Since I posted the first half of this blog (here’s a link to part 1 – tonyrobertson.mycouncillor.org.uk/2021/05/14/a-woodland-without-a-forester/) a fellow local environmental activist, Frank Sharp, has been in touch and he’s suggested that the downed wooden owl may actually be the body of a carved spider. I had been told that there had been/maybe still is a 2nd carved piece of public artwork within this particular wood so Frank could well be right. For reference here’s the photo again of the one I have seen and which we thought maybe an owl:-
Well as for progress I have none to report. Sefton Council hasn’t provided any further response and I’ve heard nothing from Mersey Forest and the Groundwork Trust. So who does have the maintenance responsibilities for Sefton Meadows No.3 woodland? The bottom line is that I have no idea and the powers that be whom I’ve contacted – Forestry England, Mersey Forest, Sefton Council, Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority (MWDA) & Groundwork Trust – either don’t seem to know (Forestry England and MWDA) or don’t seem keen to engage over the matter (Mersey Forest, Sefton Council, Groundwork Trust).
The mystery remains unsolved……………….
A friend of mine recently mentioned an issue with regard to an area of woodland to the west of the River Alt within Sefton Borough in the Civil Parish of Sefton. The issue is about a carved wooden owl which had, I think, been provided/erected as a piece of public artwork (on a concrete base) probably when the woodland was laid out/created around 2002. The owl has keeled over or even been pulled over as this photo illustrates:-
The area concerened is the green shaded one with the location of the carved owl where the red circle is drawn.
My first thought was, oh that will be a matter to be raised with what was the Forestry Commission, now rebranded as Forestry England. After further thought, other organisations came to mind who had or may have had a hand in the laying out of the various pieces of woodland in this part of Sefton Borough back in the early 2000s, or who hold ongoing maintenance responsibilities. Those other organisations are The Woodland Trust (I think they just coordinated the early 2000s work), Groundwork Trust, Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority (MWDA) and possibly Sefton Council. I mention MWDA because quite a bit of the land over which the woodland planting was done had previously been used as landfill sites.
A walk in the woods (nothing to do with Bill Bryson’s excellent book I might add) was required to orientate myself and my friend acted as my guide. As we entered the relevant section of woodland this sign came into view:-
Clearly, it has the logos on it of two of the organisations I mention above.
So I fired off an email to pretty much all of the organisations I’ve listed and replies started to roll in. MWDA told me that their responsibilities are only associated with the landfill under the woodland. They thought the relevant part of Groundwork Trust had gone bust around 2005 and that it was possible that Sefton Council had taken on the land. Forestry England confirmed it was not one of their sites and they said they thought it may have passed through the hands of more than one organisation finally indicating that they felt the site was likely to the responsibility of MWDA. They also sent me this updated site plan:-
The area we are looking at above is the green one without a red line around it.
And then yet then another organisation came to mind called Mersey Forest so I emailed them too.
In words used to title the Isaac Hayes album – To be Continued – Keep an eye out for posting two……….
Right on the western edge of Maghull, there’s an industrial estate on one side of Sefton Lane and a waste disposal/recycling centre together with a garden centre and a few houses on the other. Leaving Maghull you go over a significant mound which is the remains of a railway bridge taking Sefton Lane over the former Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway, now the Cheshire Lines Path/Trans Pennine Trail. You then pass by the industrial estate (on your left) and recycling centre & garden centre (on your right) before a small bridge takes you over Dovers Brook, which is the boundary between Maghull and Sefton Civil Parishes.
The area has two significant problems, flooding at times of heavy rain being the most obvious and well known one which I’ve blogged about many times. The other problem is less obvious unless you walk around the perimeter of the waste recycling centre which backs onto Dovers Brook and open countryside. The problem? Rubbish, waste, litter strewn around. Here’s a couple of photos I’ve taken recently:-
View of rear fence of Sefton Meadows Recycling Centre
Rubbish stewn along the eastern bank of Dovers Brook.
When you see the rubbish your first thought (or at least my first thought) is how did it get here? You see where it has been dumped is not close to Sefton Lane so it surely can’t be casual fly-tipping. Having visited the area, twice now, with other concerned local residents and an environmental officer of Sefton Council there’s a possibility that the waste is coming from within the recycling centre. Yes, I know at face value that may seem odd but one theory is that scavengers operating within the recycling centre, out of hours, may be dragging stuff out of the centre and sorting through it on the other side of the fence, taking what they find to be of value whilst leaving everything else.
The problem could do with getting to the bottom of with Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority (MWDA) and their site operator Veolia. If the waste is being brought from inside the recycling centre compound then shouldn’t MWDA/Veolia take action to collect it up on a regular basis? Again, if it is coming via the route suggested does this not mean a beefing up of security is required?
It will be interesting to see how the Sefton Council environmental officer gets on with her piece of detective work. She seemed keen to get to the bottom of the growing environmental mess around this area.
And then just yards away you can walk over to the Cheshire Line Path/Trans Penning Trail which is maintained by the Merseyside North Volunteers and you see the other and very much positive side of our local environment:-
Having left it a while since Merseyside Waste Disposal Authority (MWDA) started to reopen its recycling centres I realised I had wood, metal and and a huge amount of garden waste to recycle. So what to do? Check which recycling centres are open, what’s the waiting times etc.
Well the internet was not a great deal of help other then telling me which ones were open. No live waiting times, no web cams of waiting vehicles, nothing to help me or you assess whether a journey to a recycling centre is worthwhile. Ho well, fill up the car and let’s see how we go. BIG mistake!
It’s about 6 miles from my Lydiate home to South Sefton Recycling Centre in Bootle but when I got there earlier today the queue was massive. Finding my way to the end of it I asked a young lady who was directing traffic how long it takes to get into the centre. At least 2 hours came the response! Well I can think of better things to do than sit in a queue with a car full of rubbish, so you won’t be surprised to hear that I headed home having given the junk a trip out.
But I return to the lack of live information on the internet. I wasted petrol, time and most importantly I added to our climate crises by using my car for a wasted/pointless/unnecessary journey. If I’d known how bad the queue was I’d not have set off in the first place!
And another thing, why would I or you be willing to spend 2 or more hours in a queue for a recycling centre? Maybe it’s me and my lack of willingness to queue for pretty much anything. I’ve never got the British queuing thing which so amuses folk from other countries.
‘If it’s worth queuing up for it’s not worth having’ as the old saying goes
Come on MWDA you can do better than the very limited amount of information you put on your website. I took my rubbish back home and will try another day in the future but as the photo at the head of this posting shows, the irresponsible will and do dump their rubbish in country lanes and ditches.
Class 66 diesel locomotives 66040 and 66145 leaving Knowsley Freight Terminal on 24th August 2018 with another trainload of Merseyside’s waste.
I posted back in September 2018 about how Merseyside’s non-recyclable waste is moved to the north east of England to be used as fuel in Wilton Power Station. See link below:-
Since I penned my original posing I’ve come across an excellent video on You Tube by Don Coffey showing detail of the railway movements. If you skip to 2h & 10mins for the section from Rainford Junction to Knowsley you can watch the Merseyside/local part of the route.
Excellent video Don, thanks for sharing.