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”