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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 23 July 2007

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AS the school holidays approach, the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) is calling on British seaside visitors and sea users to take part in the national Jellyfish Survey and report their sightings of these bizarre but fascinating creatures. Large “blooms” or swarms of jellyfish have already been reported to MCS despite the unseasonable weather, and as the UK’s seas warm up, more jellyfish blooms are expected throughout the summer.

“Britain’s jellyfish seemed to get off to a slow start this year, but then really picked up in May and June when we started to receive reports of large blooms, despite the lack of summer sunshine,” said Peter Richardson, MCS Species Policy Officer, “Blooms of the beautiful and largely harmless moon, blue and compass jellyfish have been reported stranded on beaches in southern England, Wales and the west coast of Scotland.”

The MCS Jellyfish Survey aims to uncover the little-known habits of British jellyfish, as part of a research programme to help protect the critically endangered leatherback turtles that migrate thousands of miles to UK waters to feed on their favourite jellyfish prey each summer. By mapping where and when the jellyfish are seen, MCS hopes to understand more about leatherback turtles while they visit in UK seas.

MCS is interested in the 6 larger jellyfish and 2 jellyfish-like species likely to be encountered around the UK coast that are known to be leatherback prey. This year British beach-goers and sea-users are encouraged to record their jellyfish encounters at, where a free MCS jellyfish identification guide can also be downloaded. Paper copies of the ID guide and forms are also available on request, however MCS advises the public to take care during the survey.

“Everyone is fascinated when they come across a jellyfish on the beach, but its important to remember look but don’t touch, as some species can inflict a painful sting!” said Peter Richardson, “So long as people are careful and sensible around jellyfish, there is no reason to panic about them blooming in our seas.”

Over 4,000 jellyfish encounters have been reported since the MCS Survey was launched in 2003. The survey data will be fully analysed later this year in collaboration with the University of Exeter's Centre for Ecology & Conservation, but initial analysis of these public reports is already showing interesting differences in the distribution of the 6 larger jellyfish species around Britain.

Jellyfish species Distribution This year’s latest records
Largely restricted to the Irish Sea, Solway Firth, Firth of Clyde Large blooms off northwest Wales in March, with some reports through to June.
Lion’s Mane
(powerful sting)
Northern seas, not usually recorded south of the Irish Sea or Northumberland. Some reported in May, started to bloom off west Wales in June
(mild sting)
Entire UK coast. Started to bloom around the UK coast in May, continued through June.
(mild sting)
Entire UK coast, but with most records from SW England and the Irish Sea Unusually early blooms in South west England through June
Entire UK coast. Started to bloom in England and Wales in May, with mass blooms off east and west Scotland through June.
Mauve stinger
(powerful sting)
Occasionally reported from the Channel Islands and SW England No UK records so far, although large blooms reported in parts of the Mediterranean.

Taking part in the survey is easy – the full-colour MCS jellyfish photo-ID guide can be downloaded from where jellyfish encounters can be reported online.

Alternatively, if beach goers want a paper copy of the ID guide and recording forms, they are available on request from the MCS office on 01989 566017 or

Mersey Swim 07!

DO not forget to go and watch Liverpool swimming club, who are once again in the Mersey river for a swim on Saturday 28 July 2007.

The swim is due to start at 10:45am from the Liverpool side of the river by the Albert dock and will see swimmers crossing the river.....


LOCAL councils across the North West are struggling to bring about energy efficiency improvements in line with government targets, says a local Euro-MP.

Councils have to ensure that household energy efficiency levels are raised by 2% a year if they are to meet the 2010 deadline for improvement. But local councils are lagging behind, and according to new government figures the majority of local authorities across the North West are set to miss the target.  Latest figures published this month by the Department of the Environment, Fisheries and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) show that only 12 out of 43 councils in the North West are currently on course.

Sefton borough council has had a total energy efficiency improvement of 15.65% since 1996. This is below the required standard; as to be on target councils should now be achieving a 20% improvement.
The results in the region are bad news both for local householders and for the environment, local Euro-MP Chris Davies has warned.

But Mr Davies, the Liberal Democrat spokesman on the environment in the European Parliament, says that councils should be given greater financial or legal incentives to take action, which would cut fuel bills for individuals and help in the fight against global warming.
He said:- “The Government should speed up the pace by offering significant financial rewards to those councils that meet them ahead of schedule. Increasing energy efficiency in domestic homes is one of the most effective ways of tackling climate change and reducing energy demand.  There are currently very little incentives for councils to take a lead in promoting energy efficiency, and those improvements that are being made are usually by individuals without significant encouragement or support from councils."

The Euro-MP wants every council to put in place a 10 and 20-year energy efficiency programme, and to set an example by ensuring that every public building is heated and lit in the most energy efficient manner.

The Home Energy Conservation Act 1995 requires all UK local authorities with housing responsibilities to prepare, publish and submit to the Secretary of State an energy conservation report identifying energy conservation measures, which it considers practicable, cost-effective and likely to result in a significant improvement in the energy efficiency of all residential accommodation in its area.

The information published this month relates to the period ending 31 March 2006. In councils marked with a star (*), the appropriate information for the year 2005/6 is not available, so the latest available figure has been used.

Below are the latest DEFRA energy efficiency figures for every local council in the North West.

Council Improvements in energy efficiency, 01/04/96 to 31/03/06

Allerdale Borough 11.2%
Barrow-in-Furness Borough 16.27%
Blackburn with Darwen Borough 15.3%
Blackpool Borough 16.18%
Bolton Metropolitan Borough 21.9%
Burnley Borough 21.1%
Bury Metropolitan Borough 23.77%
Carlisle City 24.11%
Chester City 28.2%
Chorley Borough 12.85%
Congleton Borough 15.4%
Copeland Borough 19.27%*
Crewe and Nantwich Borough 10.42%
Eden District 15.62%
Ellesmere Port & Neston Borough 18.93%
Fylde Borough 12.31%
Halton Borough 18.56%
Hyndburn Borough 21.33%
Knowsley Metropolitan Borough 16.05%
Lancaster City 15.22%
Liverpool City Council 22%
Macclesfield Borough 18.2%
Manchester City 19.79%
Oldham Metropolitan Borough 27.89%
Pendle Borough 12.22%
Preston Borough 27.39%
Ribble Valley Borough 13.78%
Rochdale Metropolitan Borough 15.78%
Rossendale Borough 20.56%
Salford City 21.63%
Sefton Metropolitan Borough 15.65%
South Lakeland District 15.5%
South Ribble Borough 19.3%
St Helens Metropolitan Borough 26.96%
Stockport Metropolitan Borough 12.4%
Tameside Metropolitan Borough 17.17%
Trafford Metropolitan Borough 14.87%
Vale Royal Borough 16.38%
Warrington Borough 17.09%
West Lancashire District 14.21%
Wigan Metropolitan Borough 17.7%
Wirral Metropolitan Borough 16.38%
Wyre Borough 11.58%
North West Average 17.9%

To be on target for a 30% improvement in household energy levels, councils should now be achieving a 20% improvement from 1996.

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