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A number of organisations across Sefton are joining forces once again this summer to ensure local communities, and visitors from across the North West, can enjoy Sefton’s natural coast responsibly.

The joint action aims to encourage people to take personal responsibility at the coast. Asking them to plan how they are going to get to the beach, to take all litter home with them and to show respect and kindness to staff, the environment and fellow visitors.

It also sets out the boundaries of what is and isn’t acceptable at the coast to keep everyone safe. Such as that fires and BBQs are not allowed anywhere; that there are water safety risks at the coast so people should follow the advice of lifeguards; and that anti-social behaviour simply won’t be tolerated.

The agencies who make up the Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership will be sharing important messages covering many of the issues faced on the Sefton coast throughout the school summer holidays.

Members of the partnership include Sefton Council, Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue, National Trust Formby, Natural England, the RNLI and other key partners like Merseyrail.

Already this year there has been a huge influx of visitors to local beaches during hot weather and out of school term times. And we anticipate that many more will be looking to enjoy spending time at Sefton’s natural coast through August and September.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said:
“First and foremost, the Sefton Coast is an internationally protected nature reserve, and we need your help to keep it that way. So, when people are planning their day trips this summer, we need them to be well prepared and to play their own vital role in ensuring that the coast remains a great place for everyone to enjoy.

“Please listen to what we are collectively saying with our partners, be that important water safety information, fire risk concerns, travel advice or environmental issues around litter and wildlife.”
Mark Shaw, Sefton Council’s Green Sefton Service Manager, said:

“We want people to have fun and enjoy their time on our beaches this summer, but we ask in return that they behave responsibly and with consideration to each other, local residents, our staff and our beautiful environment.”
Tracie Trubshaw, Chief Inspector at Merseyside Police said:

“As the summer holidays start, we know that many people will want to visit our fantastic beaches and beauty spots in Sefton, and we know the overwhelming majority will do so responsibly.

“The new Public Space Protection Order will help visitors and residents enjoy our coastline safely, throughout the summer and beyond, by making clear what behaviour is and isn’t acceptable.

“Our officers will be working with our partners at Sefton Council to make sure that people can have a good time at our beaches and beauty spots, free of anti-social and criminal behaviour.

“Rest assured acting in an anti-social manner should expect to be dealt with robustly and we will support our partners in their work. If you have any concerns, please speak to our officers out on patrol, or call 101 so that we can take action and keep our communities safe.”
Protect our Natural Coast

Kate Martin, Lead Ranger at National Trust Formby, said:

“We’re working with local partners to prepare for a busy summer and look forward to welcoming everyone who loves to visit Formby’s nature haven.

“People visiting can help us create a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone and protect all the wonderful wildlife that lives here by taking litter home or using the car park bins and not lighting BBQs or fires anywhere on site.

“On sunny days our car parks can fill up quickly and close for the rest of the day – this is to keep everyone wandering across the site safe and prevent queueing. On these busy days we recommend travelling by train or planning a visit for a quieter day. We’re open seven days a week all year round.

“I’d like to thank everyone for their support as by working together we can keep Formby’s nature haven special for people and wildlife”.
Water Safety

Chris Cousens, RNLI Water Safety Lead in the North West, said:

“Our advice is to visit a lifeguarded beach where possible and to swim between the red and yellow flags. RNLI lifeguards offer advice on how to stay safe and help anyone who gets into trouble. Whether you’re at a lifeguarded beach or not, look out for safety signage and seek advice on safe places to swim, always keep your children under supervision and avoid swimming alone where possible.

“Coastal areas provide a great opportunity to enjoy fresh air and open space, but they can be an unpredictable environment, particularly during early summer when air temperatures start warming up, but water temperatures remain very cold, increasing the risk of cold-water shock.

“Remember, if you find yourself in difficulty in the water, Float to Live: Lean back, use your arms and legs to keep you afloat, control your breathing, then call for help. In an emergency, people can call 999 for the Coastguard.”
Michael Buratti, Senior Coastal Operations Officer for HM Coastguard, said:

“Even as we experience hotter weather in summer, the sea can still be chilly and can bring on cold water shock. Please take care before taking a plunge.

“It’s always best to check the wind, weather and tides before entering the sea and observe local safety advice, such as:
  • Avoid soft patches of mud on the beach
  • Ensure dogs are on leads
  • Go to a lifeguarded beach where possible
  • Carry a fully-charged mobile phone, so you’re able to call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard if anyone is in trouble.”

Other ways to travel to the beach – not just by car

Suzanne Grant, Commercial Director at Merseyrail, said:

“Merseyrail’s Southport line is within walking distance of Sefton’s beaches, which can be accessed from stations such as Southport, Birkdale, Hillside, Ainsdale, Freshfield, Formby and Blundellsands & Crosby.

“Throughout the summer there is a regular service on the Southport line and six-car trains are running as much as possible, to make it even easier to reach the coast by train. Passengers can plan their journey and find their cheapest ticket online at merseyrail.org.”
People can follow the Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership agencies Twitter accounts for more advice, news and videos throughout the summer: @SeftonCouncil @MerseyFire @MerseyPolice @RNLI @MCA_media @BTPMersey @NaturalEngland @NTFormby @Merseyrail

The continued work of the partnership will also be communicated through the Council’s My Sefton website, and social media channels listed below:

Sefton Council’s Facebook page

Instagram @Sefton_Council

Twitter @SeftonCouncil