Meeting documents

Hilbre Islands Nature Reserve Management Committee
Friday, 6th April 2001



DW Christian


J Hale, AM McLaughlin, ED Prout


Cllr Walter Smith

Index to Minutes

Minute 3 - MINUTES

Minute Text :

The Borough Solicitor and Secretary submitted the minutes of the meetings held on 3 March and 28 June 2000.

Further to minute 2 (3/3/00), the Director of Leisure Services and Tourism reported upon progress made in relation to the proposed use of a wind turbine and/or solar panels as a source of alternative energy on the island. A number of types of wind turbine had been considered and the proposal would be the subject of a future report and a planning application in due course. The RSPB and the Hilbre Bird Observatory had been consulted on the matter and had expressed the view that the impact of the noise of a wind turbine on the bird population of the island would be minimal. Indeed, the noise levels would not be as high as the diesel generator which was currently in use. Furthermore, he indicated that it was likely that grant aid would pay for 100% of the cost of a wind turbine.

Further to minute 3 (3/3/00), he reported that a consultancy group had been formed to give consideration to the issue of wind-blown sand at Hoylake and West Kirby. The outcome of the consultation exercise would be reported to a future meeting of the Culture and Community Services Select Committee.

Further to minute 1 (28/6/00), with regard to the existing coastal works and the erosion of the sandstone cliffs, the Director reported that the Borough Engineer was continuing to monitor the condition of the North West coast of the island. No progress had been made with regard to securing grant aid from MAFF for funding the essential coastal defence works. However, some safety signs had been erected to warn people of the danger of rock falls.

Minute Decision :

Resolved - That, subject to Councillor D Prout being included in the attendance list for the meeting held on 28 June, the minutes of both meetings be received.

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Minute 4 - RANGERS REPORT 2000

Minute Text :

The Director of Leisure Services and Tourism submitted the Annual Ranger's Report for the Hilbre Islands Local Nature Reserve for 2000. He drew the attention of the Management Committee to a number of issues, and reported that the presence of rats had been discovered on the island. Their migration to Hilbre was in part due to a countrywide increase in their numbers, and, having taken advice from the RSPB, CCW, and Wirral Pest Control, 23 poison feeding stations had been set up. The process of eradication was slow, and a faster acting poison was now being considered. However, the poison had to be low grade, so as not to kill off the resident population of voles, and to avoid secondary poisoning.

He set out the coastal protection issues, and indicated the numbers of visitors to the island. He reported upon the Ecological and Estate Management issues, and indicated that protective walls were being erected to prevent soil loss along the east side of Hilbre, which was essential to protect the very rare rock Sea Lavender. A number of incidents of vandalism and theft had occured on the island, and the Police had been called in each case. The Ranger's landrover had been stolen whilst on the mainland, and had not yet been recovered; neither had the £2000 worth of equipment which was in it.

The Director stated that, for added safety, the minimum crossing times both to and from the island had been increased from 3 hrs to 3.5 hrs either side of high tide, on tides over 9.5m. Two helicopter evacuations had occured during 2000, one casualty having slipped and hit her head, and the other breaking her leg. One person had been evacuated by inshore lifeboat after dislocating a shoulder, and four persons evacuated by Ranger landrover.

He also reported that a meeting had recently been held at West Kirby Concourse, attended by some 90 people, to consider setting up a Friends of Hilbre Island group. The group were working closely with the Ranger Service and he hoped that they would continue to develop, and eventually be represented on the Management Committee.

Minute Decision :

Resolved - That the report be noted.

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Minute Text :

The Director of Leisure Services and Tourism reported that the Hilbre Island Nature Reserve Management Plan, which was currently used as a working document by the Ranger Service, had been in use since 1983. The Management Plan was currently being brought up to date in a new format, and he outlined its aims and objectives. He hoped to submit a draft of the revised document for consideration by the Culture and Community Services Select Committee at its June meeting.

Minute Decision :

Resolved - That the Director's report be noted.

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(Minutes Published: 7 May 2001)