Who Owns The River Mersey?

It may on the face of it seem to be a strange question but who owns the River Mersey?

A short while ago I found myself on the Crown Estate website and I learnt that The Crown Estate owns and manages extensive marine assets throughout the UK, including 55% of the foreshore and all the seabed out to the 12 nautical miles limit. So that naturally got me thinking about who owned the Mersey!

I contacted the site and a few days later received a reply:

Generally speaking The Crown Estate owns the foreshore and bed on the south west (Birkenhead) side of the tidal sections of the River Mersey, to the centre point of the river.  Much of the north east (Liverpool) side of the tidal section of the river is owned by the Duchy of Lancaster.  There are a few exceptions to the above and one or two sales of foreshore, or admitted claims from within these areas.

The Duchy of Lancaster detail what part of the coastline is owned by them on this page, which details:

Part of the ancient inheritance of the Duchy was ownership of all foreshores in the County Palatine. Extensive interests were sold during the nineteenth century, such as the Mersey Docks and Blackpool promenade. The Duchy remains the major owner of foreshore between the centre point of the River Mersey and Barrow-in-Furness. The area extends over 50,000 hectares. Historically, foreshores have not been a great provider of revenue. The coastlines, river beds and estuaries now have greater potential value in association with energy, conservation, transport and leisure uses.

So now you know who owns the River Mersey!

Mersey Palm Oil Plant Go-ahead

Expect to see more tankers in the River Mersey carrying palm oil in the future as the Port of Liverpool will house a new palm oil plant.

London based New Britain Palm Oils has got the go-ahead to build the plant on a six-acre site near Regent Road, Bootle. Initially, 28 jobs will be created, with perhaps more to follow. New Britain will ship the oil from its plantations in Papua, New Guinea, to the Port of Liverpool, from where it will be transported to the new facility.

Palm Oil is used in thousands of everyday food and non-food products including:

  • bread
  • biscuits
  • margarine
  • cosmetic products

U-Boat Surfaces At Woodchurch Ferry

An historic German U-Boat (submarine) is now the centre-piece of a new exhibition at Woodside Ferry Terminal on The Wirral side of the River Mersey.

The U-Boat, number U-534 is only one of four remaining in the world and is now available for viewing at an exhibition at Woodside. A specially built viewing platform along with inserted glass panels and interior illumination allow for a thorough viewing of the vessel. Also on display is one of three T11 Zaukonig advanced homing torpedoes that were found inside the U-Boat.

Also included in the exhibition is an enigma coding machine which was used by the German military to encrypt their wartime messages.

Norfolkline Mersey Schedule Unaffected

Ferry operator Norfolkline is to reduce services across its operations in moves to reduce costs due to the ongoing recession. The company is making  and is withdrawing services from Heysham in Lancashire as well as the North Sea. The operators Merseyside sailings will not be affected and daily sailings from Twelve Quays to Belfast and Dublin will continue as usual. The company revealed last year that plans to invest millions on the routes from Birkenhead had been hit by the downturn, including the recession in Ireland and a huge backdated rates bill.

This week Norfolkline’s owner Maersk said drastic moves were necessary. Ferry division managing director Kell Robdrup said:

Discussions on the impact on staff are ongoing, but unfortunately it looks like it will be impossible to avoid redundancies in connection with this tonnage reshuffle.

The reduction of tonnage on the North Sea and Irish Sea is in line with our current initiatives to optimise our operations and adapting to the market. Through rationalisation of our resources, Norfolkline will remain competitive in the face of a difficult market situation.