MP's close up view of bittern recovery work
Smith will this week learn at first hand how vital work is helping
turn round the fortunes of one of Britain's rarest breeding birds.
And she will also hear of the need to maintain dedicated EU funding
for biodiversity. Ms Smith will be getting a close up view of the
work going on to secure the future of bitterns in Lancashire,
including machinery that has come all the way from Louisiana to
Leighton Moss to help. Ms Smith, MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale,
will visit the RSPB's nature reserve at Leighton Moss, near
Carnforth, to see work going on to recreate and restore reedbeds.
Robin said:- "Over the years, Leighton Moss has provided a
toehold for breeding bitterns in the North West of England,
attracting people from all over Britain who come along to the
reserve to hopefully catch a glimpse of these shy and elusive
More than £200,000 of EU cash is being pumped into the work. It is
part of a £4m project which will see ideal habitat for bitterns
developed at 19 sites throughout England. More than £2m of the
funding for this has come through the EU LIFE Nature programme. But
the European Commission has proposed to end the LIFE Nature
programme next year, with no adequate provision for a replacement
fund under the EU budget. While current funding will not be
affected, maintaining a dedicated EU biodiversity fund is important
to help finance conservation work for priority habitats and species,
such as reedbeds and bitterns.
Sadly, only one "booming" male bittern has been known
to breed at Leighton Moss for the past few years. However, there
were three females - an increase from last year's two. There were 2
successful nests this season and one of them had 4 chicks. The
female at one of the nests was a bird born at the reserve in 2000.
"By developing new reedbeds at Silverdale Moss and restoring the
kind of habitat bitterns like, we hope that by 2012 we will have
sufficient habitat to support a further two males." said
Ms Smith said:- "Research has shown that bitterns like younger
reedbeds, so now conservationists are in a race against time to
develop Silverdale Moss and rehabilitate Leighton Moss. If we don't
take action now, the unthinkable will happen and bitterns will die
out, even in this most protected of places - a situation which we
must do all we can to prevent."
Other funding for reedbed work at Leighton Moss and surrounding
sites has come from the Heritage Lottery Fund, landfill operator
SITA Environmental Trust, the Co-operative Bank, LWS Lancashire
Environmental Fund, RSPB local groups and the John Wilson Appeal.
The vision for Silverdale Moss includes restoring 40 hectares of
pools, reed swamp and fen, providing a "satellite " to
the main reedbed at Leighton Moss. Work at Leighton is concentrating
on removal of nearly 100 years of sediment from the meres and
Southport Rugby League Club Training Launch!!!
League Club play in the North West Counties Leagues in the UK's
elite winter competition.
The local Southport club are an established, innovative and
respected club based in the seaside resort.
The club can offer quality training sessions, good facilities, a
friendly atmosphere and a competitive playing standard in an elite
The club can offer overseas players local accommodation in Southport
The club require players to cover several key positions.
Training Tuesdays & Thursdays 7pm @ Waterloo Road, Hillside,
If interested please contact: -
Stuart Savage, Merseyside Rugby League Development. 07739254835
LINK FORUM UPDATE!!!
DO not forget the
Link Forum Support's Patient and Public Involvement Forum
"Shaping Health Week" from 19 September 2005. This week will
combine events throughout the North West in order to raise the
profile of the Forums and recruit new members. The forum has 9
Patient and Public Involvement Forums throughout Sefton, Liverpool
and West Lancashire and are made up of local people who are
independent from the NHS. They are able to influence change and make
improvements to local healthcare for all.
The Forums will be taking part in a number of events locally
including International Car Free Day in Liverpool on the 22
September, and the Big Heart Festival at Sefton Park on the 25
September. So please make a note to pop along.
More details will be added in the next issue as well as a re-launch
of their web site.
NWAA URGE DRIVERS TO COOL DOWN ON THE ROADS
THE North West
Air Ambulance was called out to three severe incidents resulting in
fatalities over the weekend and in response is urging drivers to
watch their speed and drive considerately.
Lynda Brislin, charity chief executive of the NWAA said:- "The
summer is our busiest time, especially in August as there is a lot
more traffic on the main roads and motorways. Everyone is keen to
get to their destination as quickly as possible but we are urging
all drivers to stick to the speed limit and drive with consideration
to all other road users. Any delays and tail backs are usually down
to the sheer volume of traffic or an incident. For those sitting in
the queue there is nothing that can be done so there is no point
getting frustrated and then thinking you can make up on the time
lost by driving a bit faster when the roads are clear. It makes
absolutely no sense as it is more important you get there in one
For the patient, NWAA is the fastest emergency service. Donations
can be made by ringing 0800 587 4570.