Burton newsletter 2014 aw

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Traffic Matters and Community SpeedWatch


Gladstone Village Hall & Sports Pavilion GVH & Sports Pavilion are both fantastic community assets. These are just some of the great activities on offer:

Following requests from your committee, CWaC Highways Department has implemented improved traffic signage since the April 2013 Newsletter. Legally required 30mph repeater signs have been erected in the unlit section of Neston Road, “Pedestrians in the road/no footway for 1000yds” signs have been erected at both ends of The Village, and new crossroads signs have replaced the old junction signs at The Village/Puddington Lane/The Rake junction.

Bridge, Badminton, French lessons, History Society, Cottage Garden Society, Sunday Stitchers, Morris Dancing, Badminton, Brownies, Playgroup, Special Needs Tutor, Manor Gatehouse Club, Alpine Society, Burton Society, Messy Church, Cricket, Walking Club, Art, Bowls, Tennis, Snooker & Billiards, Quiz nights.

The Speed Indicating Device in Dunstan Lane has been repaired after being out of action for some 9 months in 2013. All carriageway markings have been refreshed and some new SLOW signs painted. The refurbished footpath opposite Manor Villas is to be top-dressed shortly to match other village footpaths in colour. Highways Department conducted a traffic survey between Thursday 26 September and Friday 4 October 2013. Four sensors were used: at the western end of The Rake, between the Manor entrance and the Station Road junction, in Neston Road opposite Wood Lane, and in Neston Road near Denhall Lane (in the new 40mph limit). The comparisons below have been made with the previous survey at The Rake and The Manor one year earlier in October 2012, and with the previous survey in Neston Road (opposite Wood Lane) conducted two and a half years earlier in April 2011. Average daily volumes have increased at The Rake and The Manor by 1.6% and 3.0% to 2357 and 2294 vehicles respectively (totals in both directions). Increased vehicular access to The Manor activities, and similarly via Station Road to the popular Burton Marsh Greenway, have probably contributed to these volumes. However, they are still well below the 2582 recorded at The Rake in July 2010. Since April 2011, volume has decreased at the Neston Road/Wood Lane sensor by 6.4% to 2131 vehicles. Mean average speeds at The Rake and The Manor in both directions lie between 25.9mph and 29.3mph. With the exception of a small increase of 0.7mph westbound at The Rake, all are lower than a year earlier. Percentages of vehicles travelling at 36mph and above at The Rake and The Manor were respectively 5.4% and 1.7% (8.0% and

The Sports Pavilion bar is open on the last Friday of each month from 7.30pm… bring your friends & family - everyone is very welcome! Why not come and join in, or find out about hiring the facilities for your own function? Call Connie on 336 3679.

A lot of volunteer effort goes into maintaining and improving our facilities. Just to pay the annual running costs, we need to raise £25,000 each year! As a registered charity, we are able to accept donations and legacies and would be grateful for any help you can give. Alternatively, if you have any spare time and would like to work together with our small community group, please contact Ingrid, on 336 4974, or Jan, on 353 8860. A few extra people make a huge difference – several new volunteers have specifically offered to help organise this year’s Fete, enabling it to go ahead. Why not have your wedding reception in this unique venue? Call Connie on 336 3679 for details.

Don’t miss the annual Burton Fete Spectacular with entertainment for all the family. Saturday, 7th June 2014 Battle of Britain Hurricane Flypast and possibly the Red Arrows as well! www.gladstonevillagehall.org.uk

Swings and Roundabouts at Gladstone Village Hall 5.9% in October 2012). At the Neston Road/Wood Lane sensor, northbound mean average speed has increased by 0.6mph to 31.4mph and southbound has increased by 2.6mph to 30.3mph. Disappointingly, percentages of vehicles travelling at 36mph and above were: northbound 17.9% and southbound 14.8% (17.0% and 6.5% in April 2011). Mean average speeds in the new Neston Road 40mph limit near Denhall Lane were 35.2mph and 36.4mph northbound and southbound respectively. The above figures appear to confirm an observed tendency for average speeds to rise where traffic volumes decrease and vice versa. More detailed survey results are available from Highways Department on application. Cheshire Police have been made aware of the survey figures and more enforcement has been requested when resources are available. Community SpeedWatch (CSW) activities have continued in Burton over the last year, on average at least once a week, in conjunction with PCSO

Linda Conway. The registered keepers of several repeat and/or excessive speeding vehicles have been visited in their homes by police officers and offered “words of advice”. So far these offenders have not been observed speeding again by CSW in Burton, Willaston or Neston! The primary purposes of CSW are to act as a visible deterrent and to make drivers more aware of the speed limit. The more sessions volunteers are able to conduct, the more effective the results. The BRA is, as ever, most grateful for the support of PCSO Conway and her Cheshire Police colleagues. Most speeding offenders observed by CSW in Burton live in the CH64 post-code area. However, it is clear that many Burton residents do try to drive at speeds appropriate to the circumstances and within the legal speed limits; also they negotiate the numerous “blind” junctions and property entrances/exits with appropriate caution. This probably goes some way to explaining Burton’s excellent accident record over many years - long may it continue!

The children’s playground adjacent to the GVH bowling green has for many years been run and maintained by various local councils and currently by Cheshire West and Chester Council. They have decided to withdraw their support leaving the GVH to pick up the pieces. The GVH are determined to keep the playground going for the benefit of the children of Burton and Puddington, but this will involve further financial pressures. The playground and its equipment have unfortunately been left in a poor state and the necessary refurbishment is going to cost over £1500. The Association appealed on behalf of the GVH for financial assistance from Neston Project Rural Matters (funded by Cheshire Constabulary) and has succeeded in obtaining a grant of £650. To assist further the Association has agreed to contribute £300 from its own funds but this still leaves the GVH to find a further £600. We therefore appeal for donations from anyone willing to help and particularly from any family which has enjoyed the playground in the past or hopes to in the future.

Did You Know... Burton gets its name from a sandstone outcrop known as Burton Point which in Iron Age times had a hill fort on it. The name is derived from ‘burgh-tun’ which means the settlement by the fort and probably dates from Anglo-Saxon times.

the build up of silt in the River Dee led to a decrease in shipping trade and Burton’s prosperity took a downturn when the river course was diverted in the eighteenth century.

Burton was first documented in the Domesday Book and historically was on the route which travellers would take from London to Birkenhead. Owing to its location on trade routes, it is thought to have developed at a faster rate than neighbouring communities. During the fourteenth century trade and travel allowed Burton to flourish, standing as it did near the site of embarcation for the ferry to North Wales and on the main route to the city of Chester. However

In 1663, Thomas Wilson was born in Burton and he became bishop of Sodor and Man. He founded a free school in the parish and the local primary school is named after him.

Burton Parish Church which was rebuilt in 1721, is dedicated to St Nicholas, and the clock is unusual in that it has only one hand. Behind the church in the woods are the Quaker graves which date from 1663.

Burton Manor was originally built for the Congreve family as Burton Hall in the 19th Century. Henry Neville Gladstone bought it in 1902 and the house was greatly extended. The Gladstones sold the manor in 1924 and in 1948 it became an adult education college.


Welcome to the New Edition Newsletter I hope you like the new format and find the various articles interesting and informative. Please note the date and time of our AGM and come along if you possibly can – the more the merrier! This also goes for membership of the Association. The more members we have, the more clout we have when dealing with Cheshire West and Chester Council and other

large organisations to protect or promote the interests of the village and its residents. For the latest news from time to time, visit the Association website: www.burtonresidentsassociation.co.uk

Michael Redmond Chairman

APRIL 2014

Notice of Annual General Meeting The 25th Annual General Meeting of the Association will take place at Gladstone Village Hall on Tuesday 13th May starting at 8pm. All local residents are cordially invited to join your committee and fellow members. Complimentary coffee, tea and biscuits will be served.

In the Eye of the Solar Storm Residents will recall that only a little over ten years ago the Association, in conjunction with the residents of Puddington and Shotwick, succeeded at a Public Inquiry in preventing the industrial development of 600 acres of high quality agricultural land this side of the Shotwick Road (the A548 leading to the Flint Suspension Bridge). This land, which is within the Welsh border and forms part of Flintshire, is adjacent to the Cheshire Green Belt and is recognised as some the best and most versatile agricultural land in Wales. Both UK and Welsh Assembly Planning Policy stipulate that land of such quality should normally be quote “conserved as a finite resource for future generations”. This was one of the most important factors in the Inquiry’s decision to reject the proposal for industrial development. Another was that Shotwick Road provides a “firm and visually logical” boundary between the Deeside Industrial Estate on the one side and the open agricultural land on the other.

Following the Inquiry, the land was designated as Green Barrier, the Welsh equivalent of Green Belt, and recognised as such in the Flintshire Unitary Development Plan which was adopted as recently as 2011. The present owner of the land is The Compton Group, a large Swansea based company, which has applied to Flintshire CC for planning permission to erect 180,000 solar panels (each the size of a door) on a substantial part of the land notwithstanding its Green Belt status and the important reasons

for this status mentioned above. If the application is successful, it is likely to lead to applications for the industrial development of the remaining land for solar panels or otherwise. The Association is opposing this proposal on grounds similar to those mentioned above and because such a development would in effect bring industry ‘across the road’ and set a precedent for further industrial development within the Welsh border but contiguous with the Cheshire Green Belt.


The proposed site for the Solar Park




Who are we? Burton Residents’ Association is run by a committee of local residents. The Committee meets once a month to review proposed developments in the village including local planning applications. Cheshire West and Chester Council take into consideration any comments the Association has on the proposed developments which may affect the village and residents. Several members assist the local police team with Speed-Watch activities in a bid to help reduce excessive speeding through the village. Chairman: Michael Redmond contact: 336 3643 chairman@burtonresidentsassociation.co.uk

Deputy Chairman: Colin Wells contact: 353 0172 Secretary Jane Brooks contact: 336 1048 secretary@burtonresidentsassociation.co.uk

Treasurer: John Farrell treasurer@burtonresidentsassociation.co.uk

Members: Donald Howell Peter Nicholson Steve Lord Martins Brooks Jan Peters The Association is committed to improving the lives of Burton residents. If you would like to comment on any of the issues in this newsletter or you have a story to tell us, please contact

A step up for St. Nicholas’ Church It has been encouraging over the last year to see small steps in growth and commitment in St. Nicholas’ Church. We have more people involved in running the various activities and celebrating St Nicholas weekend last December gave us a good opportunity to not only give thanks to God for the past year but to continue to look to future growth. The two most recent initiatives are now well established; the monthly Communion service held on the first Monday of the month, currently at the Burton Café and secondly, Messy Church which is held twice a term in the GVH, a lively and informal service and meal for families. The most visible difference will be the repair of the sandstone steps and renewal of the two paths leading up to church last summer made possible by a very kind and generous donation. It has made not just a big difference to

the safety of people coming up to the church or through the graveyard but also to the appearance. We have now obtained the necessary permissions to go ahead with the internal alterations to the church, these being a glass door to provide improved insulation in the porch, new furnishings in the porch, the foreshortening of a pew to enable wheelchair access within the main body of the church and to raise the floor of the Massey Chapel, replacing the movable pews with oak chairs and installing a continuation of the existing balustrade. The raising of the floor level back to where it used to be, will allow us to move the choir stalls when needed to provide a larger area for concerts, performances for the children from Bishop Wilson School and to allow flexibility in services. We are really looking forward to the opportunities these improvements will afford.

Burton Manor Update Atelier & Cafe No news is good news as we continue to wait for Liverpool City Council to place the property on the open market. Unfortunately their promise of this happening ‘next month’, has dragged on since last July!

an Archery group, Art group, Ukulele Band and an Archive group. Some very interesting coach trips are being arranged too, - so please watch the notice board on the Manor gates for all the latest news.

In the meantime life goes on as before as The Friends of Burton Manor Gardens and their team of Volunteers continue to tend and improve the Manor Gardens which are open daily from 10am to 6pm.

Programmes of all courses and events are available at the Visitor’s Centre in the Walled Garden and at the Atelier Cafe (open Tues - Sun).

There is a varied Spring and Summer programme of courses and events that can be enjoyed by all ages including

To find out more how you can get involved, or to find any of our programmes and excursions, please visit: www.burtonmanor.co.uk

Membership is open to all residents of Burton. A basic administration charge of £5 per household is payable from April each year and members can attend the annual AGM. A newsletter updating members is published at least once during the year. If you would like to join, please email: treasurer@burtonresidentsassociation.co.uk

Useful Links: www.burtonmanor.co.uk www.gladstonevillagehall.co.uk www.cheshire.police.uk www.aboutmyarea.co.uk/Cheshire/ Neston/CH64 www.chesterchronicle.co.uk

We are pleased to announce the family run Café at Burton Manor has recently been modified to incorporate a small ‘Village Store’ providing newspapers, fresh dairy products and a basic range of food and grocery items. This is a great community asset so please make the most of it! Café & store open 10am4pm Tuesday to Sunday.

News from Burton Mere Wetlands & Beyond

The Atelier Studios offer unique skills and crafts a world away from everything the high street has to offer and is the perfect stop-off for walkers, cyclists and visitors to our village. For more information visit: www.burtonatelier.wordpress.com

Neil Johnstone

Starlings gathering to roost in front of a colourful winter sunset a small murmuration of starlings – honest!

Bird News

BUS SHELTER Despite enquiries made by the Association and Cheshire West and Chester Council, the ownership of the shelter has still not been established. Is anyone able to help from his or her own knowledge of the history of the shelter? If so, please contact the Association Chairman or Secretary. We are anxious to ensure that the shelter is repaired and maintained for the benefit of schoolchildren using the school bus and of others if and when a public bus service is re-established.

Rev. Cathy Helm

Burton Manor


Please join us



Incinerator Update Still in the planning stages and with opposition from local councils such as Connah’s Quay and your Association, it looks at this stage as though the £800m project is still on target for a completion by September 2018. The North Wales Residual Waste Treatment Project (NWRWTP) made up from the five Councils from North Wales, including Flintshire, have selected the only bidder in the process, Wheelabrator Technologies Inc, to continue with the project and a formal planning application could be submitted by September this year. Over the past year, Connah’s Quay Town Council has met with Flintshire

to request the project be stopped and a formal public inquiry be held, but their request has been turned down. Also, it has been revealed, it will cost Flintshire £25million to leave NWRWTP and then, the council will be back to square one with the issue of the tight landfill targets set by the Welsh Assembly (via Westminster from an EU directive) which could see a fine of £200 per tonne levied should the Councils fail to meet the targets for reducing landfill. The incinerator will burn over 150,000 tonnes annually and will also generate electricity which is of course very attractive to the councils, as it will create income when sold on to the

National Grid. The formal planning application planned for September this year may lead to pressure for a public inquiry but this could be turned down by the Welsh Assembly due to them backing the overall project in principle, along with the pressure of the external landfill targets imposed on the Welsh Assembly. During the year, we will continue to monitor and, if necessary, seek advice on how best to oppose the planning application when it is lodged. Please see our website for more information and updates during the year. During 2012, the Association formally lodged an objection to the project with Flintshire County Council.

Amongst the familiar winter visitors, a Little Stint was lingering at Burton Mere Wetlands, a presumed late migrant in the latter half of November, but now appears to be wintering here having been regularly seen amongst a flock of dunlin up to the time of writing. A real highlight in December was the growing number of Starlings roosting in the young Marsh Covert reedbed, starting with just a couple of hundred in November but rising to nearly 2000 before Christmas – not quite Leighton Moss or Ham Wall standard yet, but if the roost grows with the reedbed, it’s exciting to think of the sights we may get in future, with sunsets over Wales in the background (see photo). On December 5, the biggest surge tide in decades flooded the saltmarsh (more on that later), which was a doubleedged sword of excellent birding and an ensuing purple patch for rarities, with a drake American Wigeon appearing amongst the wintering Eurasian Wigeon on the flooded Burton Marsh on December 15. The extensive tidewrack left by the tides brought in a superb array of unusual birds including a wintering Northern Wheatear, a flock of Chiffchaffs which included at least two Siberian Chiffchaff, Water, Rock and Meadow Pipits, but the star attraction was a Buff-bellied Pipit first identified on December 21. This led to Site Manager Colin Wells spending the full weekend between Christmas and New Year accidentally running an impromptu Date with Nature to show people from far & wide the birds (and administer a degree of crowd and traffic control!) as the twitch really escalated on Denhall Lane – now that is commitment!

Up to 6 Bewick Swans were also seen feeding on the flood at Burton Marsh, whilst up to 40 Whooper Swans have taken up residency on a field of winter wheat adjacent to Burton Mere Wetlands. Parkgate has seen the return of a Great White Egret which has been seen almost daily since late summer. A single Glossy Ibis passed over the marsh and Burton Mere Wetlands on December 21. On the Welsh side of the reserve, the big December tides pushed up to 4000 Black-tailed Godwit into roost at Point of Ayr, whilst at Oakenholt Marsh the wintering Twite flock has now reached almost 100 birds.

Reserve Work December saw work recommence on the long-awaited path to connect the Burton Mere Wetlands site with the old Inner Marsh Farm hide and trails. First, contractors created a new bund for screening and more fen habitat adjacent to where the path crosses the SSSI (see photo); then a substantial length of willow screening was erected along the path route and the foundations of a new boardwalk laid.

We continued our willow removal on many different areas of the reserve, with the dry weather in November allowing us to get the tractor and topper into the wettest areas in preparation for the breeding season. The dry spell and mild beginning to winter meant we could keep the cattle on IMF2 until mid-December, further helping us tackle the young willow and hard rush encroachment. December’s spring tide swept away our electric perimeter fences from sheep compounds on the inner marsh, and covered Denhall Lane, the road bordering the marsh, flooding several houses and then carried on inundating parts of the sheep pasture above the saltmarsh, an incredible sight. It also brought in masses of tideline debris, giving us the mother of all litter-picks to do, still ongoing as we write! Cheshire West & Chester Council have been very supportive and removed all of the collected litter from site.

The result of several days litter-picking after the spring tide

The “Wild Wirral” Date with Nature project reached full momentum in November, with Information Assistant John Langley hitting the streets pretty much five days a week, wowing people with the growing number of waders gathering on the estuary and North Wirral foreshore. November’s “Tea on Hilbre” event fell on a perfect clear Autumn day, making for a busy day with over 120 cups of tea served (and conversations had!) out on the small island in the mouth of the estuary, surrounded by the spectacle of the estuary’s winter birdlife and resident grey seals. Another well-attended guided walk to the Iron Age hillfort on Burton Point, a currently private part of the Burton Mere Wetlands site, whet people’s appetite for what’s to come after the completion of the Reed & Fen trail to connect the new facilities to Inner Marsh Farm. We are all hoping for some dry sunny weather and it won’t belong before the arrival of the first summer migrants!

The excavator starting work on the bund for the new path

Dan Trotman (Visitor officer) & Colin Wells (Site Manager).