CLOSE CONTACT WITH NATURE


CANALSIDE PARK IMPROVEMENTS

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As part of the Pride in our Promenades project, works to Canalside Park around Athol Village Hall (Vauxhall) started on the 16th Feb'09 and will run until 8th June 2009. The works are to improve and rationalise the basic infrastructure, improve pedestrian circulation especially to the canal, improve access points and replace damaged or dead trees. This work will enhance the appearance of the canal as it reaches the Stanley Locks.

In 2009 there will be a great many canal boat owners (and users) who will be able to travel through the locks into the Stanley Dock and then onto the Albert Dock by means of the new £20 million canal link that crosses the Pier Head in front of the three graces.

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CANAL MOSIACS

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ITCHY-FEET is a Liverpool based arts organisation established in 1997. They specialise in mosaic artwork for community participation and private commissions. All their mosaics use hand cut ceramic tiles, which can be suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Itchy-Feet have recently completed work on five mosaics depicting scenes on the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, working with a mixed age group of residents in the North Liverpool area. Wendy and Nez have kindly provided photos of these mosaics.

If you would like to view more examples of Itchy-Feet mosaic artwork see http://itchy-feet.org.uk

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NATURE AND HERITAGE IN HARMONY

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The sun rises over the Leeds-Liverpool Canal in Vauxhall opened in 1770, as a Merseyrail train passes in front of the old Tobacco Warehouse (built 1901) and Canada Geese in formation glide past the top lock of the 1847 built Stanley Lock complex.


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Canal Rangers News Letter - Issue 1 Summer Edition 2007


CANAL HISTORY QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

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Narrowboats from across the country made their way to Liverpool on Thursday 7th June 2007 for two special events planned to tie in with the Mersey River Festival. These were an International Canal Conference and a Commemorative Rally to celebrate the city's 800th Birthday. They also celebrated the 200th Anniversary of Coal and Cotton. Attending the rally was a boat named Maria, which is the world's oldest surviving wooden narrowboat. The narrowboats, many of which have not travelled on the Leeds - Liverpool Canal before are pictured at the Eldonian Basin in Vauxhall and travelling through the Stanley Locks.

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When the Leeds - Liverpool Canal is linked into the Albert Dock, and as such attracts many thousands of canal narrowboats, more and more people will visit the Vauxhall and Kirkdale area. It is to be expected that there will be lots of questions asked about the history of the buildings that still line the banks of the canal. In an effort to help find answers to these questions we welcome hearing from readers who may know what the building (pictured right hand side) on the photograph above was originally used for. The building is located almost at the head of the Stanley Lock system and in recent years was used as a Car Repair Workshop. From the looks of things it would seem to have been originally served at one time by canal barges, hence the canopy-cover extending from the building.

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We would also welcome receiving information about what the building on the left hand side of the photo (above left) was used for and the warehouse building (pictured above right). Both buildings are located by the 'Bankhall Lane Bridge' that crosses the canal.


ENCOURAGING NEW BIRD LIFE ON CANAL

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The aims and intentions of the Canal Bird Life Project ((since starting in 2000) has always been to seek better promotion of and protection for the bird life current making their home on the stretch of the Leeds - Liverpool Canal in the Vauxhall and Kirkdale areas of Liverpool. There are increasing numbers of birds that are permanent residents and all encouragement should be given to these birds to feel safe and secure. Encouragement should also be given to present the canal in the Vauxhall and Kirkdale areas as an attractive area for new arrivals wishing to remain on a permanent basis or for the passing 'stranger'. We picture such a bird early morning on Wednesday 21st March. We will monitor (his/her) stay on the canal along with other birds that have not been seen before. We welcome photos taken by readers of birds on the Vauxhall and Kirkdale stretches of the Leeds - Liverpool Canal. Please email ronformby@scottiepress.org


CANAL IN LINE FOR EURO CASH

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£200,000 of European money has been secured by Liverpool City Council. The money will go to the Liverpool Atlantic Canal Rangers Project, which aims to develop the area around the Leeds-Liverpool Canal. The Vauxhall based Eldonian Group believes the waterway can become a major leisure attraction and help regenerate the community nearby. The Eldonian Group of Companies

STANLEY LOCK GATES

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Work (by British Waterways) is now taking place to replace the gates at Stanley Locks as part of the construction work to link this section of the Leeds - Liverpool Canal into the Albert Dock. Our photo (taken Wed 28th Feb 2007) shows a drained lock that with the others enables canal narrowboats to access Stanley Dock. These locks were designed by Jesse Hartley and built between 1846 and 1848 at a cost of almost £133,000 pounds. They consist of four flights of lock gates, the water level dropping 33 feet in a quarter of a mile. When in full operation it could take as little as 25 minutes to navigate all four flights. 80,000 gallons of water are moved every time a boat passes through. The new lock gates will make such access easier and quicker. It is estimated that up to 4,000 canal narrowboats will pass through these locks each year when the full construction work is completed. The Stanley Dock is the only inland dock in Liverpool and connects the Leeds & Liverpool canal to the River Mersey by joining the Liverpool (Vauxhall) end of the canal to the Collingwood Dock.


OPTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENTS ON CANAL

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Following consultations in the autumn regarding canal improvements we now have a consultants (2020) report examining the options for improvements. A web link to an electronic copy of the 2020 report will be sent out to you as soon as we have set it up To help take forward a programme of improvements works to the Leeds Liverpool canal the Mersey Waterfront have funded a 3 month post to help us define a more detailed programme of priority works and a delivery plan. Certain works are moving forward independently but what we aim to do is to get to an agreed programme of works, timetable and delivery agents by the end of March, though with enough information to go to the Area Committee in February. The basic proposals remain as we last discussed that is: Towpath improvements, Access improvements, Canal side park improvements, Short term pilot ranger scheme, Water based employment feasibility study. christine.darbyshire@liverpool.gov.uk

CANAL CAN CONTRIBUTE TO COMMUNITY REGENERATION

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The Scottie Press constantly highlights that efforts must continue in keeping a level of continuality in the regeneration the Leeds - Liverpool Canal in the Vauxhall and Kirkdale areas. More and more magazines read by people that live on or work on canal narrowboats are featuring articles on what is a rapidly increasing upsurge on canal use and travel. A new generation of holidaymakers (including Hollywood superstars) has been attracted by the colourful narrowboats and slow pace of life on waterways. Boat builders have seen business soar. As well as recreational use more and more people are buying boats to live on. For the people who have lived and or worked on the canals for many years (or for all their lives) this rebirth of canal life is welcomed. More often than not the waterway magazines picture canal scenes located in Cheshire, Shropshire, Wales etc. The photographs in more industrial areas often concentrate on how regeneration has transformed such stretches of canal into more attractive environments and destinations. There is no reason why this cannot be achieved in the Vauxhall and Kirkdale areas of Liverpool. In 2007 the monthly issues of the Scottie Press will feature articles and photographs aimed at showing why promoting sustainable water use is more important than ever and in particular the use of waterways in the urban and inner city areas of Liverpool. It makes no sense to treat town and country canals as two separate cases. For whilst there may be clear differences at the two extremes, for most part the two landscapes should function as an interconnected whole.


CANAL BIRDS ARE COMING BACK

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Some heartening and very welcome news comes in the sightings of more birds coming back to the Vauxhall stretch of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. Let's hope that the efforts made over the past four years to promote and project the birds making their home on the canal will see a greater level of support from those organisations charged with overseeing a continuality of regeneration programmes in the Vauxhall area of Liverpool. Regular readers of the Scottie Press will have noted the calls made by the community newspaper on behalf of the Canal Bird Life Project for much better use to be made of the former Athol Village Hall, which could become the centre piece of a mini Martin Mere in Vauxhall. Ever more numbers of birds are attracted to Martin Mere (at Burscough, West Lancashire) with more that 800 Swans migrating from Iceland to the Wetland Centre this winter (2006). Visitors to Martin Mere have also risen as more am more people (young and old) become interested in having close contact with nature. The Athol Village Hall (pictured below) is situated on the grassed land alongside a stretch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and this hall would offer up an ideal base for the Canal Bird Life Project.

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Readers will also be aware that the Scottie Press has highlighted the problems the bird life on the canal have faced with the drink and drug dens, dangerous dogs and mini-motorbikes being ridden on the grassed land alongside Vauxhall Road. Mindful of the increasing numbers of birds returning to the canal, the Scottie Press would very much like to hear from readers who may be able to help with providing a better mix of food for the birds on the canal. This food could be sold in local shops.

Contact ronformby@scottiepress.org If you are interested in visiting Martin Mere Wetland Centre log onto http://www.wwt.org.uk/visit/martinmere


CANAL CLEAN UP GETS PRAISED BY
BOAT USERS

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On Wednesday 26th July another canal clean up took place on the Vauxhall stretch of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal between Sandhills Bridge and Stanley Locks. The clean up coincided with the arrival of a number of canal boats to moor at the Eldonian Basin. Great praise was given by the canal boat users to all involved in the clean up. As our photographs show, PC Les Harvey and CSO Colin Prendergast (Stanley Road Police Station) along with Tony Forshaw (Community Justice Centre) and Steve Higham (British Waterways) put in a considerable amount of effort. In just under over 4 hours they removed a massive amount of items from the canal including bikes, shopping trolley's, iron poles, carpets, glass patio doors, traffic cones, lawn mowers and a 40ft length of roofing.

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Praise for their efforts was also given by local Athol Village residents who expressed great concern at the level of rubbish being dumped in the canal on very regular occasions. It was also of great concern to discover that a length of thick rope had been tied across the canal and weighted down to a sufficient length to trap a boat in mid channel. Obviously there was a criminal motive in mind with this action as the boat could have been stranded and at the prey of possible canal piracy. Louise Ellman MP contacted the Scottie Press to express her concerns regarding the high level of items dumped in the canal on what seems a very regular basis. Louise Ellman also voiced her concerns about any form of anti-social behaviour on the canal that may stop the canal becoming a much more active feature of the Vauxhall area and as such bring great benefits to the area up to and beyond 2008. Louise is also contacting Liverpool City Council about these matters. Sue McCready, Community Justice Centre Manager has galvanised the team to look into the issue. Sue told the Scottie Press said; "My team and I fully support all the efforts being made locally to bring life back to the canal and make it a pleasant place for residents and boat owners alike. This incident is one that must be taken seriously and we will work alongside our partners in Merseyside Police and British Waterways to support the community in their efforts to make the canal and the surrounding area a safer place."

Les Bellman (Business Development Manager - Eldonian Group Ltd) told the Scottie Press; "The Eldonians firmly believe the canal is one of the main assets in the north of Liverpool and a developing asset at that. We are aware that any of the areas facilities will always be subject to abuse from a small contingent of the community, and to this end we will use whatever powers we can under the Anti Social Behaviour Orders to ensure the safety and well being of any residents and visitors to our community. The Eldonians fully endorse any initiatives to develop the safe use and enjoyment of the canal for all".


PLEASE KEEP YOUR DOG ON A LEAD

The Scottie Press has made approaches to the Local Police, City Council, British Waterways and the Community Justice Centre regarding a reduction in the numbers of bird life on the Vauxhall stretch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. Ever since the Scottie Press highlighted the wonderful mix of birds making their home on the canal these birds have faced many problems and tried their best to make best of what at times has been a bad situation. It was this situation that drove the community newspaper to establish what has become known at the Canal Bird Life Project. But perhaps the bird life has decided that enough is enough and has flown to more favourable locations. In June of this year the Scottie Press contacted the Police, City Council and British Waterways about our fears that the numbers of dogs left to run freely on the canal side area may have encourage the birds to move. Mindful of the bird life on the canal and canal side area we asked if there could be signs set up to ask people to keep their dogs on a lead? We feel sure that most responsible dog owners would appreciate such a request and adhere to it.

In more recent weeks the Liverpool Echo has published a number of articles about dangerous dogs that have attacked people and pets. The articles claimed that a more dangerous breed of dog was fast becoming some kind of status symbol to threaten others. This would tend to bear out the fears that the Scottie Press had that dangerous dogs down on the canal side area have struck sufficient fear into the bird life as to drastically decrease their quality of life in the Vauxhall area.

Can we ask all who value and care for the canal bird life who own dogs to consider the bid life on the canal and canal side areas and when walking your dog along the grassed areas and canal towpath to please keep your dog on a lead.


COMMUNITY CANAL BARGE

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Thousands of people come to Liverpool to take a short boat trip. That sentence immediately suggests the famous ferries across the River Mersey. But imagine tourists taking trip along another famous stretch of water in the city, the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. Our photo shows a canal barge cruising past the former British American Tobacco Factory (Commercial Road), which backs onto a stretch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in the Kirkdale area. To ensure that the community canal barge can be a viable and sustainable feature of the future use for the canal in the Vauxhall, Kirkdale and Bootle areas the project will take advice from a number of organisations that already operate successful barge trips on other sections of the waterway. We also welcome hearing from readers who may have views, comments and suggestions.

Louise Ellman MP and Group

Louise Ellman MP is photographed at the Liverpool Boat Company premises in Townsend Street whereat Louise voiced her support for efforts to operate a restored community canal barge on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. If this can be achieved the community canal barge will be able to provide shopping sight seeing trips up to the Bootle Strand and in time trips into the Sandon Dock and Collingwood Dock complex.

The Liverpool Boat Company has been established since 1978 and are recognised as the largest canal boat builder in the UK. They built more than 300 boats in 2005 with over 30 boats in production at anyone time.
You can contact them on 0151 707 0722 or visit www.liverpoolboatco.co.uk

Geese on the canal bank

Plans related to the Canal Bird Life Project are also progressing and this project has received great help and encouragement from Stephen Higham (British Waterways). The Civic Trust has also expressed a desire to work with waterway organisations and groups to mark the dual 800th Anniversary (2007) of the cities Liverpool and Leeds, which are of course joined together by the 127mile long Leeds & Liverpool Canal.


COMMUNITY GIVE CANAL CLEAN-UP FOR WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY

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World Environment Day is commemorated each year on 5th June and is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action. The day’s agenda is to give a human face to environmental issues; empower people to become active agents of sustainable and equitable development; promote and understanding that communities are pivotal to changing attitudes towards environmental issues; and advocate partnership which will ensure all nations and people enjoy a safer and more prosperous future. World Environment Day is very much a people’s event with many and varied colourful activities. We picture one such activity on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in the Vauxhall area, which saw a large number of bikes, shopping trolleys and other discarded (often bulky) items pulled from the canal (5th – 9th June) by Police Officers and CSOs from Stanley Road Police Station together with members from the Youth Offending Team and Greater Merseyside Connexions. Environmental maintenance work on the canal side areas was also achieved (5th – 9th June) by staff from the City Council’s Parks and Environment.

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Stephen Higham (Economic & Social Development Officer – British Waterways) contacted the Scottie Press to say “‘On behalf of British Waterways I would like to thank all of those involved in the ‘Vauxhall Canal Clean-up Week’ to mark World Environment Day on 5th June. I would particularly like to highlight the contributions made by Les Harvey of Merseyside Police and Tony Forshaw of the Youth Offending Team for all of their efforts in arranging the event, plus Ron Formby of the VNC for the all the publicity and awareness he has raised.

  In 2002, British Waterways made it their aim to double its visitor numbers to the canal by 2012, and it is events such as these that will make this vision a reality as a cleaner waterway will make the canalside a more inviting recreational facility for all to enjoy. The efforts by those involved were deemed to be such a success that we would like to continue to work as a partnership with those involved in order to achieve even more sustainable enhancements of the canal and it’s adjacent areas in time for the opening of the Liverpool Canal Link in 2008’.

Louis Ellman MP and Group

Photographed on Friday 9th June is Louise Ellman MP with PC Les Harvey (Stanley Road Police Station), Tony Forshaw (Youth Offending Team) and Chris Carus (Parks and Environment - LCC). Tony Forshaw told Louise that this particular project tackles the environmental problems associated with the canal and will improve the area for local people. Louise expressed her praise and appreciation to Les, Tony and Chris for all the hard work they and colleagues had done to clean up the canal. Louise also shared with them their hopes that the canal will become a much more meaningful amenity in, and for, the local community.

The Canal Clean Up work achieved (5th – 9th June) is being enhanced with a wider initiative carried out by Merseyside Probation Service. This will see the clearing of eyesores by removing rubbish, clearing overgrown and neglected land and painting railings where needed.


FLOWERS BLOOM ON CANAL SIDE AREAS

Residents of the Vauxhall and Kirkdale areas have expressed great pleasure is seeing wild flowers (as pictured) bloom on the canal side areas alongside the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. These flowers were planted as seeds by pupils from three local schools in October of 2005. (Featured in the November issue of Scottie Press).

Flowers in Bloom

Chris Carus (Parks and Environmentt – Liverpool City Council) has told the Scottie Press that there will be more flowers in bloom in future years when the seeds planted have germinated, as some take longer than others. At present there is a beautiful display with a number of different species on site including: Mayweed, Poppy, Dandelion, Hedge mustard, Ribwort Plantain, Red Fescue Grass, Borage, Creeping Buttercup, Daisy and Veitch all adding to encouraging different insects including some colourful butterflies.


HAVE YOUR SAY ON FUTURE OF CANAL

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Mersey Waterfront is preparing an Interpretive Plan for the Leeds & Liverpool Canal Corridor stretching from the Pier Head in Liverpool to Lydiate. As part of the plan, the Scottie Press was contacted by a Consultancy Firm about what development and interpretation the paper viewed as being appropriate. The community newspaper was also asked to provide any insights and aspirations it may have about the canal stretch especially with regards to the involvement the Scottie Press has with the Canal Bird Life Project.

Mindful of the Scottie Press being a community newspaper it is only right that the community should be able to have their say in this Interpretive Plan and we list below a number of questions asked of the Scottie Press by the Consultancy Firm. We welcome hearing from readers who may wish to answer some or all of these questions. Your answers will be forwarded to the Consultancy Firm acting on behalf of Mersey Waterfront.

  1. What is you knowledge of the site?
  2. Who do you think is using the canal?
  3. Have you any thoughts about the canal's 'aesthetics'?
  4. What are your hopes and aspirations for the site?
  5. How could the canal be used in the future?
  6. What do you think the potential is for recreational use of the canal?
  7. What are your thoughts on the canal being a pathway corridor 'City to Sea'?
  8. What interpretation would you like to see on the site?
  9. Have you any issues over access to the site and barriers to access?
  10. Have you any insights about the history of the site?
  11. Have you any local history knowledge of the canal?
  12. Have you any memories of the canal?
  13. Do you think the canal is seen as a positive future in the area?
  14. Do you see the canal as a valued resource?
  15. Have you any insight into the ecological significance of the site?
  16. What you do think is the regeneration potential of the canal?
  17. What are your thoughts abut a Ranger Service on the canal?
  18. Is there potential for community artwork projects along the canal?
  19. What is the educational potential for the canal?
  20. Are there any partnership opportunities that can be developed?
  21. Have you any issues about maintenance of the site?
  22. What landmarks along the canal come to mind?
  23. Please email your answers ronformby@scottiepress.org


    GRAFFITI CLEAN UP

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    In the March issue of Scottie Press we advised readers that efforts were being made to have the graffiti cleaned off the walls and bridges alongside and over the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in the Vauxhall area. On Tuesday 4th April a demonstration of how this work will be achieved was given. (see photograph above)

    Pictured below are the before and after results of a clean up on stonework near to Athol Village Hall and Leigh Bridge.

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    Prior to the clean up demonstration Pat Donoghue from National Probation service, unpaid work scheme, spoke to representatives of the North Liverpool Community Justice Centre, Riverside Housing, LCC Parks & Environment, British Waterways, Eldonians, North Liverpool Youth Offending Team and other organisations and Community Groups.

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    He explained that the main idea behind the project is to use local offenders to put something back into the community, by helping to reduce anti social behaviour. The first step being the graffiti removal scheme, which would be followed by litter removal and general tidy up in the area. The idea of the demonstration was to encourage the local community organisations to provide support in some form to get this project off the ground.

    If you would like more information about the Graffiti Clean Up or might wish to help please contact Pat.Donoghue@merseyside.probation.gsi.gov.uk

    You can also voice your thoughts and suggestions to ronformby@scottiepress.org


    SNOWY CANAL SCENES

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    The attraction of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal is powerfully pictured in these snowy canal scenes, which show the Stanley Locks (circa 1848) leading to the Stanley Dock (circa 1848) alongside which is the gargantuan Tobacco Warehouse (circa 1901). This warehouse absorbed 27 million bricks in its construction. The Canal Bird Life Project aims to highlight the history of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in the Vauxhall area. It is recorded that the original work on the 127 miles long canal was started in the Vauxhall area in 1770.


    CANAL BIRD LIFE PROJECT

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    With the month of March on the horizon and with lighter nights, thoughts turn to Spring time and as such there is an increased activity of bird life on the Vauxhall and Kirkdale stretches of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. On Thursday 23rd February the Scottie Press met with Louise Ellman MP to discuss concerns raised in the January issue of the community newspaper regarding mini motorbike and quad bike damage to grassed areas in Vauxhall and in particular the grassed canal side areas. Also attending this meeting (and photographed) at Stanley Road Police Station were; Police & Community Liaison Officer, Les Harvey, Geoff Naylor from Liverpool City Council, Marie McGiveron from the Vauxhall Neighbourhood Council. Joan Porter from the Community Justice Centre, Pat Donoghue from National Probation Service, Suzanne Quinney, Chris Taylor and Pat McCormack from Riverside Housing.

    On Monday 27th February the Scottie Press met with Stephen Higham and Sue Ashurst from British Waterways and with Chris Carus from Liverpool City Council's Parks & Environment, (see photograph) to discuss mini motorbike vandalism on the grassed canal side areas along side the Leeds Liverpool Canal.

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    Also photographed is Community Safety Officer, Colin Prendergast. Colin was able to highlight the problems created by unlawful use of mini motorbikes on the grassed areas and in particular those areas on which wildflower seeds where sewn by pupils of three local schools (article featured in the November issue of Scottie Press Community Newspaper). This meeting along with that of the 23rd February will result in a number of plans aimed at eradicating the mini motorbike vandalism and in making this area a much more welcoming environment for local residents and for visitors. Please contact Ron at Scottie Press - email ronformby@scottipress.org.


    LOCAL FISHING CLUB

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    A line of thanks is given to PC John Hughes from Walton Lane Police Station and to Police & Community Liaison Officer Les Harvey and Community Support Officer Colin Prendergast from Stanley Road Police Station for their help, support and encouragement in getting started what will hopefully become a local fishing club. John, Les and Colin organised a trial run of the fishing club on Tuesday 25th October All involved had a really good time and although the number of fish caught was few everyone expressed a keen desire to return. John asked for a line of gratitude to be given to the many residents living near to the canal who said what a wonderful idea the club was and wished him every success. John is hoping to hear from more people who would like to support this venture and hopefully become involved. He hopes that in time a number of competitions can be arranged with prizes awarded. If you would like to contact PC John Hughes phone 777 4670 to contact PC Les Harvey phone 777 8657.



    CANAL BOATS

    Liverpool Canal Boats (known to many as Liverpool Boats) have been established since 1978. Approximately 400 boats will be built in 2005 – with over 30 boats in production at anyone time.

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    Photographed above are two boats awaiting delivery, and perhaps they will be seen in operation cruising on the Vauxhall and Kirkdale stretches of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in future years. Pictured below is a canal boat, which recently visited the Vauxhall area of Liverpool to join others moored at the Eldonian basin.

    Canal Cruising


    WILDFLOWER SEED PLANTING

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    A big thank you goes to Chris Carus (Assistant Parks Estate Manager – Liverpool City Council) and to pupils from 3 local junior schools – Kirkdale St Lawrence, St Johns and the Trinity who took part in planting wildflower seeds on land alongside Commercial Road and Vauxhall Road nearby the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

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    Chris is photographed above with Police & Community Liaison Officer Les Harvey who expressed his delight with this project.


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    The images above show the areas of land that were prepared prior to the seed planting on Wednesday 5th – Friday 7th and Wednesday 12th October. The seeds planted included Annuals – Meadow Perennials and Woodland Fringe Perennials. Prior to planting the seeds all the children we told about what type of wildflower seeds they would be planting and photographs of the flowers were shown. At the end of their planting session the children were told that there would be return trips to the seed planting areas in the Spring and Summer to see the results of their work. This project is very much welcomed by all supporting the Canal Bird Life Project and all look forward to seeing the wildflowers in bloom in the Spring and Summer of 2006.

    The Canal Bird Life Project would also like to thank Clare Riches from The Waterways Trust and Paul Nolan from the Mersey Forest Campaign for their support of the project and efforts to secure help for the project.

    Canadian Geese

    As can be seen in the photograph above the Canal Bird Life Project can be an excellent way by which residents of Vauxhall can experience and appreciate close contact nature.


    CANAL CLEAN UP

    The Scottie Press wishes to add its praise to all offered to Police & Community Officer Les Harvey (Stanley Road Police Station) who organised a clean up on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal (Wednesday 17th and Friday 19th August). We picture scenes down on the canal which show the level of effort that was put in to remove a very large number of bikes, shopping trolley’s, scrap iron, fridges’, wheely bins, wheelchairs, and even a station platform luggage trolly.

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    Les Harvey told the Scottie Press that this clean up was part of the Merseyfeast week (15th – 19th August) and that he had been planning it for over 9 months. It is hoped that the efforts of Les can be followed up with other clean ups of the canal to ensure that it can be continually improved. Les would like to thank British Waterways, Merseyfeast Volunteers, Police Inspector Nick Mills and Police Community Support Officer Colin Prendergast, Pastor Martin (Garden of Hope Church).



    CLOSE CONTACT WITH NATURE

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    It is quite amazing how nature can convert what was at one time a busy canal into a scene of tranquil beauty. The photographs (above & below) show a stretch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in the Kirkdale area of Liverpool 5, not far from Sandhills Lane Bridge. We ask readers to consider that this area should be made much more wildlife and people friendly and as such be a wonderful resource that would allow people to have close contact with nature. It is this message that is at the heart of the campaign to improve the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in the Vauxhall and Kirkdale areas. If you are interested in supporting this campaign please contact ronformby@scottiepress.org -

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    NATURAL ENVIRONMENT

    Water Vole Swans

    Canals are rich in wildlife and they play a very important role in nature conservation. As green pathways they support a huge variety of plants, animals and habitats which make an important contribution to visitors’ enjoyment of the waterways. On canals you get real pleasure from observing the natural environment and the animals that make it their home. You may catch glimpses of kingfishers, rabbits, foxes, bats, badgers, moorhens, coots and ducks as well as protected species like the loveable water vole and elegant swans. Amphibians, reptiles and many beautiful invertebrates also make their home on or near to the water’s edge and the water is teeming with fish and aquatic life. The Leeds & Liverpool Canal is rich in wildlife. The Liverpool end of the canal still supports the endangered water vole and is designated a Site of Nature Conservation Value.

    HERITAGE & TRADITIONS

    Work Boat Working Horse

    A century ago more than a thousand boats worked on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. Called short boats, they were unique to the canal and today only 35 survive. The colourful style of boat painting was called ‘Brightwork’ and was probably based on the decoration on the coastal sailing craft, from which they were descended. The boatmen often wore a dark blue knitted ‘gansey’ just like those worn by fishermen. The Leeds & Liverpool Canal is no longer used for commercial trade but many clues and legacies of its industrial past can still be found all over the system Very often old bridges and locks show rope marks and act as a reminder of the days when horses towed the working boats.


    CANAL BIRD LIFE PROJECT
    Vauxhall's Mini Martin Mere

    Wildfowl is the collective term for ducks, geese and swans. Worldwide there are 150 species of Wildfowl. At the Martin Mere Wildfowl & Wetland Centre near Burscough, there are nearly 100 of these species. We show below the variety of Wildfowl that you can see at Martin Mere.
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    It goes without saying that on the Vauxhall stretch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal there is only a fraction of the numbers of birds at Martin Mere. But Vauxhall's mini Martin Mere can be a place where local residents and people across Merseyside can have a wonderful opportunity to enjoy close contact with nature. Dr Rick Keymer of English Nature is quoted as saying "Close contact with nature can improve everybody's quality of life."

    Wildlife sites in our towns and cities provide opportunities for people to explore the nature that is on their doorstep. By securing better promotion of and protection for the existing bird life it will hopefully be possible to encourage even more birds to visit and or make their home on the Vauxhall stretch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.

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    The Martin Mere Wildfowl & Wetland Centre near Burscough is one of nine unique Wildfowl & Wetland Centres in the UK. It is a very popular place for people to visit and as such they have designed their visitors centre to cater for a full mix of use. It is hoped that the Athol Village Hall could be a major factor in securing the success of the Canal Bird Life Project in the Vauxhall area and this building could also provide for a mix of uses.

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    Amongst these would be rooms where local school children can identify and learn about the canal bird life along with space to display school project work. It should also be possible to have exhibitions of the history of the Vauxhall area and in particular the history of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in the Vauxhall area.

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    Space could also be allocated for a small café area.

    The success of the Canal Bird Life Project is very much dependent on its value to, and appreciation by, the local community and former residents of the Scotland and Vauxhall areas.

    We will feature updated news of the Canal Bird Life Project on the website and welcome hearing from readers who may have suggestions and or may wish to help with the project please email ronformby@scottiepress.org



    Canal Regeneration

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    At its height in around 1840, Britain's inland waterway network stretched to more than 5,000 miles and touched almost every corner of the country. Competition from the railways in the 19th century and motorways in the 20th, however, coupled with the decline in traditional industries, led to many miles of waterways being abandoned or cut off. But in the last five years, after half a century of uncertainty and under-funding, the pace of canal regeneration has gained momentum. The same towns and cities that turned their backs on the waterways in years of decline have discovered historic canals, basins, locks, warehouses and wharves as focal points of vibrant renaissance. In simple terms, people want to live, work, socialise and relax by water. Today waterways are an acknowledged regenerative catalyst, delivering tangible economic, social and environmental benefits to the lives of millions across the nation.

    Canalside Living
    Canalside Home. Appartments.
    Stanley Locks
    Liverpool Film Studios

    Plans have been set in motion in other towns and cities for shops, pubs and restaurants to be built alongside canals as very many canal boat and barge owners really appreciate a good mix of facilities. Regular reports are written by and for people who navigate the canals and these reports often make mention to the fact that there is plenty of convenient shops etc or a lack of them. It is vital therefore that any proposals for redevelopment and regeneration of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in the Vauxhall and Kirkdale areas of Liverpool is communicated to the local business community and full and proper consultations take place.

    For this purpose we ask all who wish to be involved in any and all proposals for the redevelopment and regeneration of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in the Vauxhall and Kirkdale areas to contact the Scottie Press email ronformby@scottiepress.org


    CANAL BIRD LIFE PROJECT


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    New Arrivals


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    A very important part of the Canal Bird Life Project is enabling people resident to the Vauxhall area to gain a better understanding of the wide variety of bird life now making their home on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. Understanding what the birds eat is vital for the health of the birds. The Scottie Press is trying to obtain a supply of bird food that contains all the vitamins, minerals and trace elements needed by ducks, swans and geese to keep them healthy. This food is far more beneficial to wildfowl than bread. The Scottie Press is also seeking the possibility of making much better use of Athol Village Hall, which could become a centre in which local people (of all ages) could find out more about the bird life and wildlife on and around the canal. Purchase the better forms of bird food, and hopefully enjoy a cup of tea or coffee etc whilst enjoying the view. Riverside Housing who own Athol Village Hall have advised the Scottie Press that they are interested in continuing to work on the project and the possible future inclusion of Athol Village Hall. On Saturday 14th May Vauxhall Councillor, Malcolm Kennedy, accompanied the Scottie Press to have a look at the canal scene now and to discuss it's potential. Cllr Kennedy said: "A development like this could provide a fantastic educational resource for local schools and I will be raising the idea in the council. With wildlife organisations, the local MP and consulting with local people on their views".

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    ACCLAIMED PAINTER'S SUPPORT FOR CANAL BIRD LIFE PROJECT


    Anthony Brown (Emso Creative Arts & Design) recently staged an exhibition of his work at Colin's Bridewell, Campbell Square. During the launch of his exhibition (1st April - 22nd April) Anthony was interviewed by Phil Key (Arts Diary - Liverpool Daily Post). Phil's article 'Man for all seasons shows off his talent' - highlighted that Anthony is "one of the region's acclaimed painters and that the exhibition shows his versatility".

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    We are very grateful to Anthony for his wonderful support of the Canal Bird Life Project and for enabling the project to use one of Anthony's specially drawn 'doodles' as the project's logo



    CANAL BIRD LIFE PROJECT

    Bird Life Meeting

    People working for regeneration agencies often use the word "holistic" without thinking about, or acting on, what the word means. The dictionary defines the word as "Emphasising the importance of the whole and the interdependence of its parts." In other words regeneration is not just about housing. It's not just about jobs. It's not just about the environment. Problems are linked together so solutions must be also. I am excited about the Scottie Press's idea of a Bird Life Sanctuary on the canal because it can improve the environment. It can promote better health. It can improve educational quality. It can help deal with problems of anti social behaviour. It can provide jobs and businesses for Vauxhall. In other words it can make Vauxhall a better place to live in. One of the major projects that will take place in Liverpool will be the extension of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal to the Pier Head. There is going to be a big increase in the number of canal boats coming through the Vauxhall area. Having somewhere to stop and spend their money would not only be good for the canal boat owners but good for Vauxhall. In the shorter term getting people to look at the possibility of a Bird Life Sanctuary ,makes people focus on the problems of the are in the present. The meeting we held recently with Louise Ellman MP, was also attended by the police and environmental officers from the City Council and British Waterways. People living along the canal have to put up with youths vandalising the canal, attacking the birds and riding the motorbikes. Before we can attract the kind of investment required for a Bird Sanctuary we have to make the area a safe and pleasant location for the people first of all.

    COUNCILLOR MALCOLM KENNEDY.

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    CANAL BIRD LIFE PHOTO COMPETITION

    Anthony Brown Canal Birdlife

    The Scottie Press is pleased to announce that artist, Anthony Brown has kindly donated a signed and framed 18” x 12” fine art print on canvas, of the canal bird life on the Vauxhall stretch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal for the winners of a Scottie Press ‘Canal Bird Life Photo Competition’ which was open to amateur photographers aged

    Judging will soon take place to pick the winners of the Scottie Press Canal Bird Life Photo Competition. We thank all that entered this competition and we will announce the results in due course.

    A selection of photographs received appeared in the February and March issues of the Scottie Press Community Newspaper and on this website.

    Judges for the competition are, Louise Ellman MP, Judge David Fletcher (Community Justice Centre), Martin Clarke (British Waterways), Marie McGiveron (Vauxhall Neighbourhood Council), Inspector Jon Roy (Merseyside Police), Bob Hughes (Radio Merseyside), David Charters (Daily Post), Anthony Brown (Artist).

    Swaning Around
    Swaning Around Swaning Around

    Our thanks go to Jonathon Neill (aged 16) for sending three photos (above) to be judged in the competition.

    Swans Kevin Cain

    We thank Kevin Cain (Jnr) aged 15 for sending in his photograph (above) of a group of Swans on the canal to be judged in our competition. It is well worth a mention that Kevin has only just taken up photography as a serious hobby and we think his efforts deserve a praise worthy “well done”.

    We thank Anthony Crawford for sending in 3 photographs (below) for the Canal Bird Life Photo Competition. Anthony tells us that he is down on the Canal every day to feed the ducks, geese etc; and he has given lots of the Swan's individual names.

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    Anthony is very keen for much more to be done to promote and protect the bird life and is fully supportive of the Canal Bird Life Project.



    PLANNING APPLICATION APPROVED FOR LIVERPOOL CANAL LINK

    Liverpool City Council have approved the detailed planning application by British Waterways to build the Liverpool Canal Link - an extension of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal across Pier Head in front of the world famous three graces and into South Docks.

    The application was approved following a number of amendments to the original plan, which was submitted in February 2004.Key changes have been incorporated at the Pier Head, providing access to the waters edge, utilising the space for public celebration and enjoyment. The canal alignment integrates with the proposed Pier Head loop of the Merseytram and complements the National Museums Liverpool proposal for a new museum on Mann Island.

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    Currently the 126 mile long Leeds & Liverpool Canal ends adjacent to the Tabacco Warehouse at Stanley Dock. The link will now open up another 1.4 miles of navigable waterway to canal going craft and will provide a new focal point at Pier Head, creating a vibrant waterspace to enhance the relationship between the canal and surrounding public areas.

    The innovative £17 million scheme, which will allow boats to cruise from the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, across Pier Head and into the South Docks is now awaiting final confirmation of funding, which is expected this summer.

    British Waterways, which successfully manages 2,000 miles of inland waterway in England, Scotland and Wales, gained valuable support from Liverpool City Council, Liverpool Vision, English Heritage and the Mersey Docks & Harbour Company.

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    Canal advanced works are to commence later this year when construction of a cruise liner facility begins at Pier Head. The Canal Link is then planned to open in 2007 during the city's 800th anniversary, and in readiness for the Capital of Culture celebrations in 2008.

    The Liverpool Canal Link project will support the continuing regeneration aims of partner organisations for the Liverpool Waterfront, and through north Liverpool and south Sefton.

    Commenting on the approval, Richard Longton, Project Manager, British Waterways said: "The planning approval is a great achievement by British Waterways and the city of Liverpool.

    The Canal Link will create a vibrant waterspace in the docks and will act as a catalyst for regeneration in areas surrounding the canal in North Liverpool and Sefton.

    British Waterways is proud of the partnerships that have developed through this scheme and the shared vision that is encapsulated within the Canal Link."



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    Mike Storey, Leader, Liverpool City Council said: "This is an exciting and imaginative scheme by British Waterways which will help attract many more visitors into the heart of the city and will add considerably to the renaissance taking place in Liverpool."

    We will be featuring more news of the Liverpool Canal Link on our Projects section 'Close Contact With Nature' web page to access click here



    CANAL BIRD LIFE PROJECT TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE WELSH HISTORY, HERITAGE AND CULTURE OF ‘OVER-THE-BRIDGE’

    The Welsh builders who erected houses in the area of Vauxhall known as ‘Over The Bridge’ between the years 1830 – 1870, left evidence of their identity in the street names which survived them; Menai, Snowdon, Cemeas, Barmouth, Newport etc. Ged Fagan who recently had a book published entitled, Liverpool – In A City Living, has advised the Scottie Press that two of the Owen family of Welsh builders once resided in Barmouth Street. He also tells us that a firm of Welsh builders by the name of Owen and William Owen Elias built and laid out a number of streets off County Road Liverpool 4. These spelt out the name of the company.

    O xton Street
    W inslow Street
    E ton Street
    N eston Street

    Eton Street

    A ndrew Street
    N imrod Street
    D ane Street

    W ilburn Street
    I smay Street
    L ind Street
    L owell Street
    I ndex Street
    A rnot Street
    M akin Street

    Lind Street

    O lney Street
    W eldon Street
    E uston Street
    N ixon Street

    E itons Street
    L iston Street
    I mrie Street
    A stor Street
    S tuart Road

    Ismay Street

    They also laid out streets off nearby City Road, Liverpool 4, in the name of the eldest son E Alfred (Elias)

    E spin Street
    A skew Street
    L inton Street
    F rodsham Street
    R ipon Street
    E mery Street
    D yson Street

    The Scottie Press recently paid a visit to this area of Liverpool to take some photos of these streets. It is hoped that as part of the Canal Bird Life Project some recognition can be given to the Welsh history, heritage and culture of the ‘Over The Bridge’ area. We welcome hearing from readers who may have a Welsh ancestry that can be traced back to this area and possibly back to North Wales etc. Further information about LLechwedd Slate Caverns click here


    Water Witch Support For
    Canal Bird Life Project

    Our thanks go to Joe Caddick (Chairman and Managing Director) Liverpool Water Witch Marine & Engineering Co Ltd for his support for the Canal Bird Life Project.

    Canal Debris Canal Debris
    Water Witch are a specialist builders of pollution control and waterway clean-up boats for operation on canals, lakes and rivers. These unique vessels undertake waterway regeneration and environmental restoration projects all round the world, ridding waterways of debris litter and aquatic weed.

    Water Witch was founded in 1966 when Francis Caddick, father of current MD Joe Caddick, invented the vessel to provide an efficient system of moving unsightly and dangerous debris and flotsam from the Port of Liverpool. The Water Witch was an immediate success, with orders quickly arriving from the USA and even further afield.

    The Company is now established as a world-leader in providing solutions to marine environmental clean-up projects. In addition to the original Water Witch design, which resembles a floating JCB, the Company has recently introduced a range of aluminium litter collection boats aimed at providing a low cost solution.

    Joe Caddick commented “We’ve always had very strong links with the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, having been based on Lightbody Street for over 40 years.

    Mk. 2 Water Witch
    Pictured above is a Mk. 2 Water Witch under construction. Pictured below is a close up of the Mk. 2’s loader mechanism. Joe tells us they make 11 different attachments to fit on the end, which can be used for just about every type of marine pollution imaginable.

    Loader Mechanism


    Aluminium Workboat
    We picture a 5.5m aluminium “Go anywhere, do anything” work-boat. This boat is ideal for using from a quayside or river-bank.

    'Buddy Boat'


    The 6m aluminium catamaran called the ‘Buddy Boat’ was first produced in November 2004. This photo was taken as she was on her way to start trials at the dock.

    Mk. 3 For Delivery
    The Mk.3 Water Witch is pictured in the process of being packed up for delivery to Nigeria. Most of the equipment is secured away below deck, and the cabin is wrapped in a protective sheet to keep the paint job looking good.

    For more information on Water Witch visit their website
    www.waterwitch.com


    RETURNING THE CANAL TO THE COMMUNITY

    Canal Walk

    On Thursday 27th January, Martin Clarke (North West Restoration Manager, British Waterways) and Jason Leach (Ecologist, Canal Wildlife Projects, British Waterways) gave a presentation about the Liverpool Canal Link and its benefits for the Vauxhall and Kirkdale stretches of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. The presentation took place in the Vauxhall Millennium Resource Centre and all present praised Martin and Jason for the manner of their presentation and for their determined enthusiasm to secure for the Vauxhall and Kirkdale areas a stretch of the canal that all could feel proud of and enjoy.

    Canals in cities have never had a good press. More often than not described as stagnant and litter strewn with banks perpetually lined with factories (derelict) and railway sidings (disused). Many readers will remember the Vauxhall and Kirkdale stretches of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal being such a place. But in recent years these stretches of the canal have changed drastically and have become scenic parts of the local landscape with an abundance of bird life. Martin and Jason were very keen to explain that much more could and should be done and to show what ideas they had. They were equally keen to say that they wanted to hear from people living and working in the Vauxhall and Kirkdale areas about what they thought could and should be done with the canal.

    Subsequent to the presentation, Joe Caddick has contacted Martin Clarke to tell him that Joe's father's Company 'Bootle Barge' operated from Lightbody Street from 1968 to 1995. The Bootle Barge Company had barges on the canal from 1937 to 1995. With such a strong link and affection for the area, Joe's mother has asked if she could donate a Bench Seat for use by the local people, preferably on the side of the Lock flight. We feel sure that readers will appreciate this wonderful offer and will applaud Joe's mum for her community spirit. Joe is the Chairman & Managing Director of Liverpool Water Witch Marine & Engineering Co. Ltd. - www.waterwitch.com

    On Friday 18th February Louise Ellman MP came along to a meeting held at the Vauxhall Millennium Resource Centre. Also present were representatives of British Waterways, Vauxhall Neighbourhood Council, Community Justice Centre, Merseyside Police, Merseyside Youth Offenders Team, Radio Merseyside, Bootle Barge and Emso Creative Arts & Design. Discussed were ideas relating to the benefits brought to the Vauxhall & Kirdale stretches of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal from the Liverpool Canal Link Project. And returning the canal to the community. An opportunity was taken for all at the meeting to take a short walk down to the canal to look at the scene now and to appreciate its potential. Another such meeting is planned for April 8th.

    The Scottie Press would very much like to hear from readers and residents of the Vauxhall and Kirkdale areas who may wish to voice their thoughts about future use of the canal and how this use can fully appreciate the bird life etc. Please contact

    Ron Formby at the Scottie Press
    Telephone 0151 330 0213
    or email ronformby@scottiepress.org.

    Canalside Pride website


    DOING MORE FOR THE BIRD LIFE ON THE CANAL

    Swimming Swans Swans Shelter

    Dear Scottie Press,
    As many bird watchers in Vauxhall will know, Swans, Wild Ducks and Geese, Moor Hens not counting the odd sea birds that show up in the inner cities will stay in waters where food and shelter are available. With hopes for doing more for the bird life on the Vauxhall stretch of the Leeds & Liverpool canal, may I make some suggestions. This would require cutting recesses in the bank , filled with shallow water and the cultivation of plants including reeds, cress etc. This would supplement the diet and gives the birds a place to grub the bottom for worms, tadpoles, small fish etc.

    These recesses don’t have to be big,(two or three metres wide and two yards long) and would be best cut into the less populated bank away from foot traffic etc. Once started, nature would do the rest. This would encourage nesting and provide an interesting sight when the young birds troop out behind their mothers. Very good for young children to appreciate.

    A certain amount of isolation is best for nesting birds. The growth of weeds etc will break up the enormous amount of bread the birds are given making for a more varied diet. The main stream of this area could, in the future, become very busy; that is why these recesses are important.

    Let’s hope the vandalism will become less, and people of all ages will be able to respect the bird life and wild life in the Vauxhall area.I wish you every success with your idea.

    Jack Brotheridge



    CAN WE DO MORE FOR THE BIRD LIFE ON THE CANAL?

    Quiet ecologically friendly zones of tranquillity like that which can now be accessed on the Vauxhall stretch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal are well known for their value to modern urban living. They help to stabalise and encourage ecological diversity, and a well-being within communities, as well as in specific cases such as the Vauxhall stretch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, provide an amenity and attraction to people from near and far.

    Everyone from the United Nations and National Government, through to Development Agencies and Environmental Organisations highlight just the type of amenity that could be developed on the Vauxhall stretch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal as being essential to the quality of life for local residents. It is a wonderful opportunity to provide something for the local people that is sustainable, pleasant and would provide other opportunities for the revival of the canal in the surrounding neighbourhoods and districts.
    TONY SIEBENTHALER (Director - Downtown Liverpool)

    For more than 4 years the Scottie Press website has voiced its hopes that something can be done to help promote and protect the ever increasing numbers and range of bird life on the canal. It was therefore very disturbing for us to photograph recently (31st October 2004) the aftermath of a bonfire that has caused damage to the very area that we hope could be developed.

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    We would be very grateful to hear from readers who may share the wishes of the Scottie Press to secure for the bird life on the canal a better quality of life and by doing so secure for residents of all ages a wonderful opportunity to have this bird life as a very welcome addition to the Vauxhall community.

    Please email your comments etc to ronformby@scottiepress.org

    For more photographs and information on and about the Vauxhall stretch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal please visit our Projects section 'Close Contact With Nature' webpage.



    BIRD LIFE ON THE LEEDS & LIVERPOOL CANAL

    We feel sure that many people would agree that any improvements to the land and towpath areas on the 'Leeds & Liverpool Canal' would really help to benefit what is a most wonderful feature of modern Vauxhall.

    Underneath The Arches

    There is a lot of local history in which the Leeds & Liverpool Canal was a big part of. and we think that there should be a centre at this end of the canal which could show photographs etc so that residents of the area and visitors to the area could see how and why the canal was built and how important it was to the industrial revolution and to the industry of the Vauxhall area.

    Leeds Liverpool Canal Charters Street

    Local people often take time to feed the birds on the canal and as such have become familiar with the types of birds now living permanently on the section of the canal between Sandhills Bridge and Lightbody Street Bridge. Although the birds move up and down the canal, they more often than not gather together around the Leigh Bridge at Athol Street. Perhaps this is because of land on the Vauxhall side of the canal affords them a chance to stretch their legs. It's not an uncommon sight to see Swans, Ducks and Geese sharing this land - all getting on happily with one another.

    Feeding Time on the Leeds Liverpool Canal

    Further along the canal there are the Lightbody Street locks which look really good when the birds swim to this stretch of the canal. Opposite the locks there is a piece of land that could be put to better use with regards to providing a vantage point to view the birds and or a place where the birds could gather together for feeding.

    Canal Land Canal Land
    Stanley Locks Lightbody Street Locks

    We would be interested in hearing the views of our readers.


    EDUCATE YOUNG CHILDREN TO THE BENEFITS OF NOT ABUSING THE CANAL AND ITS SURROUNDINGS


    In 1950 along with other eight-year-olds, I learned to swim in the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. In those days the only wildlife to be found were the rats and the odd dead dog or cat floating by in the murky water. The would be Johnny Weissmullers had to move quickly to swim out of the way of the many barges that glided through (some were horse drawn).

    How different it is now for youngsters walking down to the canal. The water is crystal clear - the canal is full of fish - the banks and surrounding area abound with wildlife. Every day I walk my dog to the Lock Fields, then down to the Stanley Dock, and then back home to the Flower Streets. Over the years I have recorded sightings of 42 different species of birds including a rare Black Swan on the canal. I have also spotted a pair of Peregrine Falcons nesting on the Stanley Warehouse. Other bird life I have seen include:

    Feral Pigeons - Sparrows - Starlings - Magpies - Blackbirds - Mistle Thrush - Song Thrush - Robin - Mute Swans - Coots - Mallards - Canada Geese - Wood Pigeons - Collared Doves - Blue Tits - Great Tits - Heron - Kestrels - Pied Wagtails - Chaffinches - Cormorant - Moorhens - Little Grebes - Goldfinches - Grey Wagtails..

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    The canal itself is home to a wide variety of fish. The canal bank and surrounding area is also home to a good mix of butterflies, moths and dragonflies as well as rabbits and foxes.

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    Unfortunately the canal and its surrounding banks are also home to an assortment of rubbish. Our children and our grandchildren have every right to grow up in a decent environment, and we should try to educate them at an early age to appreciating the canal and to the benefits of not abusing the canal and its surroundings.

    Tommy Lewis.

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    Our thanks go to Bob Hughes (Bob the Birdman) from Radio Merseyside who has provided leaflet information on two stretches of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. Further information can be obtained by contacting British Waterways. We also thank Bob Hughes for contacting the Scottie Press after reading the article in the last issue of the paper which featured pupils from St Gerard's school who had successful nurtured two Butterflies through their life cycle from their cocoon stage to be released from the pupil's Butterfly House.

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    Bob wrote to the Scottie Press to tell us that he was delighted by the efforts of Miss Dickson and the pupils of Class 1 at St Gerard's and asked the paper to present the class with a book on Butterflies and Moths. We picture a group of Class 1 pupils with the book.


    BOB THE BIRDMAN

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    We picture Bob Hughes (Bob the Birdman) from BBC Radio Merseyside together with members of his Nature Watch Group when they recently spent a Sunday morning along the stretch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal between Sandhills Lane and the Eldonian Village.

    Bob has offered his help to the Scottie Press in regards to producing some form of leaflet brochure that could highlight the increasing numbers of bird-life on the canal.
    Bob already produces a weekly newsletter which you can obtain copies of by writing to

    Bob Hughes,
    Nature Watch,
    BBC Radio Merseyside,
    55 Paradise Street,
    Liverpool L1 3BP

    If you would like to help with this project please contact ronformby@scottiepress.org.uk


    'PUPILS BUTTERFLY HOUSE'

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    We picture 20 pupils from Year 1 at St Gerard's School who had close contact with nature when they learnt about butterflies by having a 'Butterfly House' as a feature of their class lessons. They got the caterpillars in week 1 of the current term and looked into their 'Butterfly House' every day to see the changes. They also checked the movement of the caterpillars and if they had grown.
    As the caterpillars got older they made their cocoons and in just under two weeks changed into beautiful butterflies.

    The pupils learnt that - Butterflies can fly and walk
    Butterflies like sugary liquid and flowers for food
    Butterflies have a long black tongue to drink with
    Butterflies have coloured wings that are symmetrical

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    When the butterflies were ready to fly away the children and their teacher Miss Dickson took the 'Butterfly House' into the school grounds and very carefully released them. The butterflies flew round and round to the delight of the children and then flew off into the surrounding flowers, shrubs and trees. The 'Butterfly House' has been useful to the Year 1 pupils in learning the life cycle of the butterfly. Life cycles link to their science work and also their literacy work - non-fiction and caption writing.

    We welcome featuring similar projects from other local schools.
    Contact Ron at the Scottie Press,
    Vauxhall Multiservices Centre,
    Silvester Street,
    Liverpool
    L5 8SE.
    Tel 298 1544
    or email ronformby@scottiepress.org.uk


    Black Swan - interest and admiration

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    The arrival of a Black Swan on the stretch of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in the Vauxhall area caused quite a stir of interest and admiration. The Sawn was first spotted over the weekend of the 28th and 29th September. Subsequent to its arrival the Swan has formed associations with the other birdlife already established and seems to be quite contented. Lots of local people have taken the Swan to their heart and are very keen to ensure it will consider making a permanent home here in Vauxhall.


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