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MP praises 'vital' work of Formby's National Trust

MP Bill Esterson has described the work of the National Trust in Formby as "vital" in the fight against climate change and thanked staff for the "important" work they are doing for conservation in the area.

The Sefton Central MP visited the site to hear of the work the charity is doing to protect the area from coastal erosion, to improve biodiversity and to help secure the future of a host of species including red squirrels and natterjack toads.

Mr Esterson met with the Trust's Countryside Manager Andrew Brockbank, Community Involvement Officer Fiona Matthews, Coastal Officer for the North Kate Martin, Area Ranger Justin Matthews, Vicky Blane, general manager, and operations manager Amy Peacock to hear about the conservation work the Trust is carrying out and also their plans to improve facilities at the Lifeboat Road site, which was recently transferred to the Trust from Sefton Council after government cuts left it unviable for the council to continue to care for it.

The MP, who has spoken out several times in Parliament about the threat posed to the UK and the rest of the world from climate change, said it was through work such as that being done by the National Trust which would help support flora and fauna across the area.

The MP, who regularly visits the beach to walk his dog Othelo, said: "It was fascinating to hear about all the work that goes on - largely far away from public gaze - at the National Trust site in Formby. It is clear how passionate all the staff are about conservation and protecting the wonderful environment we have here and at other sites across the North West. The work they do is vital and so important.

"Thousands of people every year enjoy coming to the beach here at Formby - it is a huge asset but also a challenge for staff to balance the needs of visitors and the environment. I heard about how huge an issue litter is - it really is so important for people to take their rubbish home. There is also a lot of work being done to support a reduction in plastics use."

The MP has been campaigning for better signage and information to help ease congestion on busy days and says he was pleased to see mobile matrix signs installed on Formby bypass over the weekend which informed visitors when the National Trust car parks were full. National Trust staff said they felt the signs had had an impact and had reduced the number of cars arriving after the car parks were full.

National Trust Coastal Office for the North Kate Martin added: "Thank you to Bill for taking the time to come down and meet the team at Formby and hear about the work we do and our plans for the future.

"Also thank you to Bill for his support for the National Trust cause so far, especially in debates such as the recent Red Squirrel debate. Bill's feelings about the need to address nature decline and climate change are very much in line with our own.

"We hope to see Bill at Formby again very soon."

PIC: Bill with Othelo at the National Trust site at Formby

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