expected to create another big flap when they return to Pyramids
IT promises to be another
real hoot when a group of magnificent owls come swooping back into
Birkenhead's Pyramids Shopping Centre to meet young shoppers.
The beautiful birds of prey from Moonshine Owl Santuary in Wallasey
have already appeared twice at the shopping centre's summer holiday
indoor forest drawing more than 2,500 shoppers through the door
wanting to see them up close and learn more about their lives.
And all the signs are that the owls will create the same sort of
flap when they make their next and final visit of the summer to
Pyramids Shopping Centre on Friday, 29 August 2014.
The indoor forest was created as part of a busy summer activities
programme for youngsters visiting the shopping centre.
It has been dressed to recreate a forest using branches and
camouflage, complete with woodchip on the floor and there is a
dedicated buggy park area.
One of the most exciting parts of the programme, arranged by
Birkenhead Park Ranger Paul Davies and supported by Wirral Council,
has been live transatlantic links between the Junior Rangers based
in the Pyramids forest and rangers in the world-famous Central Park
in New York which was modelled on Birkenhead Park.
The activities, running every
Monday, Tuesday and Friday, from July 21 to August 29, have also
included a Gruffalo Day where youngsters made masks and dens, along
with minibeasts, story-telling, puppet-making and North American art
2 of the most popular events were the appearances of the Moonshine
Sanctuary owls with the first of them, at the end of July,
attracting almost 1,000 visitors to the forest throughout the day
and the second visit earlier this month bringing around 1,500
flocking through the doors.
Terry Gurr, who has run Moonshine Sanctuary from the garden of his
home in Wallasey for the past 19 years, reckons the owls' third
Pyramids date, from 10am until 4pm on August 29, will be equally
popular. He said:- "There is something about owls that
so many people; especially the children; just love and it's not
every day that you get to see these marvellous birds close up.
The first time we were at in the indoor forest in Pyramids the place
was packed and we had 900 people in to see them during the course of
the day. The second time we had about 1,500, so I'm expecting to be
busy again on August 29 when I'll probably take along three owls,
including a barn and a tawny."
Terry, 70, is originally from Millwall in east London and himself
became fascinated with owls when he was young and used to help out
at an owl sanctuary run by a friend in Kent. "I moved
out of London 30 years ago and came to Wallasey about 10 years
later. Before I retired I was working first as a welder and then a
While my wife Ann and I were on holiday in Prestatyn 19 years ago we
met up with the man from the Kent sanctuary and he suggested that as
I loved owls so much I ought to open my own sanctuary for them.
I decided it was a good idea and I went out and bought my first two
baby barn owls and it sort of grew from there.
We now have about 60 owls altogether along with a couple of
kestrels, which is another bird of prey I admire. We keep about 20
of the birds in our garden at home and, as we've now run out of
room, the rest are looked after by a network of friends around the
Liverpool area and in North Wales.
We have 10 different species of owls, including European eagle;
both Western and Northern; African spotted, barn, tawny, Bengalese
eagle, white faced scops, snowy and English little owls. We
have 11 aviaries built in the garden for them to live in, which
doesn't leave too much room for anything else."
Terry explained that most of the
owls in the sanctuary have been donated by people who originally
took them on as pets and then decided not to keep them.
"Owls are birds of prey and aren't really right for pets so we when
people have wanted to get rid of them we have taken them on. We also get quite a few injured owls brought to us by the
Wirral rangers. I'm not a vet, so I have to arrange for them to have
It's things like vet's bills which can take up quite a bit of money; that and the feed bill for all the birds.
Apart from the mice, shrews, voles and rabbits some of which they
might kill themselves, they also eat day old chicks and I arrange to
get dead and frozen ones from a chicken farm at a cost of about £28
per thousand. With 60 birds in my garden or living with friends that
means a total feed bill of about £200 every six weeks. To pay
for all this I take the owls to do talks around local schools,
nurseries, ladies' clubs, libraries and places like Pyramids
Shopping Centre. In fact, I'm booked throughout this summer at one
place or another. I always ask for small donations and people are
very good, which keeps the sanctuary ticking over."
Terry added:- "It's lovely to see the way people react and
appreciate them when they see the owls up close.
What I love about them is the way they combine grace and speed when
they are flying and swooping down on their prey.
When I show them off I have the owls perched on a leather glove on
my arm and they are tethered by a leather strap known as a Jessie so
they can't fly away.
In my talks I describe what species can be seen in this country and
in other parts of the world and how they live. I also try to give
interesting little facts about them such as that they never have to
drink water because they get all the moisture they need from their
I also explain how barn owls have become a little rarer because they
mate for life and when their partner dies they do not take another,
which means they reproduce less. I really enjoy what I'm doing
and I'm looking forward very much to visiting Pyramids again to
share some of the secrets of these magnificent birds."
For more information go to:-
Search and Rescue Team
"IF you like the outdoors, are a
team player and want to join a friendly team of volunteers who
dedicate their time to helping the people of Merseyside in times of
need, this may be just the opportunity for you. Successful
applicants will be invited to meet the team (probably 19.30 hrs. on
Friday, 5 September 2014) for induction and training as detailed on the
Applicants need to commit to training from September until the end
of November 2014, that includes weekends of first aid (6 September
to 7 September
2014), water safety (20 September to 21 September 2014), navigation (probably
4 October to 5 October 2014) culminating in a Search Technician course (probably in
Berkshire on 21 November to 23 November 2014). These courses are compulsory. Please
do not apply for this intake if you are unable to commit to this
training. Our Regular Friday night training sessions will also be
The time commitment for training reduces significantly after
November 2014 and will then revert to Friday night sessions
(probably two a month). All applicants and Members are expected to
attend at fundraising events (bag packing etc).
MerSAR is a volunteer organisation. We are not paid; training and
call outs are undertaken at the individual's own risk.
We rely on participants to inform us if they feel uncomfortable
doing any activity at any time. Any equipment that is provided is
purchased from funds raised. Members will need to provide much of
their own personal equipment (rucksack, waterproofs, torches,
batteries, vehicles, petrol, food).
We welcome team players who are relaxed, have a sense of humour and
who are happy to take part in our activities as probationary team
members. It is very important to us to keep our team ethos and
Subject to team requirements, there may be opportunities for
progression to Team Leader and Search Manager once probationary
members have been offered full membership and served a suitable
period of time and evidenced commitment to the team. This would
require further courses and training. We look forward to
receiving your applications and to welcoming you to the team and a
very worthwhile cause. Application forms and full details are
Secretary, Merseyside Search & Rescue.
A new guide is being
produced to help promote better relations between buskers in
Liverpool City Centre and local businesses. The Guide to
Busking in Liverpool has been produced as a joint initiative by the
City Council, the Musicians' Union (MU), the Keep Streets Live
Campaign and the Business Improvement District (BID) and it is
thought to be the first of its type in the country.
The 12 page best practice guide advises buskers, Council officers,
businesses and residents on issues such as pitch selection, noise
levels and the best way of resolving issues. A laminated advice card
is also being produced which highlights guidance and
It is anticipated that that the guidance will help reduce the number
of complaints and lead to those which continue being resolved
amicably. It also sets out the procedures for enforcement should
this prove necessary.
This move represents a new approach to street entertainment in
Liverpool. In 2012 a managed system of buskers with licensed pitches
was to be introduced but was opposed by buskers and the MU and the
idea was dropped.
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said;- "It represents an
entirely new approach to busking in Liverpool… a City is famous for
its culture and music. By working together with the busking
community we will bring our streets alive for the benefit of
everyone. I think visitors to the City would be surprised and
disappointed if they didn't find a lively street music culture,
given the City's reputation," "But we also know there are
complaints from business and visitors about noise and obstructions
so we have tried to balance the needs of all parties.
I don't mind making mistakes as long as we learn from them. We
recognised that an imposed solution was never going to work so we
have bought together a range of organisations to produce this guide.
This has been a unique partnership which bodes well for the future
of street entertainment. I'm really grateful to everyone who's been
involved. The guide sets out a positive way forward and if everybody
follows the guidance in it we can have a thriving street culture
based on good relationships." said Councillor Steve Munby,
cabinet member for neighbourhoods.
Jonny Walker, Founding director of the Keep Streets Live Campaign
said:- "The collaborative approach that Liverpool City Council
have modelled in putting together this busking guidance makes it a
pioneer amongst major cities worldwide in its active support for
grassroots street culture.
The busking community has had the unique opportunity of working
alongside the local authority, the BID and the Musicians' Union to
preserve the spontaneity and informality which is intrinsic to the
nature of busking, whilst actively seeking to build good
relationships between all those who share public space in the City.
It is right that buskers should be closely involved in decisions
that affect them and it is to Liverpool City Council's immense
credit that they chose to include the busking community at all
stages in the production of this guidance.
The busking community will continue to cooperate with the local
authority to ensure the ongoing success of this new approach, and
will hold a regular open buskers' meeting which all are welcome to
attend. We are confident that this guidance will help to harness the capaCity of busking to transform the experience of shared public
spaces in the City, and to continue to play its part in what makes
Liverpool such a wonderful place to live, work and visit."
Morris Stemp, North of England Regional Organiser for the Musicians'
Union, said:- "This is a real achievement for all parties
concerned, and I'd like to congratulate Liverpool City Council and
the BID for engaging so actively with interested parties and
organisations to be with us at the forefront of what I believe will
be the future for busking in cities, towns and villages in this
The aim of the guide is to foster a vibrant street culture which
allows for spontaneity whilst at the same time making provision for
constructively resolving any issues that may arise, using existing
statutory powers, and is an example I anticipate many will want to
follow. It also blows apart the myth that busking is in some way
This is in stark contrast to some less pragmatic authorities and
Councils, where heavy handed regulation and over zealous
bureaucracy stifle self expression. Buskers in Liverpool now have a
guide that will help nurture music and other art forms on the
streets, with all the benefits this will bring to the City, to
buskers and to wider society."
Bill Addy, Chief Executive of Liverpool BID Company, said:-
''We welcome the introduction of this guide. It brings some clarity
as to what is expected of everyone to ensure the vibrancy of
Liverpool City Centre is a cause for celebration and not
consternation. Street entertainment can be a huge added bonus to the
appeal of a City Centre and this guide is a very encouraging step
forward in ensuring Liverpool gets the balance right for all
APPEAL FOR THE PUBLIC'S HELP TO
TRACE MAREK HORVATH
MERSEYSIDE Police are appealing for the
public's help to trace a 31 year old man from Slovakia, who is
wanted on a European Arrest Warrant. Marek Horvath is wanted on
warrant after failing to appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on
Thursday, 13 October 2011. Proceedings are continuing to seek to
extradite him to Slovakia in connection with an alleged fraud case
there. Horvath is believed to be living in the Merseyside area and
officers are continuing to carry out enquiries to locate him.
Horvath is described as 6ft tall, with brown hair and of a
proportionate build. He has tattoos on both arms, including a tattoo
of a skull on his right arm. He is believed to have links to the
Bootle and Tuebrook areas. Anyone who has seen Marek Horvath, or has
any information about his whereabouts, is asked to call the Police
on:- 0151 777 3835 or via the Police Non-Emergency number:- 101
number. If they prefer, people can also contact Crimestoppers,
anonymously, on:- 0800 555 111.