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Call of Nature

It’s World Toilet Day on Sunday 19th November; a UN initiative aiming to improve global sanitation. Although the majority of the North West waste water is safely treated through the United Utilities network risks to local rivers and seas are still prevalent through privately maintained waste water treatment works.

The Call of Nature campaign has been designed to inform occupants of septic tanks, cesspits & package sewage treatment plants about the risks their tanks pose to animals and the environment if their facilities are poorly maintained.

Poorly maintained tanks are often incidental in nature with owners simply forgetting that the maintenance of their tanks is due. That’s why LOVEmyBEACH officers Hannah Barnes and Stephanie Wyatt are visiting areas around Haverigg, Millom and Seascale on Friday 17th November raising awareness about the campaign, reminding residents to check their tanks and suggesting World Toilet Day as a notable date for future checks.

Hannah added;

“It would be great if septic tank households could do their bit to protect our rivers and seas by checking annually that their facilities are connected right and maintained properly and what a better day to do it on than World Toilet Day!”

The website; www.callofnature.info contains everything owners need to know about septic tank maintenance and also includes some top tips on efficiency such as only ever flushing the 3p’s; pee, poo and paper and avoiding any fats and food going down the kitchen sink.

For those owners who are on top of their maintenance the website provides insight into new regulations that come into force in 2020.

Toilet pic

Cleaner Seas!

Whether you swim, paddle, or simply enjoy a stroll on one of the region’s many beaches, you can be assured, once again, that the quality of the water is cleaner than at any time in the last 30 years.

For the second year in a row the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has published statistics that reveal that all 31 of the North West’s bathing waters meet the government’s required standards for water quality.

The 2017 classifications of bathing waters across the North West (27 coastal, 4 in-land) are;

11 are Excellent – the highest, cleanest class and the required standard to quality for Blue Flag status; 14 are Good – generally good water quality; 6 are Sufficient – the water meets minimum standard and 0 are Poor.

You can check the water quality for your nearest beach by using our map feature.

The results mean Blackpool is expected to retain its hard-earned Blue Flag status for Blackpool South, opposite the Pleasure Beach, with the water rated Excellent for a third year running.

With improvements at Blackpool North, now rated Good, all the Fylde coast bathing waters are now classified as either Good or Excellent, highlighting the huge improvement in sea water quality across the region.

A range of stakeholders have contributed to reducing pollution and improving the regions rivers, lakes and the sea, including the Environment Agency, United Utilities and the local authorities.

Additionally, hundreds of residents from across the North West have engaged with LOVEmyBEACH; acting on advice related to what not to flush and picking up after their dogs at the beach.

A huge thank you is extended to those who play an active part in keeping their local beach and sea clean conducting beach cleans every week. Over 8,000 hours of volunteering hours were dedicated by volunteers in 2016/17 on the Fylde coast alone!

LOVEmyBEACH officer for the Fylde coast, Emma Whitlock added, “Our volunteers don’t just help by removing the litter at the source but they are also advocates of important messages including what not to flush and pour. They help spread the message to everyone who lives, works and visits the North West that they can make changes that help us have cleaner seas.”

#cleanerseas

Fylde Volunteer Celebration Event

Over 60 beach clean volunteers from across the Fylde coast came together at Fleetwood’s Marine Hall on Friday 13th October for the third annual Volunteer Celebration event organised by Fylde LOVEmyBEACH officer Emma Whitlock.

The event celebrated the fantastic achievements of the volunteers, with Emma updating the packed hall of litter heroes that between them they have volunteered over 8000 hours and removed 1000’s of bags of litter from the coastal environment in the past year alone.

Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton attended the event to personally thank the dedicated volunteers and update them on how Keep Britain Tidy was campaigning to reduce litter across the country, as well as providing important updates on the Bottle Deposit Return Scheme hoping to be introduced in the UK in the near future.

Representatives from all 9 beach clean groups across the coast were present, including long established groups such as Friends of the Estuary in Lytham and Rossall Beach Residents who have been running for almost 10 years now, alongside newer groups such as Cleveleys Beach Care and Harbour Village Estuary Care who are in their second years as established groups. Each group had a chance to share with others what they had achieved over the last year, from number of bags of litter collected to a growing numbers of volunteers.

Thanks and updates were also given from local authority teams from Wyre and Fylde Councils as well as LOVEmyBEACH partners United Utilities and the Environment Agency, who provided insightful information on how volunteers could report pollution incidents effectively.

The event concluded after a complimentary lunch with a field trip to Rossall Point Tower where views across Morecambe Bay to the Lakeland fells could be enjoyed.

Knott End volunteer Madeleine Doherty said “We found the whole day really interesting – the talks were informative and so relevant and we enjoyed seeing so many like-minded-people.”

Les Warren, Volunteer Manager at Keep Britain Tidy added, “It was a great day! The volunteers were really upbeat and the event showed how important it is to support the volunteers who are keen on cleaning up their local beaches.”

Allison St Annes