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News Report Page 7 of 53
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National Trust seeks feedback on future care of the Formby Coast

THE National Trust at Formby is asking the community to help further develop ideas for the care of the Formby coast, now and in the future.  Local people are warmly being invited to come along to a series of drop in events to be held throughout September 2018. They will be able to review the feedback received during previous consultation events and contribute to the resulting proposals that are being developed.

Consultation events in 2017 focused on collecting views and suggestions for how the Trust can best care for this unique and rapidly changing stretch of coast, for the benefit of the people who love it and the wildlife that makes its home here. Topics discussed included how to balance the need for parking with conservation of the sensitive landscape at Formby, how to manage traffic on busy days and the big decisions posed by the encroachment of sand onto the Victoria Road car park. Discussions also focused on how to create and link habitats for the benefit of rare wildlife including Natterjack Toads and Red Squirrels and how to improve visitor facilities, which can sometimes struggle to meet demand.

Andrew Brockbank, Countryside Manager for the National Trust at Formby, commented:- "We want to work with our local community to find the best ways to adapt to changing demands on this stretch of coast. The sand dune shoreline is constantly shifting here at Formby and the popularity of the coast brings pressures to both the fragile habitats and facilities. We want to make better provision for our visitors to have a wonderful time here while showing sensitivity to local needs and demonstrating good conservation. We received a fantastic response to our consultation events held throughout 2017 with many ideas being shared about how to care for this special coastline. We now need to work more closely together to balance these multiple demands on the coast."

Fiona Matthews, the Trust's Community Involvement Officer at Formby, added:- "These September drop in events are aimed at 'sense checking' the feedback we have received so far and sharing our emerging ideas. The next step after these events will be to develop these basic principles and ideas into detailed proposals, working alongside the community."

Local people can drop into any of the events to talk to staff, pick up a copy of our proposal booklet and contribute their views at the following times and locations:-

Formby Library Saturday, 1 September 2018, from 10am to 2pm and Saturday, 8 September 2018, from 10am to 2pm.

Formby Pool Café, Tuesday, 11 September 2018, from 9am to 1pm and also on Saturday, 15 September 2018, from 9am to 1pm.

Formby Market, Chapel Street, on Friday, 7 September 9am to 4pm.

Additional events will also be added over the coming weeks and will be publicised locally and through the National Trust social media feeds. More information about the consultation events to date and the emerging ideas for Formby Point can be found online.

Comments can also be shared by contacting the National Trust at Formby by email:- TalkingFormby@NationalTrust.Org.UK.

Mechanised robo mower puts Council on the 'verge' of success

WHEN it comes to state of the art technology, this piece of kit is a cut above the rest. A fully automated mowing machine that can tackle grass verges and hedgerows in some of Liverpool's most difficult to reach places. It improves safety and could even help to reduce traffic congestion. And the real beauty is, it's helping to save time and money. It's Liverpool City Council's new robo mower and it's the future of 'lawn' enforcement.

Called The Spider, the mower has been specifically designed to get to those grassy areas on the sides of busy roads and in the middle of the carriageway which often prove problematic for traditional cutters. Powered by a remote control console, it allows the operator to supervise the work from a safe distance. It also means that verges can be cut in less time and without any potential disruption to the traffic.

Officers from Liverpool Streetscene Services Ltd (LSSL) - the Council's grounds maintenance and street cleaning company, actually had a hand in designing this mowing Metal Mickey.

Dave Humphries from LSSL explains:- "Some of the grass verges and embankments in Liverpool are at a steep angle making them difficult to cut with a traditional mower because of safety concerns. When we 1st saw The Spider we were really interested, but after trialling it we found it still couldn't reach some of the places we needed to. We passed these comments on to the manufacturer, they made some modifications and produced a new version. When we saw it we knew it was perfect for our needs."

The new Spider has undergone further extensive trials at venues across the City and has passed with flying colours.

Dave added:- "To cut these difficult to reach places in the past we would be very time consuming and an ongoing cost to the Council. In some instances the operation could be so complicated that we would have to close a lane in the road which could lead to traffic congestion. Now all it needs is The Spider and operator so it is helping to reduce costs, minimising disruption and getting the job done faster."

The Spider is now in active service around the City and the LSSL team believe it has already saved the Council thousands of pounds.

Liverpool City Council's Cabinet Member for the Environment, Cllr James Noakes said:- "This new piece of machinery will help us to provide a better service for our residents and help us to save money in the long run. We take pride in our City and it deserves to look its best. Now we can get to overgrown verges and shrubs faster and deal with them quickly and safely. It's a great piece of kit that's helping to keep Liverpool a cut above the rest."

For more information about Liverpool Streetscene Services Ltd visit the Council's website and search for 'LSSL.'

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