Please follow & like us

Christmas at Canalside: Everything you need to know!

A gingerbread extravaganza is coming to Bootle Canalside with two pop-up events scheduled for this weekend and next.

Over the weekends of Friday 10th to Sunday 12th and Friday 17th to Sunday 19th December, Bootle Canalside will be decorated for the festive season, featuring a Christmas tree, cosy tipis and gingerbread people on stilts.

Food and drink will be served from Bootle Canalside’s trademark shipping containers in a nod to Bootle’s industrial past, and people will be seated in a cosy, covered tipis surrounded by barrels and benches in true Bavarian style.

There will be activities for all the family including crafts and storytelling to bring Christmas to Canalside. A gingerbread trail through the Strand will lead out onto the Canalside.

So here’s what you need to know before heading down to Bootle Canalside…

What days is it open?
Friday 10th December- Sunday 12th December

Friday 17th December- Sunday 19th December

What time does it open?
Fridays: 3pm-8pm

Saturdays: 11am-6pm

Sundays: 12pm- 4pm

Where is it?
The new Bootle Canalside site is next to the Strand and can be accessed via Washington Parade, through the Strand or down the brand new steps on Stanley Road.

It it a 5-minute walk from Bootle New Strand Station and a 2-minute walk from the Strand Bus Station.

Is it free?
Yes, entry is free onto the site as is all the entertainment.

Is the site wheelchair accessible?
Access to the site is wheelchair accessible from Washington Parade and the Strand however, parts of the site are uneven in places and caution is advised for wheelchair users.

Is it child-friendly?
Yes. We have child friendly food stalls and entertainment and Bootle Canalside Pop Up is designed to be a place for all the family. We also have some fun craft and storytelling activities on all weekend.

Is it dog-friendly?
Yes, provided dogs are kept on a short lead and any mess is picked up.

What food stalls do you have?
We have all things Christmas served from our shipping containers as well as waffles, sweets and more tasty treats
We also have a bar serving coffee, beer, mulled wine, soft drinks and more…

What activities are on?
We have crafts and storytelling running every day delivered by local community groups and watch out for out Gingerbread People walking through the site every now and again. You won’t miss them!

How can I give my feedback?
There will be feedback forms and drop boxes dotted around the site…
We really want to hear what to local community want from this fantastic space

Do I have to wear a mask?
No, as per current COVID guidelines at this outdoor event you do not have to wear a mask although people are free to wear one if they like. We would encourage everyone to sanitise their hands often and be mindful of others. It may be a good idea to take a lateral flow test before so you know that you are not unwittingly spreading COVID-19.

Sefton Council and the Plaza Cinema join forces to help bring the festive cheer to foster families

Sefton’s fostering families were enchanted as they joined together for a special screening of Encanto at Crosby’s Plaza Cinema, as part of the Fostering Services’ Christmas celebrations.

Sefton partnered with the Plaza Community Cinema in Crosby to arrange for the showing of the new Disney film, which focuses on the importance of family. The event was organised to say ‘thank you’ to Sefton’s foster families for all the invaluable work they do to look after vulnerable children from the Borough.

Angela, who has been a foster carer for nearly 30 years and who came along to the screening with her foster children, said;

“All of the children have had a brilliant time at the pictures, and it’s been so good to get together and have a catch up with other carers.

“I absolutely love being a foster carer and have always known it was something I was going to do. If anybody is thinking about it, please get in touch with Sefton Council and you won’t regret it. It’s really, really rewarding.”

Cllr Mhairi Doyle MBE, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, said:

“I am so happy that we were able to bring our foster carers and their families together a Christmas time to create some special memories and put an extra smile on our young people’s faces.

“It has been a difficult year and we want to let our carers know how much we appreciate their hard work and dedication.

“Events like this show how, as a foster carer at Sefton, you will be part of one big family and support network so if you are thinking about fostering please get in touch.”

Christine Physick from the Plaza Community Cinema said;

“We are absolutely delighted to welcome foster families for a special screening at the Plaza. As a Community Cinema events like these are what we are all about.

“We’ve had a lot of happy children and happy families so it’s great to be able to give them a little celebration at the end of what has been a difficult year.”

Sefton’s Foster Carers receive full training and support, plus payments for their skills and allowances. Anyone who is thinking about fostering can find out more by speaking to one of the team.

Find out more or make an enquiry on our dedicated website 

Get in touch on our freephone number 0800 923 2777

To find out about films at Crosby’s Plaza Cinema, visit Plaza Cinema | Liverpool Community Cinema


Vital habitat management works udder-way across the Sefton Coast this winter

Belted Galloway cow on the Ainsdale dunes
Belted Galloway cow on the Ainsdale dunes. Photo taken by Green Sefton Engagement Officer John Dempsey.

Sefton Council is carrying out its annual schedule of habitat management works at key sites along the coast.

Each winter, the Council’s Green Sefton service brings grazing animals onto the Local Nature Reserves to help control vegetation growth. This, in turn, encourages diverse plant species to grow and dune specialists such as Natterjack Toads, Sand Lizards and Northern Tiger Beetles to thrive.

This year, Herdwick sheep from Cumbria alongside Belted Galloway cattle from neighbouring Lancashire have been moved on to the reserve at Ainsdale.  The animals will graze the reserves until early spring 2022.

Sign reminding beach visitors of need to keep dogs on leads.
Sign reminding beach visitors of need to keep dogs on leads, to close gates and to be mindful of the cattle and sheep during the grazing period.

Green Sefton is urging everyone to act responsibly if they visit the reserve to catch a glimpse of the special winter visitors. Dog walkers are reminded that pets should be kept on a lead and under close control within fenced grazing areas, following the Countryside Code, which can be found at

Herdwick sheep on Ainsdale Local Nature Reserve
Herdwick sheep on Ainsdale Local Nature Reserve.

Gordon White, Countryside Officer for Green Sefton, said:

“These grazing animals are an essential tool in the management of Sefton’s scientifically important sand dunes. Not only do they help us to improve the condition of the sand dune habitats, but they really help to optimise the potential of Sefton’s important natural assets.

“We urge all dog walkers to keep their pets on a lead, under close control and away from the sheep and cows they may see in the fenced grazing areas this winter – just as you would on any site or farmers field where livestock are kept.

“While they are docile animals and used to seeing people, they could be a little nervous in their new seasonal Sefton home.”

Cllr 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 dune systems and it is great to see the animals making a return to our reserve again this winter.”

Green Sefton officers managing a controlled burn of scrub
Green Sefton officers managing a controlled burn of scrub.

Other habitat management works taking place along the coast this winter include the tightly controlled burning of invasive, non-native species. This method is used due to the terrain of the area and to ensure that damaging biomass is removed to allow for improvements to the ecology of the dune systems

Areas of scrub are cut down throughout the winter by Green Sefton rangers, with the help of volunteer groups. The stumps are then removed or burned in a controlled environment, only when weather conditions permit.

The Dynamic Dunescapes programme also continues to tackle areas of invasive non-native species at the Sefton coast, such as Japanese Rose, Japanese Knotweed and Sea Buckthorn. Different methods are used to remove these species to expose more sand and ultimately improve the dune slack habitats. More information about this partnership can be found online at

Cllr Moncur added:

“Sefton’s coastline is one of Britain’s most important areas for nature conservation and has the highest level of protection under UK law as a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its flora and fauna.

“On-going initiatives like this really help to enhance these important coastal ecological systems and also ensures that we are playing our part in mitigating the impact of climate change on our coast.”

Volunteer undertaking scrub removal
Volunteer undertaking scrub removal.

Gordon White added:

“We all have an obligation to protect these very special features and balancing their needs with those of our visitors can be a tricky task. Part of our role at Green Sefton is to help our communities to learn and understand how fortunate we all are to have such incredible and fantastic species right on our doorstep. Working with our communities, as well as with partner organisations on specific environmental projects, we can achieve great improvements to the condition of our wonderful sand dune habitats.

“Ultimately this will enable us to be confident that we have contributed to passing them on to the next generation in a strong condition, to continue to survive, while providing them with fascinating wildlife spectacles.”

Sefton Health & Wellbeing Chief’s jab reminder on UK’s vaccination anniversary

NHS message saying 'Get Vaccinated, Get boosted, Get protected'.With today being the anniversary of the UK’s first COVID vaccination, Sefton Council’s cabinet member for public Health, Cllr Ian Moncur is urging people to make sure they are up to date with their jabs and boosters.

Best protection

Cllr Moncur, who will be chairing a Sefton Council Health and Wellbeing Board meeting today, said: “Vaccinations still, without doubt, provide the best clinical protection for all of us against the COVID-19 virus, which is still spreading in our communities.

He continued: “If you’ve missed your first jab, get it now. If you’ve missed your second jab, get it now or as soon as you can.

“And if you’ve had both, book your booster if you are already eligible, or keep an eye on the latest information from the Government who have said all eligible over-18s will be offered a jab by the end of January.”


Everyone aged 16 and over can get a first and second dose of vaccine and most young people aged from 12 to 15 are currently being offered a first dose.

People can book an appointment by visiting  or calling 119.

It was on the 8th December 2020, that 90-year-old grandmother Maggie Keenan from Coventry became the first person in the country to have a COVID vaccination. However, a year on, almost 20% of people across Sefton aged over 16 still have not had any vaccinations.

Never too late

Cllr Moncur added: “When we went out recently to talk to people about vaccinations, we found many people thought that because they had not gone to the appointment they had been sent, they thought they had missed their chance.

“The message is whether it’s your first, your second or your third, booster jab, it’s never too late to get vaccinated.”

People can visit to find out how to make an appointment and to find a link to their nearest vaccination centre.

Global study

Earlier this month, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health Margaret Jones, Sefton reminded people that mask-wearing is still hugely effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Commenting in the light of a global study, reported in the British Medical Journal, which has shown mask-wearing reduces incidence of COVID by 53%, Margaret Jones said: “Mask wearing is incredibly important in preventing us from spreading and catching the COVID and particularly so as even those of us who have been vaccinated can still carry and pass on the virus without feeling any ill effects ourselves.

Mrs Jones described masks wearing as ‘a minimal effort that can do so much to prevent ourselves, our friends and loved ones and others from COVID-19 and other seasonal viruses such as flu.


Sefton Council is also urging anyone who shows COVID symptoms of a raised temperature, persistent new cough or a loss of taste or smell, to get a PCR test by should book a PCR test by calling 119 or visiting

People who are out and about are still advised to carry on using rapid home test kits, which are available from pharmacists, twice a week.  If a rapid test shows a positive result they should then isolate and book a PCR test.

Find out more on our website.

One year on from the first COVID-19 vaccine in Sefton

Marilyn Cull - patientThis month the NHS in Sefton is celebrating the one year anniversary of the biggest vaccination programme in NHS history.

Launched nationally

The NHS COVID-19 vaccination programme launched nationally in hospital hubs on 8 December, with the vaccine starting to be offered locally in Sefton from Tuesday 15 December 2020. The very first vaccination in Sefton was given to 85-year-old Southport resident, Marilyn Cull, at Southport Centre for Health and Wellbeing.

One year on from the programme launch, and over 486,000 doses of the vaccines have now been given across Sefton, starting with residents aged 80 and over as the first group to be eligible, right through to the 12–15-year old pupils currently being vaccinated in primary schools across the Borough.

Tireless efforts

Fiona Taylor, chief officer of NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, said: “Thanks to the tireless efforts of our vaccine programme teams, volunteers, GP practices and community pharmacies we have managed to get 207,000 people in Sefton vaccinated with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccines.”

“We are so proud of everyone who has contributed to the organisation and delivery of the vaccine programme in Sefton. We have teams that have worked long hours, volunteers from the local community giving up their time to support us, and many NHS staff who have come out of retirement to help us fight against the coronavirus and protect our communities.”

“We have achieved so much but the hard work is not yet over. Our vaccination teams are still delivering first and second doses of the vaccines to those who have not yet taken up the offer, as well as delivering third primary doses to those most at risk, and booster jabs to give added protection as people become eligible for them.”

Vaccination centres

National vaccination centres were set up in hospitals and other sites all over the UK to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, with the first vaccination given on 8 December 2020 to 90-year-old Margaret Keenan in Coventry.

Local vaccination centres in Sefton were set up to help boost the roll-out of the vaccines in the borough. They were first run by groups of GP practices known as primary care networks, working together with NHS South Sefton CCG and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, with vital support from a team of volunteers.

As the programme has developed the majority of Sefton’s local vaccination centres are now run by local pharmacies. Over the course of the year, vaccination sites have been in a variety of locations such as GP practices, town halls, community centres, pharmacies and more to help make the vaccines available to all communities in Sefton.


Dave Wilson, 67, from Maghull said: “My wife and I went to get our booster jab at Netherton Health Centre, and it was brilliant. From the minute we walked in, the staff were great and made us feel so welcome.”

“I am afraid of needles, but the staff make you feel like family and take away your fears. We would happily go back again. Thank you to everyone on the vaccination team at Netherton Health Centre, you do a great job which is very much appreciated.”

Roving teams

As well as fixed vaccination sites, the past year has seen ‘roving’ vaccination teams launching pop-up sites in different locations, such as Hugh Baird College in Bootle and Peel Ports in Seaforth, as well as visiting care homes right across the borough. Sefton has also had several visits from the ‘vaccination bus’ – a four wheeled mobile vaccine clinic that has travelled all over Merseyside during the course of the vaccination programme.

Visit YouTube to watch a video from NHS South Sefton CCG and NHS Southport and Formby CCG, looking back over the past year of the COVID-19 vaccination programme in Sefton, and meet some of the vaccination staff and volunteers. 

The NHS is encouraging anyone who is eligible but has not yet had their first or second dose, or booster jab, to come forward and book an appointment, by calling 119 or visiting the national booking service website:

To find out more about local vaccination sites in Sefton and how to book, visit the NHS South Sefton CCG website:  or NHS Southport and Formby CCG website:

Search Box