Here's an interesting story from the Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News today, concerning a dioxin problem down Halton way - thanks to Weekly News' editor Rob Hopkins for alerting me to the piece....
Exclusive by Mark Smith
FIDDLERÃ¢ÂÂS Ferry power station has rejected claims that it could be to blame for toxic chemicals found in the boroughÃ¢ÂÂs wildlife.
MP Mike Hall said he is seeking answers from Environment Secretary Hilary Benn after an alarming report was brought to his attention by Halton environmental campaigners.
The report, compiled by Defra in 2003, found almost five times the toxic level of cancer causing dioxin in samples of heron eggs taken from Runcorn.
The report was part of an investigation into heron deformities in Nottinghamshire but discovered the presence of the cancer causing chemicals in Halton accidentally, after scientists took test samples from Green Wood and Pitts Heath in Runcorn to use for comparison.
The report said: Ã¢ÂÂThe control eggs from Cheshire had the highest levels of polychlorinates/dioxins, suggesting that the site is contaminated.Ã¢Â?
The report also stated that the levels discovered were Ã¢ÂÂof great concernÃ¢Â? and lists possible sources of contamination as Ã¢ÂÂfly-ash lagoonsÃ¢Â?.
Jeff Meehan, an environmental campaigner who brought the document to the attention of Mr Hall, said: Ã¢ÂÂThe Runcorn heronries are opposite FiddlerÃ¢ÂÂs Ferry power station and one theory is that Cheshire herons may have fed at power station lagoons.Ã¢Â?
Mr Hall said: Ã¢ÂÂI have written to the Environment Secretary to find out if anything was done about this discovery.
Ã¢ÂÂDioxins are nasty and carcinogenic and we need to find out where theyÃ¢ÂÂre coming from and then what the impact could be on public health and the wider environment.Ã¢Â?
But Sharon Miller-McKenzie, a spokeswoman for FiddlerÃ¢ÂÂs Ferry, denied the site could be responsible for any such contamination.
She said: Ã¢ÂÂWeÃ¢ÂÂre a centre of excellence and a specialist site for wildlife. In fact caring for wildlife is at the centre of what we do.
Ã¢ÂÂIt is not ash dumping but ash separation that we carry out on the site.Ã¢Â?
Hmm, thought provoking....anyway, while I was driving back out of the city tonight I noticed small groups of Starlings heading south west, presumably to roost.
Not large flocks, 50 birds or less here and there, but earlier in the week I saw one flock of 1,000 birds, and they're all going in the same direction each night.
Anyone know where they are roosting?
Rimrose Valley? the docks, city centre?
I love a good Starling roost - the one on Liverpool's St George's Hall was particularly cool until the building was cleaned up.
Shame historic architecture and piles of Starling doodoo don't mix.
If you know where they're roosting, please let me know.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...