Friends of Maghull and District share their ideas for community projects

Friends of Maghull and District share their ideas for community projects

by Danielle Thompson (May 2020)

THE Friends of Maghull and District have thanked London and Cambridge Properties for allowing them to complete their successful year-long Stafford Moreton Way Wildflower project on their land.

They have now launched their next environmental crowdfunding campaign, the ‘Woodend Community Woodland Project.’ They plan to reinvigorate a historic woodland entrance to Maghull, with a welcoming, wildlife-friendly space.

Frank Sharp from the Friends said: “Following the crowdfunding campaign, wish to thank Simon Etough, area manager for London and Cambridge Properties (LCP). LCP provided permission for this project to be undertaken on their land and will continue to maintain the remaining grassed areas, through a new maintenance team who have recently replaced Marshalls. In addition, LCP also deserve some credit for supporting the Maghull in Bloom group in the seemingly costly provision of watering the invaluable plants in the Maghull Shopping Centre.

“They are also undertaking a programme at the Maghull Shopping Centre of refurbishing the flats above the shops, improving security CCTV, and have committed to restructuring and resurfacing the Shopping Centre car park pending the current restrictions. Originally, this work was due to commence at the beginning of the year, but they had to create a risk-free situation whereby part of the car park can remain open whilst work is undertaken in another part. Thus, enabling businesses to function without damaging trade and maintaining health and safety for everyone.”

They have planted 400 daffodil bulbs in one of the two newly created borders alongside five newly planted trees on Stafford Morton Way, Maghull – which are blooming now.

Frank gave more detail about their projects. He said: “Our story starts a couple of years ago, when we sat in a planning meeting discussing how we could celebrate Maghull’s most historically famous Moss Side Hospital and its hidden unique pioneering work in the treatment of shellshock (PTSD) in the First World War. Including the beautiful historical grandeur of its now demolished buildings and the thousands of people who have worked and were treated there, now replaced by the Poppy Field Housing Estate. We established a bronze statue, at Maghull North train station, that breaths life into the history and resonance in the present, whilst representing Maghull’s first public work of art and a myriad of interpretations that it invites.

“During that meeting John Sayers (MTC Deputy Leader) raised the passionate and inspiring question of whether this unique celebration on Maghull’s timeline should be situated at its busiest front door/gateway at the junction of Liverpool Road South and Northway (A59), as a proud symbolic welcome and a catalyst to reinvigorate the area.

“Sadly, in recent times, the narrative of this area has focused on the controversial Switch Island with its associated accidents, (despite its £6 million investment) excessive traffic, erosion of the greenbelt, and its potential to create another road controversially through the natural space of Rimrose Valley. In addition, over the last six months the roadworks associated with the recently completed redevelopment of the junction between Dover Road and Liverpool Road South have caused delays and frustration for the 20,000 and increasing daily vehicle users. Whilst the huge barren Motor Range site and speculation over its future, compounds this negative perspective.

“However, an alternative parallel discourse has been taking place on the Maghull & Lydiate in Old Pictures Facebook page, about the often unnoticed, area of wooded green space known as Woodend or unofficially since the 1950s as Bobby’s Wood. It is a remnant of a mediaeval 2×5 mile wood that was owned by a Saxon called Uctred and mentioned in the 1066 Domesday Book. In addition, it is close to the River Alt, where Viking long boats sailed when it was closer to the coastal estuary. “Local schools want to use the history as part of their local syllabus. Liverpool Road South was a turnpike (toll road). Whilst the only remnant of Woodend Farm, before it was demolished to make way for Northway, is the sandstone wall at Lidl’s car park. Also neighbouring the wood, was the now demolished, Broadwood Farm, whose owner was rumoured to have planted a tree for each of his children. We recently counted 30 trees there! Finally, there was a tragic murder in the Wood within the last century. Maghull Town Council are currently two years into a 10 year lease from the Sefton Council owners, having negotiated this arrangement to maintain and enhance the area, whilst preventing the area from being ‘developed’ like so many of the green spaces in Maghull and are trying to make a positive difference.”

Check out their latest project at www.spacehive.com/woodend to see a short video introduction.

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