Pedal Power To The People!


That’s Manchester TV interview on the Tour de Lancashire


Anti-frackers link up across the North-west in 50 mile cycle ride

Photo opportunities: Thursday 20th July 2017

Manchester Piccadilly Gardens 1100-1130

Barton Moss Lane, Salford 1300-1330

Bolton – roundabout at Cranfield Road, near AE Yates, BL6 4SB around 1500

Anti-fracking campaigners are preparing to pedal towards a frack free future in a 50 mile bike ride from Manchester to Blackpool on Thursday 20th July 2017

This is the latest event in an unprecedented month of “Rolling Resistance” against the fracking industry in July 2017 building upon, and amplifying huge opposition to fracking across England

Bradley Funky Wig from Lancashire, who is taking part in Thursdays’ ride said “From Barton Moss to Bolton, Preston to Blackpool, Burnley to Blackburn, Lancaster to Kirby Misperton, Hull to Newcastle, Carlisle to Northumberland, people across the North are resisting the fracking industry and creating the space for renewable energy alternatives! Preston New Road is the so-called “flagship” fracking site for the fracking industry and the Conservative government! We need to show the Conservative/DUP government, the fracking industry and their rapidly reducing bunch of investors that they have NO SOCIAL LICENSE to operate”

Dancers Required For Conga World Record Attempt in Blackpool


Dance music organisation Silky Productions are currently looking for eleven dancers for a Guinness World Record attempt for the worlds’ longest Conga on Friday 28th July 2017, Conga dancing along Blackpool Promenade to the Camp of New Hope on Preston New Road!

The proposed World Record Attempt is scheduled to take place on the morning of Friday 28th July 2017 as part of the Lancashire Carnivale, a day of carnival-style events on The Fylde in Lancashire to raise awareness of the threat of the fracking industry to Lancastrians

The current world record is 7.84 miles on 19th May 2016 in Brighton, therefore an 8 mile Conga dance would smash the record!

The 8 mile Conga is expected to take about 5 hours, the event is planning to start at 10am on the Promenade 3 miles north of Blackpool Tower and the event is being registered with the official Guinness World Records Team

If you are interested in taking part in this event, please contact James Walsh

Mobile: 07465-724-472


Twitter: @MancunianBirder

Facebook: James Walsh

A team from Manchester set a world record for the Conga in 2015 that was beaten in Brighton in 2016, the Conga is very much a dance associated with the Blackpool entertainment industry so it’s time the world record returned to the North!

Miami Sound Machine – Conga

Black Lace – Do The Conga



Tour de Lancashire 

#TourdeLancashire #RollingResistance 

Thursday 20th July 2017 

As the Tour de France reaches its’ peak, here in Lancashire Reclaim The Power and Silky Productions are hosting a bike ride from Manchester to Blackpool to raise awareness about the fracking industry in Lancashire 

The Tour de Lancashire starting line is Manchester city centre adjacent to Piccadilly Gardens and the cyclists are due to start around 1130 hours after a group photoshoot 

There are already 25 cyclists signed up with more expected to join the Tour from Preston to Blackpool 

The Tour is due to visit the Barton Moss fracking site around 1315 hours for a talk on the environment of the Salford Mosses from James Walsh, the author of the new book “The Northern Greenhouse – A New Vision of the North” 

The Tour is also due to stop around 1515 hours at the AE Yates site in Bolton! AE Yates are notorious for their involvement in the fracking supply chain and have been the subject of many protests!

At 1900 hours the Tour is due to arrive in Avenham Park in Preston to meet up with more cyclists for the home run from Preston to Blackpool 

The Tour de Lancashire finishing line is the Camp Of New Hope on Preston New Road, the Community Protection Camp adjacent to Cuadrillas’ fracking site 

The Tour organisers, Reclaim The Power and Silky Productions, are urging local folk to support the Tour de Lancashire on every stage of the journey to create a festival, carnival atmosphere 

This events’ aim is to tell the frackers who are attempting to invade Lancashire against the voice of local democracy to “Get on your bike and do not come back!” 

Rumours that Bradley Wiggins, Lancashires’ most famous cyclist, is currently dashing home from the Tour de France for the Tour de Lancashire are unconfirmed at the time of writing!

Northern People Power!



Wednesday 12th July 2017

@ Keepmoat Stadium, Doncaster, Yorkshire

James Walsh, Ecologist and Author

You’re in Doncaster, relax, be bold, be creative and let’s do it together!

Several events during recent years have attempted to get Northern people together to discuss how we move forward as a region, Friends of the Earth host annual North-west & North-east regional Conferences, Felicity Goodey hosted the Northern Citizens’ Convention in Huddersfield in June 2015, IPPR North host regular conferences and, of course, there are the “Northern Powerhouse” events at Manchester Central, aka G-Mex to old-skool Mancunians! There was even, briefly, the formation of a Northern Party, a political party formed to represent the North, that stood 5 candidates in Lancashire constituencies at the General Election in 2015

However, this event was particularly important as it brought together all these different, slightly disparate elements in a unifying, very positive, inspirational gathering – in scientific terms this was a successful formula

As a Northerner with Salford docker heritage, my reaction when I first heard the phrase the “Northern Powerhouse” was, immediately, that this phrase described a by-gone era, it evokes memories of a time when the North really was a Powerhouse, with Salford Docks, an inland port, as the main engine room for importing and exporting goods from all over the world ! However, that image also includes scenes of abject poverty, and relentless pollution, those were different times when little was known about the effects of the industrial pollution – people were tough, and no-one really knew about things like climate change or the health effects of drinking 5 pints and smoking 30 wood-bines per day

Of course, these are different times and we are in a different era, but I still work on Salford Docks, not lifting cargo on and off ships, but recording and photographing the birds that utilise the “wildlife corridors” of the Manchester Ship Canal and the River Irwell

People Power is a phrase that most would perhaps generally associate with the social revolutions of the 1960’s or 1970’s – indeed, one of the Norths’ most famous sons’, John Lennon, sang in 1971 “Power To The People” – but it is a phrase that is in fashion again! Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Party leader, recently launched the “People Powered Politics” project on The Lowry Theatre stage on Salfords’ Docklands during the summer of 2016 alongside Northern politicians such as Rebecca Long-Bailey, reflecting the rise in grassroots community action that is happening throughout the UK, and in the North especially !

“Grass Roots Growth” was the workshop I found to be most relevant with speeches from representatives of Groundwork and the Fabian Society, looking deep into the big question of “How do we get people to care about the environment ?”

The general answer is “Volunteering has its’ place but on a larger scale we need to create a green economy and make the unionised, properly paid green jobs of the future”

However, getting there is very complex and it needs a lot more work, the first step, in my opinion is for people to really look at their surroundings every day and think about ecosystems, eg we all see trees on a daily basis, but do we actually understand the ecological function they are performing ?

In some ways, ecologists are the modern day dockers – we are highly skilled and work hard, however, unless you work full-time for one organisation, we generally have fairly casual, low paid employment and there are parallels between todays’ ecologist and the dockers before the formation of unions and the formation of the National Dock Labour Board

For some reason, our society has got into thinking that working in the environment is more of a volunteering thing rather than “proper work” yet the jobs of the future need to be environmentally sound

For some reason, the environment seems to be very low down the list of politicians’ priorities, yet it is the very essence of life, the facts are we all eat food, drink water and breathe air !

In terms of the environment, as a scientist, when I first heard the phrase the “Northern Powerhouse” my first reaction was “Ok! Let’s do some research and see what’s happening here”

My initial research was of the some of the industries that were being mooted for the North such as fracking and Undergound Coal Gasification, and I have to say, that I could not, as a scientist, support many of these industries and I began to research the other ways that we could build the new industries and jobs of the future

One industry on the rise is EcoTourism, an industry that can work practically anywhere, each location has it’s own unique ecosystem, even in urban locations such as Doncaster

On the lake adjacent to the stadium, just a casual glance reveals a large flock of Mute Swans, breeding Little Grebes & Great Crested Grebes with cute fluffy chicks and an assortment of ducks, geese and gulls

Just up the road from the stadium is the magnificent Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve of Potteric Carr, famous for hosting the first ever UK breeding Little Bitterns, and now home to Eurasian Bitterns and Marsh Harriers

Urban wildlife such as this has a big part to play in the future of the North, and how we care for the environment is perhaps the biggest challenge that everyone present at the Conference, and humanity as a whole, faces – it is up to us to become the Future Makers of the North

James Walsh is an Ecologist and the Author of the books, “The Northern Greenhouse – A New Vision of the North, Volume 1”, “Fruitful Futures – Imagining Pomona” and “The Birds of Salford Docklands”

James stood in Blackpool North at General Election 2015 for the Northern Party and writes on the blogs, Mancunian Birder and The Northern Spring

Northern Greenhouse Volume 1 Book Available Now Online


“The Northern Greenhouse – A New Vision Of The North: Volume 1”

Book Now Available Online

Author: James Walsh


Promotional Film:

“The Northern Greenhouse – A New Vision Of The North” Volume 1 is the culmination of years of research of EcoTourism, ecology, green economy & renewable energy in the North of England”

James Walsh, the books’ author says “I have been researching how we can build a progressive North that can bring big global solutions to the largest issues of our time such as climate change – in terms of pollution we are still cleaning up from the industrial revolution, both at home and abroad, and a clean and green North is essential for future generations”

“My research has taken me all around the North of England; further afield to the Eden Project in Cornwall, the Isle of Mull & the Centre for Alternative Technology in Wales; to the Lancashire County Council fracking hearings of summer 2015 & Trafford Council Pomona hearings, where I gave speeches to Council officials; to some high profile political & business conferences”

“Mainstream politics and media scarcely even acknowledges climate change and the green economy in the UK, and we are playing catch up with many nations who have a higher ambition, knowledge level and green business sense”

“Many commentators feel that we need to somehow find a way to balance the environment & the economy & the new green business revolution is trying to find that balance”

“We are at a point in time where we all need to work together – communities, ecologists, business leaders and politicians – to build a sustainable future, and in the North we have the entrepreneurs, the experience, the workforce and so many amazing natural places such as the Lake District, Lancashire, Northumberland, North York Moors & Peak District”

“Climate change is a national, and global, emergency and this book calls for urgent national action, transferring to a Zero Carbon North as fast as possible – in the 1940’s we had a National Effort and we are calling for a Green National Effort on climate change on a similar scale”

Two and a half years ago, the One Million Climate Jobs Northern Launch took place in Manchester just after the Climate March 2014 and the environmental movement has seen a real big increase in strength with the anti-fracking movement now boasting more than 500 local groups around the UK

James states “The North needs a re-brand that reflects the progressive changes happening here, a brand that claims the future and illustrates an outward-facing region”

“This book is published now to take into account the results of the UK General Election in June 2017 and to launch the book at the Peoples’ Powerhouse event in Doncaster in July 2017”

James says “The Northern Greenhouse is my lifes’ work so far so to speak, more than 30 years of research of ecology & ecotourism in the North of England and on a global scale, on a level the book says Happy New Year 2017 – Beginning Of The Paris Agreement Era, looks forward to the future to COP23 in Bonn, Germany, in November 2017 and to the 2020 Japanese Olympic Games, and acknowledges the recently launched 2050 Pathways”

The Northern Spring Guide To Politician Speak



“There is no public appetite for another General Election so soon”

Graham Brady, Chairman of the Conservative Party “highly influential” 1922 Committee, 11th June 2017 interview with Andrew Neill, who retained a “Tory Safe Seat” in Trafford with a decreased majority


“Red Jez is on the march, the Labour Party are on 45% in the polls, almost one million members and legions of enthused and energised activists ready to start the campaign at the drop of a hat and we at the Conservatives 1922 Committee (that usually try to run tings on the sly away from the public eye) fear that if we call another General Election it’s likely to be a Labour Party landslide! PS I wish I had joined the Labour Party all those years ago fnar fnar PPS When I saw Theresa I mentioned the Election once but I think I got away with it Sybil”

#GE2017 – What The Frack Is Happening ?


If your head is spinning wondering what the frack just happened in Thursdays’ General Election, these events might provide some clarity!


Saturday 10th June 2017
Midday-2pm @ St Peters’ Square, Manchester

The organisers, Manchester Trades’ Council, say “The general election has been a defeat for Theresa May who’s attempt to gain legitimacy has failed. Now she attempts to put together a coalition with the reactionary DUP, Manchester Trades Council are organising an event to call for Theresa May to go now! Millions have been inspired by Labour’s manifesto and the brilliant campaign fought by Corbyn. We need a Corbyn-led Labour government. That’s what Manchester voted for and it’s what millions of working class people want. Join us on Saturday to start the next phase of the struggle”


Monday 12th June 2017 – 2 shows, 7pm & 9pm
Hope Mill Theatre, 113 Pollard Street, Manchester
Tickets @

The organisers say “Immediate script in hand responses to the 2017 General Election result. There will be a limited number of tickets for this event, due to size of the venue, so we recommend booking in advance. Come and be a part of the conversation”


7pm-9pm Tuesday 13th June 2017
@ Friends’ Meeting House, 6 Mount Street, Manchester, M2 5NS

The organisers, Manchester Peoples’ Assembly say “MAY MUST GO! that’s the job at hand now. So join our conversation, we are planning to get this done ! Fast! There can be no doubt that the case against austerity has inspired millions and has been placed centre stage in this election campaign by Jeremy Corbyn. Join us to discuss the options and get organised. We will need to move fast!”


7pm-9pm Wednesday June 14th

@ The Ship Canal pub
Barton Lane
M30 0EY

Speaker: Sally Griffiths, NHS worker and Unison member (speaking in personal capacity)

The organisers, the Socialist Party, say

“Discuss what happens next: Will there be another election? Can the Tories survive? How can we fight for a Corbyn-led government? Why socialist ideas are popular and how we can win!

‘Theresa Dismay’, ‘Gamble backfired’. These are the headlines today in the scurrilous Sun and Daily Mail, right-wing rags that have spent the whole election campaign raining down vicious attacks on Corbyn in the vain hope of a Tory landslide.

On the day the general election was called the Socialist Party declared: “If Corbyn fights on a clear socialist programme – for a Brexit in the interests of the working and middle-class – he could win the general election.” At the time that was met with derision by many, including, unfortunately, the right wing of the Labour Party who thought a general election would give them the opportunity to unseat Corbyn.

In just five weeks, Jeremy Corbyn’s election campaign has proved them all wrong. It has transformed the political situation in Britain. In the face of overwhelming opposition from the capitalist establishment and media, and unfortunately sabotaged by the right of his own party, Jeremy Corbyn has put his anti-austerity programme to the people of Britain.

Hundreds of thousands of people, including the membership of the Socialist Party, have campaigned for his programme on the streets of Britain. The result has been the biggest increase in vote share for any party since Attlee’s Labour in 1945. Turnout among young people increased from 43% in 2015 to 72% as they streamed out to support Corbyn.

The Tories have come out of the election in tatters. Now we need to build a movement to force them out of power. The 8th June 2017 was the beginning not the end. It was the beginning of a movement to get the Tories out and to create a socialist society that provides free education, decent housing and a well-paid job for all”


Is Theresa May now a “Lame Duck” ??

#VoteLabour – A Personal View


James Walsh (@MancunianBirder) talks about a political journey coming home to the Labour Party

“Although my parents were big Labour Party supporters I didn’t have a huge interest in politics until 2003 – my first real experience of politics began with the “Stop The War” movement, and a leading light of that movement; Jeremy Corbyn – so it is very full circle and beautiful karma that I now get the chance to vote for a Labour Government with Jeremy Corbyn as the Prime Minister

Looking for a political home can be a very long journey, and I have, in previous years, briefly joined the Respect Party and the Green Party, whilst I can recall the Lib Dems getting my vote once in a local election in Salford in 2008

I have made a point of visiting different political party conferences, the Labour Party Conference in Manchester, the Green Party in Birmingham and I even had a look at a Conservative Conference – I was personally invited to a fringe event where I managed to heckle Owen Paterson for expecting people to volunteer to contribute to conservation rather than give conservationists proper pay and working conditions

In #GE2015 I was offered the chance to stand for Parliament with the Northern Party in Blackpool North, a very interesting post-graduation experience, where I was able to see how a General Election campaign works from a candidates’ point of view

In the 2010 General Election and the 2015 General Election I voted Labour, but not with huge enthusiasm, and then, bam! in the summer of 2015 I cottoned on to Corbynmania and I have, like so many, been encouraged to re-join the Labour Party

I have personally been very impressed with Labours’ plans for the environment, carers, entrepreneurs, mental health and student debt

My father’s Grandparents were Irish immigrants from County Mayo and my fathers’ family were Salford Dockers, therefore, I have strong connections to the original labour movement and I must say that I am proud of my political journey coming home to what I call the True Labour Party

I have started to consciously vote for hope & change, in the recent Unite The Union Election and the Greater Manchester Mayoral Election I voted for the candidate that I felt best represented a positive vote for hope & change

On Thursday 8th June 2017 I’m voting for a Labour Government, I’m voting for hope and change, I’m voting to respect previous generations and give hope to future generations”

#GE2017 The Manchester General Election


Picture: The results of the Greater Manchester Mayoral Election 2017

James Walsh (@MancunianBirder) with the view from up North! Manchester has played a huge role in General Election 2017 – what can we learn from the recent Greater Manchester Mayoral Election voting pattern in terms of seeing where Manchester is at politically ?

The city of Manchester has found itself completely in the national spotlight during General Election 2017 due to the events at the Manchester Arena on 22nd May 2017

Manchester has won plaudits from around the world in response to our handling of the situation, in particular, the solidarity of the citizens and the One Love Manchester concert

In terms of our celebrities, Liam Gallagher, in particular, has shown up for Manchester and the superstar of the One Love Manchester event recently said “Yes, I’m voting Labour” in a big interview

On 4th May 2017 the citizens of Greater Manchester selected a Labour Party Metro Mayor, the Labour Party candidate won the election with 63%

Now let’s be very clear about this, the Conservatives have long wanted to try and make progress in the North, and “DevoManc” and the “Northern Powerhouse” were both ideas that began on the back of a fag packet at Tory HQ, and despite the mainstream media talk of a “guaranteed safe Labour win” there is no doubt that the Tories were secretly hoping for a breakthrough that never came, instead, it backfired spectacularly, and the “Nasty Party” candidate was knocked out of the ball park!

The most interesting was the result in Trafford, south of Manchester, the most affluent borough of Greater Manchester – the “Nasty Party” candidate is the leader of Trafford Council, yet Labour won in this very politically sensitive area with a landslide

The Greater Manchester Mayoral Election was a rejection of the Conservatives attempts to make inroads oop North, and in some ways, a rejection of “DevoManc” and the “Northern Powerhouse”, especially when you factor in a very respectable vote for the Green Party

The size of the win for the Labour Party on 4th May in Greater Manchester promoted a large winners rally in the city centre and the signs are that the Labour Party has really increased in popularity in Greater Manchester during General Election 2017

The Peoples’ Election 2017 National Vote Labour Day


#VoteLabourDay #ThePeoplesElection #LabourGovernment

Thursday June 8th 2017 is The Peoples’ Election – National Vote Labour Day to elect Jeremy Corbyn as British Prime Minister

The Labour Manifesto is the real deal and we have an opportunity to elect a politician with a decent CV to the post of Prime Minister, a once in a lifetime opportunity to vote for a programme of hope

Let’s vote in our millions to sack Theresa May & the Conservatives ! There is no such thing as a Conservative safe seat ! The people have the power at the ballot box – rise up and Vote Labour if you have “Protest fatigue” and you are fed up of campaigning against climate change, austerity, fracking, war, dodgy trade deals and just want to get on with your life – a Labour Government is currently the best way to achieve this

Ignore the hype about Labour being “unelectable”, it is yet another Tory myth, if you are on the ballot then you are potentially electable and the Labour Party have 631 candidates, needing to win 326 seats for a stunning win to form a Labour Government

Our doctors and nurses have informed us that it is our public duty to vote Labour – public sector workers, business owners, pensioners, students, employed, self-employed and unemployed, disabled, journalists, police, nurses, doctors, firemen, musicians, entertainers, everyone in society let’s vote in our millions for future generations and VOTE for the LABOUR PARTY to employ Jeremy Corbyn as British Prime Minister