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A worthy read about Hoylake Beach...

I see that the 'evidence page' is experimenting with an AI bot again (that’s artificial intelligence to remove any confusion) and it is coming up with answers that they approves of. Surely they know that these AI bots are in their infancy and will still only answer questions asked, they tend not to ‘think around’ the question very well, and just directly answer the question asked, just in a more human simplistic way than google does. They are also prone to large errors (one told me that Councillor Grey was a Conservative serving Heswall), and some do not check their statements for falsehoods.

Let’s look at this latest offering (see screen shot below). Dr. Turner asks the bot if vegetation can be removed from the beach and the bot says ‘NO’. However her original question was inappropriate, as our group do not want to remove any vegetation but would aim to transplant it to other areas within the designated SSSI, SAC, or Ramsar site, no ‘rare’ plants would be removed or destroyed, with the integrity of the protected areas remaining intact.

If Dr Turner had posed the question to the AI bot in a different way, for example: ‘are there circumstances when vegetation can be removed?’

the answer would have been ‘YES’, not the ‘NO’ stated (see second marked statement in the screenshot below) and would have given a totally different feel to the post from the start.

Now that is sorted, let’s turn our attention to the second highlighted part of the screenshot of the AI bot answer. This is where the previous ‘NO’ becomes a qualified ‘YES’.

It clearly states that vegetation can be cleared from ‘special’ areas if there is a risk to public health, or there is damage to an existing established habitat.

The public health questions regarding the chemical and biological safety of the drain runoff and consequent pooling of effluent on Hoylake shore, being promoted by the cessation of beach management, is still under discussion with questions being raised by various members of the public to the WBC environment team.

The subsequent algal blooms observed in these stagnant pools is also yet to be identified and any toxic risk assessed,

As none of this has been analysed and risk assessed, both NE and WBC have a duty of care to the beach using community, and full maintenance resumed until conclusive proof has been gained that states that beach neglect has not, does not, and will not in the future cause any physical, chemical, or biological public health risk.

Now the bit about damage to existing habitats. Contrary to the uneducated statements made by some, and actually believed by a few, a sandy beach is by no means a barren, lifeless desert. It is a vibrant flourishing ecosystem, with more biodiversity than tropical forests, with many species of microbes, and most major animal groups represented and living in or on sand.

The shore on Hoylake beach was this kind of sandy habitat, until the cessation of maintenance and the introduction of neglect in 2019 began to threaten this delicate long standing protected ecosystem.

Instead of moving to safeguard this much loved and protected sand habitat (a diminishing asset on Wirral) WBC have lorded over its destruction. Unfortunately, as WBC has not brought this to the attention of Natural England, and no questions asked of NE regarding future management, the council have been left to pursue the blanket destruction of a much loved, centuries old, and diminishing habitat.

This leads me back to my original point about questions, how you ask them, and the responses you may get.

Any sensible council representative, Councillor or other, should have been more sensitive to local wishes, and had a global view of local habitats and ecosystems. They should have flagged to NE that some locals had a problem with the NE agreed use of glyphosate herbicide on the shore, so changes may need to be made in the development of future management plans to address this. NE, being a reasonable and responsible body, would probably have accepted this approach and worked productively with the council.

The council, as the elected representatives of the Hoylake population, should also have pointed out to NE that any wholesale cessation of beach management would be extremely unpopular with the local community, would result in the destruction of a centuries old diminishing sandy habitat, and may introduce problems concerning public health issues.

All of this could have been addressed at the time in the development of the new management plan in 2019, after all they still had a couple of years to run on the old plan, plenty of time to develop a new plan before the existing plan terminated.

Reasonable questions and assertions giving reasoned responses.

Unfortunately this fiasco has not been overseen by a reasonable person, and has been rubber stamped down party lines by an uncaring, ill informed WBC ruling group. The council, via the chair of the Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee has asked questions of NE in such a way as to force them into answers that suits her narrative, in a similar way to Dr. Turner asking leading questions to her AI bot.

Instead of reasoned discussion and debate, the chair of the Environment, Climate Emergency and Transport Committee has instead used Hoylake beach as a tool, riding roughshod over the people of Hoylake, to curry favour with, and to demonstrate her allegiance to, her Extinction Rebellion compatriots, by attempting to implement their draconian policies. This is totally undemocratic, and a shameful abuse of her position.

I’ll leave it there for now……….


: Hoylake Beach Community, is a voluntary group who have been asking WBC for a compromise that will suit all. Our hope is for a section* of the beach to be restored to sand so that residents from across Wirral and beyond can utilise it for recreation and health and well-being purposes.We are asking for a common sense approach for ALL; wildlife, nature & people. The half mile stretch* of amenity beach we would like equates to less than 1% compared to the Wirral shoreline conservation area. There really has to be a balance of human and environmental needs.Hoylake Beach Community are not affiliated with any other group. HBC only use two forms of online communication. This website and a Facebook group which anyone is welcome to request to join. Search Hoylake Beach Community. HBC do not use any other social media. *We are not asking for the whole beach, our compromise is just for the section that runs alongside North Parade from Kings Gap to the RNLI station, with the rest being left to the grasses. We do not support chemicals, only raking.

SIGN the petition Click Here

DONATE Justgiving account which allows us to continue Click Here

SHARE help our cause by sharing on social media - links below.

WRITE email / write to non- supporting councillors, Lib Dem, Green and Independent Councillors. Councillor contact details on the below link:

Thank you!

Remember, genuine supporters of a compromise for Hoylake Beach to be restored to sand should join our Facebook group. Search: Hoylake Beach Community.

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