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Tree-mendous Honours for Southport and Crosby

A pair of native oak trees are being planted at Argyle Road in Southport and Alexandra Park in Crosby as part of a nationwide campaign marking the 80th anniversary of the Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) – the national charity providing social and welfare services to Holocaust refugees and survivors in the UK.

80 Trees for 80 Years has seen native oak trees planted all around Britain in honour of people and places that symbolise the enormous contribution made to every walk of British life by refugees who escaped from Nazi Europe.

Argyle Road, Southport was chosen because it was home to the Harris House Kindertransport hostel, which provided sanctuary to 19 Jewish girls who fled Nazi persecution in Europe in 1938. The tree has been sponsored by the chairman of the AJR, Mike Karp, whose own mother was one of those girls.

Alexandra Park, Crosby was chosen by AJR member Rachel Hall, whose grandparents Hans & Rahel Liebeschuetz fled Germany in 1939 and eventually chose to make their home in Blundellsands. They named their house ‘Dockenhuden’ after the village outside Hamburg that they had left.

Members of Sefton Council and Association of Jewish Refugees stand around newly planted oak tree inAlexandra Park in Crosby

Association of Jewish Refugees (AJR) Chairman, Mike Karp, said: “As well as helping to mark the heritage of our members and a place of historic interest associated with them, the planting of this tree enables the AJR to give back to and create a living legacy within the country that became home to the Jewish refugees.

“Britain’s native oak trees are in decline and new trees are desperately needed. We hope these 80 special trees will be appreciated by future generations and provide natural habitats for other native species for many decades to come.”

Clare Carragher, Mayor of Sefton, said: “I was honoured to be invited to the tree planting in respect of the 80th anniversary of the Association of Jewish Refugees.

“It was under an oak tree that Abraham gave refuge to God and his two angels, who were disguised as travellers. In Celtic legend, the oak tree is the tree of life.

“This tree is a symbol of strength stability and wisdom, and may Sefton always be a safe place of refuge for those who need it.”

Cllr Trish Hardy, Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “It is an honour for our Borough to be part of the campaign marking the 80th anniversary of the Association of Jewish Refugees.

“I’m thrilled that the people of Sefton have the opportunity to visit the two native oak trees in Southport and Crosby and use as a place to reflect on the history and incredible impact of Jewish refugees.”

 

The trees at Southport and Crosby will act as platforms for telling the story of Britain’s Jewish refugees and celebrating their remarkable contribution to British life. They also form part of The Queen’s Green Canopy – the unique tree planting initiative which marked HM Queen Elizabeth ll’s Platinum Jubilee and whose organisers have adopted the AJR’s project as a “wonderful initiative”.

The tree is also featured on the new UK Holocaust Map (www.ukholocaustmap.org.uk), a new online resource which helps to tell the story of the Holocaust and British responses to Nazism.

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Notes on the AJR for Editors:

The AJR is the leading national charitable organisation exclusively delivering social, welfare and volunteer services to Jewish victims of Nazi oppression living in Great Britain.

The AJR is also the largest supporter of Holocaust educational programmes, projects and initiatives to commemorate the Holocaust in the UK.

The AJR has produced the ground-breaking audio-visual testimony archive, Refugee Voices. This collection of 250 filmed interviews creates a legacy of the experiences of the refugees and will advance and enhance Holocaust research for future generations. Refugee Voices enables Holocaust researchers and scholars to watch up to 500 hours of film and read fully edited and transcribed accounts. For the first time, researchers will also be assisted by time-codes that, together with a summary sheet and key words section, direct users to specific sections of the films. Details are at www.refugeevoices.co.uk

AJR Chief Executive, Michael Newman, is a member of the UK delegation to the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), which brings together governments and nongovernmental organisations to raise awareness of the Holocaust and places political and social leaders’ support behind the need for Holocaust education, remembrance, and research.

Green-fingered community group are bloomin’ successful thanks to Sefton

Maghull & District CIC group,A green-fingered community group from Maghull is blossoming after winning a top environment award.
 
The Friends of Maghull & District CIC group, which have gone from strength to strength thanks to the support of Sefton Council’s specialist crowdfunding project, have recently won the BBC Radio Merseyside ‘Make A Difference’ Environment Award.

Dedication and tireless efforts

Out of hundreds of nominees, the hard working community group behind the Stafford Moreton Way and Woodend projects, were chosen for their dedication and tireless efforts which have transformed large parts of their community. 
 
The Friends of Maghull & District CIC (FOMD) group are one of the flagship successes of the Sefton Crowd campaign – a specialist crowdfunding platform from Sefton Council which aims to support groups who want to make positive changes within the areas they live.
 
Thanks to Sefton Crowd and generous backers, FOMD CIC have raised an astonishing £36,500 towards environmental projects in Maghull. £30,000 was raised towards creating a safe woodland style greenspace called Bobby’s Wood, while a further £6,500 was raised to transform Stafford Moreton Way into an eco-educational area for future generations.

Kind-hearted people

Dr Frank Sharp (FOMD CIC Director) said: “We want this award to be for the countless amazingly kind-hearted people in our community that have contributed at every level, to make a difference to our environment.

“In addition, we would like to thank Sefton Council’s Sefton Crowd platform which has provided us with an invaluable support system to raise funds for the last two projects.”
 
Working in partnership with Spacehive, the UK’s leading civic crowdfunding platform, Sefton Crowd is an initiative that gives residents with an idea to improve their community the opportunity to gain funding via Spacehive’s crowdfunding platform.

Incredible schemes and ideas

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “Through the Sefton Crowd we have already seen some incredible schemes and ideas brought to fruition.

“This award for the FOMD group is very much deserved and we are delighted that we have been able to support their tireless efforts through our platform.

“We continue to search for and support projects that answer our call for ideas which benefit local people and communities.

“I’m also calling on companies and foundations to join us in offering support – whether funding or in-kind – to the ideas people post on the platform so we can work together to make them a real success. The more people that get involved in Sefton Crowd the more amazing places we can create together.”

Supporting a project can cost as little at £2 and funding may also be available via Sefton Council’s Community Transition Fund.
 
You can find out about opportunities to back a project or to create your own here. 

Guided walks along Sefton’s natural coast to highlight importance of migrating birds

The Council’s Green Sefton service have introduced a new campaign, “Give Birds A Break”, to highlight the need for visitors to not disturb migrant birds as they rest on our natural coast.

Many of the bird species that are seen along Sefton’s coast have travelled from the arctic and are taking a much-needed break to rest, feed and build up fat and energy levels before continuing their migration south.

Disturbing wildlife should be avoided at all times, but in the case of the migrant birds, resting during high tides is critical. If disturbed during high tide, the birds will fly, burning energy they cannot replace while their feeding areas are covered by sea water. If this disturbance happens repeatedly, the birds become exhausted and can die.

Green Sefton and partners, National Trust and Dynamic Dunescapes, are hosting a number of activities during October Half Term.

Guided walks will be taking place along our natural coast to show visitors the incredible birds from a safe distance. The walks will display the wonderful variety of birds found along our shores, explaining their long journey to get here and the threats they face.

At both Ainsdale and Formby, there will be Paws for Thought pop-ups from Dynamic Dunescape and Green Sefton who will be on site raising awareness about dog walking on our coast.

The Paws for Thought campaign encourages visitors and their furry friends to enjoy these landscapes while also helping us make these habitats a safer home for the wildlife that relies on it.

All activities can be found below:

Tuesday 25th October at 9am – Green Sefton hosting at Burbo Bank, Crosby Beach

Email: jordan.scott@sefton.gov.uk to book a place

Tuesday 25th October at 11am – National Trust hosting at Lifeboat Road, Formby Beach

Email: bree.hodge@nationaltrust.org.uk to book a place

Wednesday 26th October – Dynamic Dunescapes and Green Sefton hosting Paws for Thought pop ups at Lifeboat Road, Formby Beach and Ainsdale Beach

Thursday 27th October at 11am – Dynamic Dunescapes hosting at Range Lane, Cabin Hill

Email: natalie.Coffey@naturalengland.org.uk to book a place

Friday 28th October at 10am – Green Sefton hosting at Ainsdale Beach

Email: jordan.scott@sefton.gov.uk to book a place

 

People are encouraged to bring binoculars, should they have them, and to wear weather appropriate clothing and stout footwear.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “Our Natural Coast is home to many important wildlife, and it’s great to see partner organisations getting involved with the “Give Birds A Break” campaign.

“All visitors, especially dog walkers and horse riders, are urged to take care along our coastline and avoid disturbing birds. To do so is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981, and is also covered by the new Coastal and Visitor Area PSPO.”

Temporary signage has been put up over high tides at key points along the coast reminding visitors not to disturb the birds.

For the latest information on the campaign, people can follow Green Sefton on their social media channels:

Twitter – @GreenSefton_

Instagram – @GreenSefton

Facebook – www.facebook.com/greensefton

Sefton says ‘Thanks!’ to summer coast visitors as car parks close for winter

Hundreds of thousands of people have enjoyed visits to Sefton’s beautiful Crosby, Ainsdale and Southport beaches this summer.

The Council’s Green Sefton coastal rangers have been kept busy managing beach car parks, emptying bins, litter picking and helping people get the most out of their visit to the Borough. And they have done this alongside partners the RNLI, HM Coastguard, Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and National Trust Formby.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:

“We would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to all the visitors who’ve been to our beaches over the summer and who’ve played their part by using our bins or by taking their rubbish home. This has kept our beaches looking fantastic and the rare and fragile natural habitats that make our coastline so special, safe.

“And a big ‘thank you’ also to Green Sefton and all our partners and volunteers for all the work they’ve done over the summer months keeping our coast clean and safe, and so enjoyable for all our visitors.”

Mark Shaw, Green Sefton Service Manager, said:

“Thanks to all those visitors who came this summer and who were kind to our staff, considerate to local people living along Sefton’s coast and for being respectful to each other.

“We hope you had a great time and look forward to welcoming you back next year.”

Parking Information

Beach car parks along Sefton’s Natural Coast are now closed, marking the end of the busy summer season. Ainsdale and Southport beach car parking will now remain closed until 1st April 2023.

For those who visit our coastline all year round, there are still plenty of ways to travel to the coast, by either foot, bike, or train.

Sefton’s beaches are in easy walking distance from Merseyrail stations such as Southport, Birkdale, Hillside, Ainsdale, Freshfield, Formby, Hall Road, Blundellsands & Crosby and Waterloo. People can plan their journeys and find timetables and service updates at www.merseyrail.org

For those driving to our Natural Coast, there are many other pay and display car parks in the Southport area just a short walk away from the beach.

Crosby beach is backed by a promenade, from where people can view the Another Place ‘Iron Men’. There are several pay and display car parks adjacent or close to the promenade.

For those planning looking for another reason to visit the work of art, The Guardian newspaper have this week published an online article showcasing the Borough’s Sefton Coastal Path with a suggested walk route.

While car parking for the beach at Formby remains open all year round and is managed by the National Trust, who have lots of helpful tips you should read when planning your visit there. Have a look at their planning your visit page.

 

 

The impact of plastic on Sefton’s Natural Coast

Sefton Council are reminding residents that lantern and balloon releases are not permitted across the borough. The ban was introduced to protect Sefton’s 22-mile coastline and greenspaces.

Sky Lantern and Balloon Releases

Many people are unknowing of the dangerous impact sky lantern and balloon releases have on wildlife and the environment.

As Newton put it, ‘What goes up, must come down’ and once released, sky lanterns and balloons become a form of littering, as well as a serious fire hazard and danger to animals through suffocation, ingestion, or entanglement.

Sefton Council is one of 100 other local authorities across Great Britain listed on the Marine Conservation Society ‘Don’t Let Go’ campaign website, because it has banned balloon and sky lantern releases owing to the environmental and wildlife damage they cause.

This activity also falls under the Council’s new Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) and those participating in sky lantern or balloon releases could face a fixed penalty fine.

People can find out more by heading to sefton.gov.uk/coastalpspo

Impact on Wildlife and Environment

Sefton’s sand dune system is one the largest in the country. This environment is recognised as one of the most important dune habitats in North-west Europe and is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest.

As such, our Natural Coast is home to an incredible array of flora and fauna; from the rare natterjack toad to sand lizards and northern dune tiger beetle.

Everyday plastic objects can sadly become hazardous when found by wildlife. By taking all litter home or disposing of it properly in bins, the lives of many wildlife could be saved.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at Sefton Council said: “Sefton’s Coast is an internationally protected nature reserve, and we need your help to keep it that way. Taking all litter and belongings home after a trip to one of our beaches is a simple and easy way to protect this precious landscape.

“We urge people considering a balloon or lantern release to research the safe and environmentally friendly alternatives that are just as beautiful and special.”

For more information, people are encouraged to visit the websites below:

Marine Conservation Society ‘Don’t Let Go’

RSPCA Balloon and Sky Lantern Alternatives

Coastal and Visitor Area PSPO

MySefton article – Council reminds residents that balloon releases are not permitted

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