Take a stroll
among a bluebell spectacle at RSPB Burton Mere Wetlands this spring
Photograph by Lynne
NOW is the perfect time to
discover one of the best bluebell woodlands in the region - at RSPB
Burton Mere Wetlands, on the Dee Estuary. Each spring, the nature
reserve's Gorse Covert, a 3.4 hectare semi-natural ancient woodland,
bursts into colour with a blanket of blue and this year, the
bluebells have not disappointed.
Having flowered much earlier than last year due to the mild winter
and early spring, many of the flowers are already beginning to
emerge and tease admirers with their colour well before their usual
May bloom. Last year, hundreds of visitors to the nature reserve
told staff of their delight at seeing such a pristine area of the
iconic British flower.
Dan Trotman, Visitor Development Officer at RSPB Dee Estuary
reserves, said:- "Last May was when visitors really started to
notice the intensity of the bluebells. People were coming to the
reserve purely to see the bluebell spectacle. The contrast of the
deep blue against the greenery of the trees creates a lovely setting
for a relaxing stroll. On our guided walks this year, visitors can
not only enjoy a stroll into the heart of the bluebell woodland, but
there will be the chance to venture up to Burton Point, a previously
inaccessible part of the reserve, where there is another impressive
stand of bluebells, along with breathtaking panoramic views over
Burton Mere Wetlands and across the estuary to the Welsh hills."
While Gorse Covert can be enjoyed independently by all visitors to
the reserve, visitors are welcome to join a Bluebells and Birdsong
guided walk, to discover more about the bluebells and other
interesting flowers and wildlife on the reserve.
Dan added:- "The walks are a great way to discover more about the
nature which lives on the reserve. The nesting birds will be in fine
voice, adding to the tranquil atmosphere, and you will be given tips
on how to pick out the songs of different birds. It's a great way to
spend a morning."
The 2 Bluebells and Birdsong guided walks will be held on Saturday,
26 April and on Sunday, 11 May 2014, from 10am to noon. The cost is
£5 per person, discounted to £3 for RSPB members, with children half
price. This includes a hot drink and a snack in the reception hide,
and covers the entry fee to the reserve for non-members. To book
your place, phone:- 0151 353 8478 or email them via:-
email@example.com. For more information on the
reserve and its activities, check out the
NWAS NHS 111
Reflects on a Successful Easter
EASTER proved a busy but
successful weekend for all the staff at North West Ambulance Service
NHS Trust 111 Service (NWAS).
For the majority, Easter Bank Holiday is a long relaxing weekend
with the family, but for all the staff at NWAS NHS 111, it proved to
be an exceptionally busy time, providing urgent care to people in
the North West that needed medical advice over the 4 day weekend.
Covering all 3 of the NWAS NHS 111 call centre sites, Middlebrook -
Bolton, Parkway - Greater Manchester and Carlisle in Cumbria, the
service took all the appropriate steps to meet the anticipated
demand of the Easter period.
We placed an additional 30% of staff in our call centres, which went
on to triage an incredible 12,179 calls over the weekend. As well as
this, additional front line management and a senior manager were on
site each day of the weekend.
NWAS stepped in as stability partner last October, and the service
has gone from strength to strength ever since. After trialling many
staffing patterns, the service is now performing to an ever
increasing high standard, making NWAS NHS 111 a valuable extra
service to the NWAS family, in providing excellent urgent and
emergency care to the people of the North West.
Derek Cartwright, Director of Operations said:- "I am very
proud of all the hard work and dedication from the NWAS NHS 111
staff at all 3 call centres in the North West. There was a massive
amount of calls over the bank holiday weekend and this was handled
safely, professionally and effectively by all the staff. This has
been one of the biggest tests since we stepped in as stability
partner last October and it has been approached fantastically. NWAS
NHS 111 is proving to be a vital and valuable part of NWAS
operations and an asset to the North West community."
"Magnificence!" Organ and Orchestra Concert
ST George's Hall's resident
orchestra present another unique concert in the Great Hall which
includes the world famous Willis Organ. The Great Hall within
Liverpool's St George's Hall will once again be filled with live
classical music on Saturday, 17 May 2014, in the 3rd concert in the
series for Organ and Orchestra.
The St George's Hall now orchestra-in-residence L 'Orchestra
dell'Arte, are this season bringing 3 concerts under the musical
direction of their conductor Edward Peak. Edward is widely known to
music lovers in the region from his career with the RLPO and BBC.
The refurbishment of the world famous Willis organ with its 7737
pipes means that after a gap of many years it can be heard once more
in some of the best works written for organ and live orchestra. The
organ was originally built as the largest concert organ in the world
British Cathedral Organist David Houlder, will be the soloist on the
Willis organ along with 54 members of the orchestra in
"Magnificence!" a feast of Europe's most uplifting music. The
concert will feature Strauss Wiener Philharmoniker Fanfare, Wagner
Scenes from Gotterdammerung, Guilmant Organ Symphony No 1,
Strauss Serenade for Wind Op 7, Widor Toccata Symphony No 5,
Strauss Waltz Sequence No 2 (Rosenkavalier) and Strauss Festive
Valerie Warr, Orchestra Manager said:- "We have brought back
to the people the original hopes and traditions of the Great Hall,
and its iconic Henry Willis Organ, as a venue for music making. This
forthcoming concert brings hugely uplifting works from some of
Europe's finest composers. In the year that celebrates the
anniversary of Strauss (150yrs) and Wagner (200yrs)"
Alan Smith, St George's Hall Manager said:- "St George's Hall
is delighted to have developed its own "in house" orchestra to
animate this magnificent building, and to continually put centre
stage the magnificent Willis organ. The hall is aiming to improve
the condition of the Willis organ year on year, and this ambition
can be enhanced through its continuing use. We are really looking
forward to this 3rd concert in what has been a great series."
This is a unique classical evening not to be missed!
For further information please visit:-
for an excerpt from the last concert click
AT A GLANCE PERFORMANCE DETAILS... L'Orchestra dell'Arte
Presents:- "MAGNIFICENCE!" ORGAN AND ORCHESTRA CONCERT at The
Great Hall, St Georges Hall, Liverpool (Heritage Centre entrance),
on Saturday, 17 May 2014. Doors 6.30pm, Start 7.30pm. Tickets
are:- £15.00 (NO BOOKING FEE) Onsale Thursday 24 April @ 9am.
Groups: 1 in 10 Goes Free. Purchase in person at TicketQuarter,
Queen Square, Liverpool,
online or on:- 0844 800 0410.
Cash and Cheque only on the night.
Foster carers to
get payment for skills
FOSTER carers in Liverpool
are set to be paid a professional skills allowance of up to £23,000
per year. A report to the Council's Cabinet meeting on Friday 25
April is recommending the changes to increase the recruitment and
retention of foster carers, and recognise the high degree of
professionalism needed to do the job.
Payment for Skills will see the City Council's team of 300 foster
carers paid a professional fee of up to £444 per week in recognition
of the knowledge and expertise they bring to the care of looked
after children. The money is in addition to weekly age-related
allowances of up to £203.75 per child.
Director of Children's Services, Colette O'Brien, said:- "Our
team of foster carers do an amazing job providing a loving home for
some of our most vulnerable children. They deserve the very best
support that we can offer, and that is why we are making changes to
the system to better reflect the skills that they possess. It will
also allow us to better match the abilities of foster carers to the
needs of our children."
There are 5 fee levels linked to skills, knowledge, experience and
professional development. Prior experience and relevant training
will be taken into account. A steering group of foster carers and
social work managers have drawn up and consulted on the new policy.
People interested in fostering can visit:-
find out more, or call the recruitment line on:- 0151 515 0000.
Foster carers need to be aged over 21, but there is no upper age
limit. They can be single, married or co-habiting, straight or gay.