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Covering the news in and around Merseyside

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Issue:- 10/11 March 2010

WWFs Earth Hour
27 March 2010, 8.30pm

WITH just about 2 weeks to go, the North West of England, its businesses and schools are being asked to support WWFs Earth Hour on Saturday, 27 March 2010, and join hundreds of cities around the world going dark for one hour.

WWF, the conservation organisation, is encouraging everyone around the world to turn off their lights from 8.30 to 9.30pm to show global support for action against climate change. With a record-breaking 92 countries already signed up and over 800 schools, 30 Local Authorities and 260 businesses switching off in the UK, Earth Hour 2010 is set to be the biggest ever climate change event on earth.

In Liverpool, The Cunard Building, St Georges Hall, and Liverpool Cathedral have already signed up to switch off as well as places like, Trafford Borough Council and Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council who are are also supporting the campaign. Counties can monitor their individual progress on a new interactive Earth Hour map:- earthhourmap.wwf.org.uk . As more people sign up to switch their lights off, they can see how their locality is performing and encourage their friends and family to join them in helping ensure their county stands out.

There are currently more than 1,100 cities and towns signed up worldwide - 100 more than this time last year. The number of iconic landmarks signing up from around the country also continues to grow, with the London Eye, Edinburgh's Forth Bridge, Stormont in Belfast and the Wales Millennium Stadium all joining the campaign.

People in the UK will join those in 91 other countries and regions around the world who have now made the pledge for Earth Hour to show the world what can be done to fight climate change, with Honduras the latest nation to have official Earth Hour recognition. This tops last year's figures of 88 countries and with confirmation that the Tokyo Tower in Tokyo and Brandenburg Gate in Berlin will both turn off their lights for Earth Hour, all members of the G20 are now taking part in the event. Global landmarks going dark on the night include the Empire State Building, Table Mountain in Cape Town, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Burj Khalifa Tower, the tallest building in the world.

Climate change is one of the most serious threats facing people and nature, and demands urgent global action. Last year, world leaders missed a key opportunity to agree a global climate deal in Copenhagen, but with each year of delay, the impacts on people and wildlife get more severe and the window of opportunity gets smaller. Earth Hour will show world leaders they need to finish the job.

WWFs Earth Hour is an inspiring opportunity for people living in the North West to do something positive to help tackle climate change. Last years Earth Hour was the biggest ever climate change event. By making it even bigger this year, we can all send a strong message to world leaders that people around the globe are united in calling for decisive action on climate change.
said Colin Butfield, head of campaigns at WWF-UK.

Whether its joining your community to watch the city lights go dark or hosting a lights out party in your own home, WWF encourages everybody across the world to be a part of this important and historic occasion.

NEW ONLINE RESOURCE FOR MERSEYSIDE FARMERS FROM BUSINESS LINK NORTHWEST

BUSINESS Link Northwest has launched a new online resource to help farmers and growers in Merseyside manage the daily challenges of running a successful farming business.

businesslink.gov.uk/northwest/farming is a dedicated new section on the Business Link website, which provides farmers in the region with practical information and guidance to help them focus their planning, apply best practice and manage government requirements, whatever type of farm they have.

The new farming section brings 86 guides together on one website. They will be updated regularly to ensure that farmers can quickly and easily keep up to date with industry and regulation changes.

This new information is divided into the following sub-sections:-

* Running your farm business

* Funding, schemes and grants

* Protecting farm environments

* Livestock

* Crops, horticulture and plant health

* Organic farming

Peter Watson, managing director of Business Link Northwest, said:- We are delighted to offer this new service to the farming industry. Farmers and agricultural workers will be able to access a wide range of business information and support in one place, which will save them a great deal of time and money. We developed the new farming content by working closely with all the relevant government departments and agencies, and with farmers themselves. We believe that it will quickly become an essential resource for farmers across England.

The farming section of:- businesslink.gov.uk/northwest  also links to general topics that all businesses need to know about, including:-

► Employing people

► Taxes, returns and payroll

► Health, safety, and premises

► Environment and efficiency

► IT and e-commerce

► International trade

For more information, please visit:- businesslink.gov.uk/northwest/farming. Business Link Northwest also continues to offer support to farmers through business advisers, and through the telephone helpline. To find out more call:- 0845 00 66 888.

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