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10 February 2009
Tidal Barrages could spell disaster for the North West
Dutch report – obtained by the RSPB – details the flood risk, as
well as the devastating impacts for wildlife, fishing, tourism and
shipping from the construction of a storm surge barrier across the
Oosterschelde estuary in the 1980s.
The Oosterschelde is very similar to estuaries across the West coast
of England from the Severn Estuary in the South West to the Solway
Estuary on the Scottish border. These estuaries offer the potential
to produce significant renewable energy by harnessing the power of
the tides; in the North West there are proposals for tidal energy
being developed on the Solway, Morecambe Bay, the Wyre and the
Tidal barrages are only one option for capturing energy from the
tide. New technologies provide us with a range of alternative
options that could have a lower impact on the environment.
If those responsible for these schemes opt for tidal barrages as
their preferred choice for producing energy, then the impacts on the
North West could be devastating.
The Dutch report found that:-
o Increased erosion has led to the loss of mudflats along the
estuary, leading to higher waves and water levels. Huge sums will
have to be spent on strengthening coastal defences to protect lives
o By 2050, the tidal flats of the Oosterschelde will have more than
halved, falling from 11,000ha in 1986 to about 5,000ha in 2045 and
1,500ha by the end of the century. These tidal flats are the feeding
grounds for internationally important numbers of birds.
o Salt marshes will disappear from all, but the most sheltered
locations by 2050.
o Less intertidal habitat will mean less shellfish and fewer birds.
Oystercatcher numbers will have crashed 80 per cent by 2045 with
other species “awaiting the same fate”.
o Shipping channels will become shallower and harder to navigate.
o Shellfisheries will be hit because of loss of habitat for the
cockles and mussels.
o Tourism will be hit by the loss of wildlife interest.
Peter Robertson, the RSPB’s conservation manager for Northern
England said:- “This report makes grim reading. It is the
closest we can get to proof that the creation of a barrage across an
estuary would cause devastation. The Oosterschelde is very similar
to estuaries in the North West in many ways and it is being damaged
beyond repair. We must ensure that the same fate does not befall the
estuaries of the North West. The Dutch built their barrier to
prevent deadly storms from claiming lives. Ironically, it has now
led to an increased risk of flooding behind the barrier, but it
could be argued they had little choice at the time. In the North
West, we do have a choice. Barrages would not be built to stop storm
surges but to harness the tides and generate electricity. There are
other, far less environmentally damaging ways to do that. We only
have one opportunity to get this right on each estuary so we need to
explore all potential solutions. We have long said the Government
should invest in innovative schemes, which offer the potential to
put the UK and UK engineering at the forefront of tidal power
without the risk of floods, loss of wildlife and livelihoods.”
THE new indoor
skating rink is on the site of the old Formby Ice Skating Rink,
which closed in the late 60’s. That had a popular four piece student
band playing regular slots plus other entertainment. The new rink is
not made of ice though; it is a synthetic/artificial plastic ice
rink, making it ideal for children and adults alike to learn skating
all year long. It is housed above the Spar Shop on the Junction of
Piercefield Road and Green Lane, Freshfield, Formby; across the road
from the well- know Grapes Pub. The venue, going by the name
'Bonkers', also offers a fantastic indoor children’s play
centre for young children and, very soon, a cafe.
To find out more about the new rink,
call 01704830 597...
NEXT OF KIN APPEAL - DAVID STEPHENSON
Officers in Sefton are appealing for the next of kin of 73 year old
David Stephenson who died at his home in Viola Street in Bootle on
Thursday, 4 February 2010.
There are no suspicious circumstances surrounding Mr. Stephenson's
death but the Coroner’s office are struggling to locate his family
to inform them. It is believed that at one time Mr. Stephenson
may have been in the military.
Anyone who has any
information are asked to contact the Coroner's Office on:- 0151 777
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