’ grazing, in turn, encourages diverse plant species to grow and dune specialists such as natterjack toads, sand lizards and northern tiger beetles to thrive.

Signs

Mr White continued: “We have posted signs at the Reserve’s major entrance points to inform people of the presence of the cattle.

“I would ask dog owners to put their pets on a lead and ensure they are under control to prevent this from happening again, and just as they would in any farmers field where cows or sheep are present.

“These cows are docile animals and used to seeing people, but we do suggest that if people do come across the cattle, they should turn and walk the other way to avoid disturbing or spooking them.”

Disappointed

Sign containing information on the cattle grazing in the enclosure

A spokesperson for Lancashire Wildlife Trust, which owns the cattle said: “We are very disappointed that one of our animals appears to have been chased down by a dog to the point where it has died.

“This would not have been a quick death for our animal and it would have suffered extreme distress at the time.

“We feel sure that no-one would want these animals to suffer in this way, and so appeal to all visitors to the site to ensure that if they are walking their dog(s), to please keep them on a lead whilst in the enclosure and if you do spot the cattle take a wide route around them so they are not unnecessarily disturbed.

“There are lots of alternate walks in the vicinity that do not go through the enclosure and the cows are only on site for a short time during each winter.”

Countryside Code

Deceased cow laying on the ground after being chased down

We encourage all visitors to follow The Countryside Code and familiarise yourself with Sefton’s Coastal and Visitor Areas Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) – a list of activities that aren’t allowed in order to protect our sensitive environment and ensure everyone has a good time at our coast!

Sefton Council release revised Orrell Mount Park master plan

Sefton Council has today published a revised Orrell Mount Park master plan.

The revised master plan sets a vision for the park in the future, for which funding will now be sought.

Improvement plans

Renovations to the Park’s pavilion building, new and improved play and recreation facilities and the creation of a ‘Nature Trail’ are among the proposals. Benches, bins, and signage in the park will be upgraded and the Park’s biodiversity broadened by the planting of additional trees and shrub.

In 2022, Sefton Council undertook a two-month consultation on the master plan to find out what local people wanted for the Park’s future.

Seventy per-cent of the respondents supported improving the pavilion building and bringing the building back into use for the community and over sixty per-cent supported the work to improve benches, bins, and signage.

Cllr Maher, Sefton Council Leader and local ward councillor said:
“This master plan for Orrell Mount Park shows that we have taken account of people’s views and put together a set of proposals that reflect what people told us they want to see.

“It will bring considerable improvements to this space for communities and future generations, and I look forward to seeing it progressed, should funding become available.”

3G Football Pitch Proposal

Almost 1,000 people provided feedback on the proposals which included the creation of a 3G football pitch for use by local groups and clubs. Because there was no clear majority for the pitch proposals – forty-nine per-cent voted for it, forty-nine per-cent voted against it and the remaining two per-cent neither supported nor opposed it, the Council decided it would not go ahead and brought forward the revised master plan.

Cllr Maher added:
“At each stage we have taken every opportunity to engage and liaise with the local community, and this will continue as proposals develop.”

Illustrative map of revised plans for Orrell Mount Park

From Crosby to the Costa Del Sol! Runners prepare to take on 300th beach challenge

One of Sefton’s coastal park run groups will cross the finish line for the 300th time this coming weekend.

Hundreds of people have taken part in the Crosby parkrun each Saturday morning for the last eight years.

Overcoming high winds, icy temperatures, scorching sunshine and the occasional blister, they have run the equivalent of the north to south length of western Europe.

Managed entirely by volunteers, the running group would have accomplished much earlier had they not been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Created in partnership between Active Sefton and Parkrun UK back in 2015, people from around the world, including global football stars, have taken to the makeshift course on Crosby’s stunning coastline across the last eight years.

More than a thousand miles have been covered during that time, the equivalent of running from Crosby to the Costa Del Sol!

The success is in no small part down to the work of Crosby parkrun co-director Jan Mullin and Amy Barnes, Sefton Council’s Active Sefton Development Manager.

Jan, who runs the weekly event with co-director Gareth O’Hanlon, said: “Our running community relies on volunteers, from teenagers to retirees, who all get on as a fabulous team week in week out.

“It is an absolute pleasure to be part of this fabulous team turning up every week and working in all weathers.

“Parkrun has had appositive impact on so many lives, improving health and wellbeing for runners and volunteers alike.

“We have faced challenges such as Covid and we continue to face obstacles – some small and some large – but overall, we are a community to be proud of.”

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, heaped praise on organisers, along with a team of volunteers who brave all weathers to ensure the run still goes ahead.

He said: “Amy and Jan have worked incredibly hard together from start to finish and we are delighted that the event has reached this impressive milestone.

“Jan and her loyal team of volunteers have committed themselves every week to provide a hugely welcoming community for everyone to take part, whether they are walking or running.

“We have seen people from all corners of the world take part in the Crosby parkrun, which is one of the Parkrun community’s few official coastal based runs.

“The statistics are staggering and it is a testament to Jan’s team that they have welcomed hundreds of different running clubs, had nearly 40,000 impressive finish line results and even local celebrity and Sefton resident Jamie Carragher takes part regularly!”

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Discover the 3 ‘Local Favourite’ parks in Sefton

Three Sefton parks were voted as a “Local Favourite” in the Fields in Trust’s UK’s Favourite Parks 2022 award.

Fields in Trust, an independent charity with over 90 years’ experience protecting parks and green spaces, each year invites the public to nominate their favourite local park.

Botanic Gardens, Derby Park and Rimrose Valley Country Park, were all nominated and voted by the public as a “Local Favourite”.

Mark Shaw from Green Sefton hands Field In Trust Award certificate to community group member on a bridge in Botanic Gardens, Southport
Botanic Gardens, Southport
Rimrose Valley Country Park
Derby Park, Bootle

Cllr Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Local parks have acted as a refuge for so many of us over the past few years and it is wonderful to celebrate the spaces in Sefton that gave us so much in our time of need.

“The award recognises the network of dedicated volunteers and community groups, working alongside our Green Sefton team, who put so much effort into maintaining these spaces to such a high standard for everyone to enjoy.”

Sefton Council’s Green Sefton service are calling for local park users and visitors to have their say in the ongoing Botanic Gardens public consultation.

Working in partnership with the Botanic Gardens Community Association and others, the public consultation is part of ongoing works to develop the future of Southport’s historic Botanic Gardens.

The Council took the decision to explore the development of external funding bids for significant improvement works at the park. This public consultation will help ensure that bid includes local people’s views.

If successful, the funding could support the restoration of many of the park’s Victorian buildings, much-needed repairs to infrastructure and help the Council to fulfil improvement works, including development of new attractions.

People can have their say by completing the online survey: http://oakhamwarp.dinksurveys.com/Sefton_Botanic_Garden

The consultation is open until late Spring 2023.

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