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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 215

Date:- 22 August 2005

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MP's close up view of bittern recovery work

MP Geraldine 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 birds."

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 Robin.

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 ditches.

Southport Rugby League Club Training Launch!!!

SOUTHPORT Rugby 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 competition.

The club can offer overseas players local accommodation in Southport and employment.

The club require players to cover several key positions.
Training Tuesdays & Thursdays 7pm @ Waterloo Road, Hillside, Southport.

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 piece."

For the patient, NWAA is the fastest emergency service. Donations can be made by ringing 0800 587 4570.

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