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The importance of risk assessment!

Updated: Oct 8, 2021

From the aerial photos over Hoylake, the yellow line marks out the inner shore with potential to restore a sandy beach.


The red lines show the general area of drainage affecting Hoylake Beach.



There is a densely populated urban strip backed by an industrial area and a large agricultural area. The birds and the community functioned for decades with beach maintenance but the drains are old, and have been running off onto the beach from this area for too long, affecting the sediments.


The research studies so far have focused on the vegetation in the narrow yellow beach area, almost as a smokescreen for the bigger issues of drainage from the hinterland over the extensive intertidal mudflats .


Halting the Spartina control has allowed this invasive grass to spread along it's natural ecological niche, and it will continue to do so along the sheltered sections of the mudflats. It will be a long time before other species of plant can compete with it and dry such a large area out to become a grassland. Spartina is an aggressive invasive species, and what we now see on our shores just shows that. It’s even growing on that inner shore stretch where it's drier, and outside it's normal range.


Wirral Council have not been transparent nor had dialogue with the Hoylake community. These changes are affecting far too many and impacting negatively on the community.


The Wirral Council ‘Have Your Say’ portal is inadequate for the complexity of the issues that need addressing. Public questions raised in the Environment Committee meeting in September were NOT answered!


The potential hazards of marsh development are not being discussed with residents . Marshes are known to be unstable ecosystems, constantly changing . They are both sinks and sources of greenhouse gases at the same time, and the UK has limited up to date scientific information on this ‘flux’ data.


This is worrying and more research needs to be done as the actual risks need to be assessed for temperate areas subject to sea level and climate changes.


Saltmarshes should not be advocated as being good blue carbon stores when unexpected results have been found in other parts of the world. We need up to date UK research.


Sand defences as an alternative for climate and sea level rises needs serious discussion, and funding! We have sand in abundance blowing in.


Why hasn’t the Wirral Environment Committee published the anticipated effects on our local environmental area, following the abrupt policy change to a ‘NO VEGETATION MAINTENANCE’ disclosing the expected impact, and why!


Most importantly, why did the Chair of the Environment Committee during a YouTube interview with the ‘Earth Moves Co-operative’ in Wallasey, indicate the importance of Risk Assessment as follows:


"gives a wakeup call before policy is taken further and is possibly a hidden thing that people cannot see, but probably has a considerable impact on how the council behaves, it is probably the thing I'm most proud of, but , like I say it's not something people can see” Click here for the interview


Correct! It should provide a wake up....so what’s the plan Wirral Council?


Extract from Wirral Policy Document 2020 to 2025 .


'Decisions will never be taken behind closed doors. We will never take any decisions without first actively seeking out, and taking account of the views of the people that decision affects. Public services in Wirral will be accountable, and they will equally be inclusive, open and transparent'.


So Wirral Council…. Listen to us…Talk to us! That's your policy ….stick to it!


It's a difficult complex issue and much dialogue is needed.


So many people are turning a blind eye to the Spartina issue and it’s causing mistrust to develop, and the destruction of both the beach and community!


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Thank you!

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