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BBC Interview... untangled

Updated: Jan 31, 2023

Many of you would have seen the BBC North West news feature with Ian Haslam (below) about the grass growing on Hoylake beach earlier this week, and how Hoylake Beach Community’s request for a compromise remains unanswered by Wirral Borough Council.


Here are some quotes made by the Ecologist during a BBC North West News interview:

1)’This strip of vegetation is extremely narrow’

2) ‘Compared to the miles of golden sands that stretch out to the sea’

3)‘It is a free flood defence’

4)‘A defence against sand that’s washing up onto the promenade’

So many inaccuracies, ill informed observations and contradictions in such a short interview!

Let’s try to untangle them………

Let’s leave (1) alone for now

2) Although not actually saying it, the inference was that if you want golden sand, go further out towards the sea. This is an interesting comment as it mirrors very closely a statement made by Councillor Grey (Environment Committee Chair) on the same subject……’just go further out’. Either way it is wrong on a few levels.

The suggestion to move further out for golden sand also exposes a lack of empathy, and a basic understanding of people with impaired mobility, and their need for the same life experiences as able bodied individuals.

People with mobility issues can’t move further out to reach golden sand but have the right to experience it at the promenade edge.

Now let’s have a look at (1) and (3). I think the Ecologist needs to decide what it is he is describing.

If the vegetation is, and is going to remain, an extremely narrow strip it could never be a flood defence. The only way it might become some sort of partial flood defence (that it is argued and we have evidence Hoylake doesn’t actually need) is if it were to hugely expand in size……..which is it to be Mr. Ecologist, small or large, flood defence or not, you can’t have it both ways?

Point (3) is down right insulting. ‘For free’ indeed! Let me tell you, this would be by no means free. It would cost the loss of Hoylake amenity beach, for both locals and visitors, and all of the social, socioeconomic, and wellbeing benefits that go with it.

Finally, point (4) is just plain wrong. Wind blown sand accumulation on the promenade, yes (mostly blown up unmaintained slipways that face in to the prevailing winds. See the slipway by the pseudo dune at the new lifeboat station). Sand is not brought up onto the promenade in any quantity by normal tidal flow.

I would suggest to the person that briefed this Ecologist with regards to all things Hoylake, that they do a better job in future.


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