Banging the Environmental drum

Over recent years a number of sites across the East Parishes part of Sefton have have their grass verges protected from vehicles driving on to them via the use of post and shrub planting.

This is me at Eastway/Deyes Lane, Maghull a while ago when such post and shrub planting was taking place

In the right places this can work quite well and it looks far better than concrete bollards. I think the idea for them came from my dear old mate and former local councillor Roy Connell, he certainly developed it if he did not originally dream up this solution up.

The snag is that last winter the cold snap killed off a number of the shrubs and dead ones can be seen in Maghull’s St Andrew’s Conservation Area and at Poverty Lane to name but two sites. Earlier this year I started looking for a way to replace the shrubs and whilst realising that Sefton Council would obviously have no money due to Council budget cuts I did occur to me that Maghull Town Council may well be able to fund the replacements from its Environmental Fund.

The Town Council’s Environmental fund was set up to fund any type of environmental improvement in the Town whether the project be promoted by the Town Council itself, the Borough Council or a community Group. And what’s more the Town Council helped Roy with money from this fund before with such projects. 

So I have asked Sefton Council’s Neighbourhood Officer who looks after the East Parishes to ask the Town Council to assist with some funding to replace the dead shrubs. I am hoping for a positive response.

Green Belt v Grade 1 Agricultural Land?

Like many parts of the UK Sefton needs more land for housing or so we are told. Here in Sefton Council Officers have been doing the rounds looking for sites to build on. They tell us that very soon the Borough will run out of ‘Brown Field’ land (land previously developed) and that within a few years there will be pressure to release land from the ‘Green Belt’ (mainly agricultural land).

As a long time campaigner for Green Belt this is a big challenge to me but I also have worries of a ‘green’ nature. If we accept, and I do, that we must start to grow more food closer to where we consume it then building on Grade 1 and 2 agricultural land is not the brightest of ideas. Indeed, it looks like a very bad idea! It was for this reason that I raised the dilemma at a recent Sefton Council Cabinet meeting.

This is the official map of agricultural land qualities in Sefton's East Parishes - It is all Grade 1 and Grade 2 i.e. the best growing land

My fear is that ‘green’ issues are not prominent enough in the present study of land availability so I intend to make it prominent. It is no use consulting the public over whether Green Belt land should be become unprotected or not when probably the biggest future consideration has to be where will we grow our food? We can’t just develop Grade 1 and 2 agricultural land and then say we wish we had not done so when we find there is no where left to grow food!

The photo above is of what is presently agricultural land to the east of Maghull but for how long will it be our local food basket?

Housing is important but so must we also consider the environmental sustainability of our communities. We all know that importing food from across the world, that we could grow in the UK, is simply not sustainable.