You are on page 1of 17

coastLINES

SUMMER 2010
C W
oastlines is the newsletter of elcome to the Summer Sefton Coast Forum 2009 Visit to Birkdale NNR despite the showers He also has several other invaluable
the Sefton Coast Partnership. ©Sefton Council volunteer roles elsewhere; he has carried
edition of Coastlines. The Introduction & contents 2

T
Coastlines aims to provide he 10th Annual Forum took place out weekly Squirrel Pox monitoring at
coast is always changing Sustain 2
information to local people and at the Southport Theatre and Ravenmeols LNR on behalf of the Lancashire
and in this edition many of the New chair 2 Wildlife Trust. He is Footpaths Secretary for
visitors about the natural value of articles will focus on adaptation to Convention Centre on 27th June
the coastline, the current policies Sefton coast forum 2009 3 2009. The Forum focussed on the Landscape South Sefton, a voluntary advisory role to the
coastal change.
for conservation management and Sefton coast forum 2010 3 Partnership Scheme and was well attended Sefton Rights of Way team involving footpath
other topical issues. The Sefton Operational and organisational Volunteer awards 3 checks, compliance and complaints work.
staff changes have taken place and Forum 2009
Coast Partnership includes Sefton Lottery win 3 ©Sefton Council
Council, The National Trust, Natural we also have lots to celebrate - the Les regularly offers additional time to help
Freshfield flyers 4-5 The Sefton Coast Partnership with practical tasks. He attended a cattle-
England, The Wildlife Trust, North pathfinder project, national book
award, flying centenary, promising NNR news 4-5 Volunteer Award handling course with the Ainsdale NNR staff
West Reserve Forces and Cadets
Reds on the up 6 so that he could assist with a new grazing

A
Association, RSPB and local news about the Reds, and the
forthcoming 150 years celebrations Robert Wright 6 t the Forum the Sefton Coast programme following the introduction of five
community and interest groups in a Partnership Board recognised
co-operative partnership. at Altcar. Adaption to coastal change 7 Shetland Cattle to the Reserve - this was
two volunteers who have made an especially good of Les as he has a fear of
There are plenty of things to see Sefton’s approach 8-9 outstanding contribution over many years.
All enquiries and correspondence cattle. ­
and do on our coast for both children Clear as mud 10 The Mayor of Sefton Cllr Alf Doran presented
relating to Coastlines magazine and and families alike so look out for Natural England 11 the awards. First to receive his award was Mr
the Sefton Coast Partnership should be Workshop: Understanding history on the coast Sefton Coast 2010 Forum
these too. Dune slacks 11 Ralph Gregson MBE.
©Sefton Council

T
addressed to: his year’s forum, “Living with a
We hope you enjoy reading this National Trust 12
The Mayor of Sefton Cllr Alf Doran presenting awards changing coast” is to showcase how
Lorna Lander: Sefton Council Planning
bumper edition of Coastlines. Living landmarks? 13 to Mr Ralph Gregson MBE and Mr Les Baxter our coast is changing, issues arising
& Economic Development Department Ribble saltmarshes 14-15 ©Sefton Council
from this change and how we live with the
Aliens are here 16

S
Magdalen House, 30 Trinity Road, changes, now and into the future. The day
efton Council is working with
Bootle L20 3NJ, Tel: 0151 934 3605 the North West Coastal Forum to Dragonflies 17 will follow a story of climate change and our
Email: lorna.lander@planning.sefton. deliver an exciting new project North West monitoring 18 changing coast from the past 10,000 years to
gov.uk exploring coastal sustainability. SUSTAIN 100 years in the future. The day will be broken
Altcar birthday news 19
(Assessing sustainability and strengthening into four sessions with two speakers per
Information on sites, events and operational policies) is a 3-year project Coast and Countryside 20
session talking about coastal processes and
guided walks can be obtained from the part-funded by the European Regional Playtime 21 by people who have an interest in and care Ralph is a volunteer member of the Sefton historic past, managing coastal change at site
following partners: Development Fund through the INTERREG RNLI - new kids on the block 21 about the Sefton Coast. They came along to Coast Partnership Board and Working level, climate change and adaptation - what
Sefton Coast and Countryside Service IVC programme. It is a Regional Initiative
Llamas and Lapwings 22 hear presentations, attend workshops, view Group. He is also Chair of the Tourism and does it mean for us!
0151 934 2967 addressing environment and risk prevention displays and on offer was the opportunity
Archaeology 22 Communications Task Group and has made
and the sub-theme water management and
The National Trust 01704 878591 to visit, by coach, the various sites involved a considerable contribution to the work of the It is a free all-day event and includes
will contribute to delivery of Europe’s EU Success story 23
Natural England 01704 578774 in the bid for the Heritage Lottery Fund Sefton Coast Partnership over the years. refreshments and buffet lunch. Registration
RSPB 01704 536378
Sustainable Development Strategy. Book award 23 Landscape Partnership Scheme. is essential and places will be allocated on a
Wildlife Trust 0151 920 3769 Caroline Salthouse from North West Information 24 Ralph is also Chair of the Birkdale Civic first come first served basis. The Forum will
Coastal Forum said, “The partners in this
The Mayor of Sefton Cllr Alf Doran opened
Society and has worked tirelessly to promote be held at Southport Theatre and Convention
exciting project have come together the Forum. Dave McAleavy, Head of Coast
Editor: Lorna Lander the importance of the coast. Ralph and the Centre on the 17th July 2010. If you would like

T
to address the challenges that coastal he Sefton Coast
and Countryside, gave the opening address,
Michelle Newton Birkdale Civic Society played a key role in the to attend then please contact:
communities face from issues like climate Partnership would like Will Moody, Project Manager for the Sefton
Design: Ian Pendleton development of the Queens Jubilee Nature
change, pressure on natural resources to thank Ted Jackson Coast Landscape Partnership, presented Mrs Lorna Lander at
Trail.
and the need for economic, social and (Lancashire Wildlife Trust) a short DVD film featuring the project sites, Lorna.lander@planning.sefton.gov.uk
www.seftoncoast.org.uk cultural well-being by providing a new who Chaired his last Board with interviews by key individuals. Graham Ralph also represents the Sefton Or 0151 934 3605
www.seftonsnaturalcoast.com and innovative tool that can be used by meeting earlier this year, Barrow, Voluntary Chair of the Kerridge Ridge Coast Partnership on the Sefton Borough
www.nationaltrust.org.uk the communities to enable them to live having agreed to take up the and Ingersley Vale and Heritage Project in Partnership, this and all of the above is
www.rspb.org.uk in and manage their own surroundings position back in 2001 when the Derbyshire presented some of his projects unpaid and carried out in his own Partnership
www.naturalengland.org.uk sustainably.” Partnership was first formed. at Kerridge Ridge, the first LPS in North time. Lottery Succe’s
www.visitsouthport.com Paul Nolan We are very grateful to Ted for ss
The results from the project will be England, and shared his experiences of While this editio
n of Coastlines wa
www.sefton.gov.uk presented at an international conference, to his commitment over the last 9 the SCP receive s being prepared
running the scheme. The three workshops The second award was d an offer of fund ,
be held in Autumn 2012 in Sefton. This offers years and we wish him well in the future. Lottery Fund of in g from the Heritag
were lead by Dr Jen Lewis - Understanding presented to Mr Les over one million e
Front cover: Graham Lymbery an opportunity to showcase the achievements pounds.
We welcome Paul Nolan (The Mersey Forest) as our new the History of the Coast, Rachel Northover Baxter. Les’ voluntary The funding is to
wards the Landsc
of the North West and for partners within the Chair and Professor Annie Worsley (Edgehill University) as which we have be ape Partnership
- Shaping the Coast, Graham Barrow contribution to Sefton’s en developing ov
er the past few ye
Scheme
Printed on recycled paper from region to learn from others across the EU. our Vice Chair, for the next two years. been reported in ars and has
- Experiencing the Coast. After lunch Natural Coast is wide previous editions
pound scheme an of Coastlines. It
sustainable forests by Mitchell and For more details see the project website d will involve man is a two million
Message from Paul Nolan: coaches left for the various sites and despite ranging. He mainly works Coast Partners wo y of the members
Wright (Printers) Ltd, Southport, rking together to of the Sefton
http://www.sustain-eu.net/ (currently under our ‘summer’ weather most enjoyed their as a regular volunteer for will improve acce deliver various pr
PR8 5AL “With so many excellent and knowledgeable people ss, habitat and un ojects that
development) afternoon visit. Those unable to take part or Natural England, helping derstanding of th
on the Partnership I was very surprised (in a good way!) As the partnersh e coast.
who wished to remain behind, were given a with practical tasks, but also ip has no legal st
to be asked. I am very much looking forward to playing have now kindly an ding, Sefton Coun
agreed to act on cil
my role as Chair for the next 2 years and to see that the talk by David Brazendale from University of assists with guided walks, behalf to administ the Partnership’s
er the funding an
Partnership’s reputation for collaboration in the interest Liverpool. events and monitoring work. should get unde d the scheme
rway shortly.
of the coast and its communities continues”

2 3
©Formby Civic Society
Freshfield Flying ©Formby Civic Society

I
n 1910, less than a year after Bleriot of the first successful flight); also this
plane successfully crossed the
Channel, Freshfield shore provided
Centenary Celebration summer visitors to the National Trust at
Formby will be able to pick up information
one of the earliest flying strips in by Reg Yorke Formby Civic Society about those early aviators and our ever
Britain then known nationally as an changing coastline. The site of the five
‘aerodrome’! There were then only 15 hangars was behind the dunes at the
licensed fliers in the country and five seaward end of Victoria Road, Freshfield,
of them had planes and hangars at now owned by the National Trust. A
Freshfield. flying every day having marked out part By the end of 1910 there were five which was his base as an instructor until Grahame­-White’s plane, only to find such commemorative interpretive panel will
of the shore (then privately owned), as aircraft at Freshfield, the two original flying stopped when war broke out in a crowd that a meeting was impossible. shortly be placed there. The pilot hangar’s
The first successful flight at Freshfield an airstrip and even giving lessons. He fliers being joined by bi-plane pilots W D 1914. Civilian flying was then forbidden.
With the backing of family and friends would have been a quarter of a mile out
was on 14th May 1910. Cecil Patterson, received his pilots certificate in December Thomson, a patent agent, who became
The best known of the Freshfield flyers he then formed the Grahame-White on the sands.
a Liverpool motor engineer and company of that year. Paterson emigrated to South chairman of Liverpool Aeronautical
director, had developed an ambition to fly. was Claude Grahame-White, a trained Aviation Company at Hendon. He wrote a There will be a further commemoration
Africa where he is still well remembered Society and had one of Handley-Page’s
He constructed a bi-plane, based on the engineer and motor dealer, who gained book about flying and certainly impressed at the Southport Air Show in September
as the ‘founder’ of the South African Air very first machines. (It is said to have
design of the American Glen Curtiss, at a his certificate from the French Aero HG Wells who was given his first flight by 2010.
Force. been the first by that famous firm to
cost of £625, and transported it by motor Club in 1909 and was one of the two Grahame-White in 1912.
actually fly!); Also R A King, Patterson’s
along the deserted lanes from Liverpool. Another early aviator was Gerald competitors in the London to Manchester
pupil from Neston, who with Patterson at These and other successful
He assembled it on the shore in an hour. Higginbotham from Macclesfield who Air Race in April 1910 and the first ever Acknowledgement to Chris Aspin’s
the controls, became the first passenger flying exploits at Freshfield were
Twenty minutes later, with six gallons of bought a used Bleriot in a Manchester car pilot to take off in the dark. He became book ‘Dizzy Heights, The Story
ever to be ferried across the Mersey by commemorated by a photographic
petrol aboard to power its 30 horse-power saleroom. He also built himself a hangar the country’s first aviation hero. of Lancashire’s First Flying Men’
air! display by the Formby Civic Society at
engine, he flew at an altitude of 30 feet on the shore at Freshfield, assembled Formby Library during May, a ceremony published by Helmshore Local History
On August Bank Holiday, Grahame-
for 2 - 3 hours. Patterson was the first his plane with instructions on two sheets Later came Henry Melly, who flew a Society, 1988.
White flew from Blackpool to Southport. at RAF Woodvale followed by a fly-past
aviator to succeed at his first attempt in of paper sent to him by Bleriot and later Bleriot, with a 25hp engine, a copy of the
Paterson then flew from Freshfield at by a number of vintage aircraft over
an untried machine. the same morning was in the air. He was plane which had crossed the Channel.
35 mph. and at an altitude of 100 feet, Formby Point, Freshfield which took
soon flying over the surprised captains of He spent about six months at Freshfield
He was soon experimenting further, to meet him and landed within sight of place on Friday 14th May, (the date
Atlantic liners in the Mersey. and early in 1911 moved to Waterloo

Luscombe Silvaire 1946 owned by Thomas Carter and Linda Jump, Piper Cub 1938-1947 ©Reg Yorke Harvard FX-301 Built in 1943 ©Reg Yorke D H Chipmunk ©Reg Yorke Jodel Driosom 1 Excellence (Replica) Homebuilt ©Reg Yorke
Liverpool ©Reg Yorke

Europe. Dave is a keen Outreach Adviser. Eva will be developing Take a ride or a well earned been dedicated as a regional Sustrans not have public car parking, a dedicated
wood turner, or ‘bodger’, an events and education programme for route for cyclists – so there’s no need disabled parking space has also been
rest at Ainsdale Sand Dunes
so don’t be surprised if the NNR, as part of Natural England’s to apply for a cycling permit any longer. provided in the staff car park, for use by
you spot him lurking in ‘One Million Children Outdoors’ NNR Cycle racks can be found on Fisherman’s blue badge holders.
the woods foraging for campaign. Look out for our great family Mike Downey Path, and at the junction of Woodland
If you would like further information
a nice bit of maple to and children’s events throughout the Path and Pinfold Path, where cyclists can
NW NNR’s Project Advisory about accessibility on the NNR, or
carve! school holidays, all free to attend. You disembark to explore the sandier paths on

N
to find out about disabled parking
can find details in the Events Guide to atural England has been foot. The route links to the Trans Pennine
The National Nature availability, please call the NNR Office
Sefton’s Natural Coast, or online at www. working for a number of years Trail, and is a valuable addition to the
Reserve also has a on 01704 578774.
naturalengland.org.uk/nnr and follow the to improve the visitor facilities family friendly traffic-free cycling network
new Reserve Manager,
events link. on its National Nature Reserves. As on the Sefton Coast.
but a much more Family picnic May 2010 ©NNR
Dave Mercer and Pete Gahan ©NNR one of the top ‘destination’ NNRs in the
familiar face to many We also say goodbye to Alice Kimpton, In 2008 the NNR was also assessed
country, Ainsdale Sand Dunes is enjoyed
of you – Pete Gahan who has left the NNR to take up a new for its accessibility for less able visitors.
All change at the National by around 100,000 visitors each year.
has moved across from Sefton Coast post working on the National Coastal Direct Enquiries, the Nationwide Access
Nature Reserves and Countryside Service Access Scheme. Alice Over the past Register, conducted an audit of the main
2 years we have

N
where he was responsible has dedicated over 10 Picnic area May 2010 ©NNR access routes on the NNR and provided
atural England have welcomed
for managing Ainsdale years of hard work, been working to advice for improving accessibility for
on board some new (and not so
and Birkdale Sandhills passion and expertise improve access disabled people, as well as for parents
new!) faces over the past few
LNR. Pete brings a wealth to the National Nature for different with pushchairs. Ainsdale Sand Dunes
months.
of experience of dune Reserve and the Sefton visitor groups. was amongst the first nature reserves in
Dave Mercer has been appointed as management with him, Coast Partnership, and The main the country to be fully audited in this way,
the new Senior Reserve Manager for and has settled in ‘next will be missed by all who Woodland Path, and detailed accessibility information can
Ainsdale Sand Dunes and the Ribble door’ very quickly with the have worked with her a surfaced route now be found at www.directenquiries.com
Estuary NNRs. Dave has worked as a familiar job of monitoring over that time. Good luck running the whole
As a result, the NNR team have
Reserve Manager for a number of years our natterjack toads. and best wishes for the length of the
removed some of the barriers to access,
in Devon and Sussex, most recently as future Alice! Reserve between
Finally, Eva Tregidgo and have now provided facilities such as
manager of Kingley Vale NNR, one of the Freshfield and
has been appointed to a Eva Tregido, Community a wheelchair accessible picnic area along
largest and finest yew forests in Western Outreach Advisor ©NNR Ainsdale, has
new post as Community Woodland Path. Although the NNR does

4 5
Good news for Red Squirrels Survival Trust, National Trust and Save Our Squirrels. The ©Graham Lymbery
project aims to promote the recovery of the current Merseyside
Fiona Whitfield, and West Lancashire Red Squirrel population and increase the
The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North size of the grey squirrel control zone to cover a wider area.
Merseyside

W
hen you are used to seeing Red Squirrels on a
A map of the extended buffer zone
regular basis like we as residents and visitors of the
Sefton Coast are, it is easy to forget they are a rare
and declining species in the UK.
In the last couple of years we have witnessed, first hand,
the decline of this species to alarmingly low numbers due to
outbreaks of the devastating disease Squirrel Pox Virus. It was
easy to jump to glum conclusions with the population crashing
to an all time low with a loss of over 80% of animals in 2009 and
conclude that we may have seen an extinction in the coastal
woodlands.

Adaptation to Coastal Change


However the story has changed path and we are witnessing
a recovery in the Red Squirrel population. Monitoring is carried This section (pages 7-18)
out each Spring and Autumn by dedicated volunteers and it is has been funded by the
because of this monitoring that we can give sound results rather Graham Lymbery Project Leader Coastal Defence - Sefton Council IMCORE Project
than anecdotal evidence that confirms an increase in the Red
Squirrel population since autumn 2009.

A
daptation to coastal change is something that has To do this we need evidence to support our understanding
The figure below shows changes in the indices of spring Red rapidly risen up the government’s agenda in recent of coastal change and we need to select preferred options and
Squirrel numbers within the refuge area since 2002. The overall times with policy documents being developed at both include them in the management plans we develop. We also
population size appears to have recovered to the level of 2008, a European and National level in 2009. Is it something new? need to share our understanding with stakeholders.
when the Squirrel pox epidemic was beginning to take hold, and No. Coastal change is something that anyone who has spent
has more than doubled since 2009. Why is this complicated? Because the coast is complicated.
time on the coast will recognise, whether it be land reclamation,
Later in this edition Derek Clarke talks about the work he is
changes in how we use the coast or erosion. Where there is a
undertaking to monitor groundwater in the sand dunes to help us
changing coast we adapt to that change whether to exploit it or
understand how climate change might impact upon dune slacks,
deal with a threat.
but this is only one piece of the jigsaw. For dune slacks we also
So if we are all aware of coastal change why has adapting to need to understand how they mature over time, how they will be
it suddenly come so high up on government agendas? I would affected by coastal erosion, how they link together as a network,
suggest that this relates to climate change and to our evolving how variations in seasonal rainfall patterns will affect them, what
approaches to managing the coast. Climate change first; unless will be the affects of changes in temperature on species reliant
This project has allowed for the employment of a full time Red
you have been living in a cave (in which case you have a very on these features and on top of all this what will be an effective
Squirrel Officer.
low carbon footprint - well done) you will be aware of climate way of managing this feature to maintain it in the long term?
And as if that wasn’t enough good news, The Red Squirrels change and you will be aware of calls to change our lifestyles
So what are we doing about adaptation to coastal change
Survivors Project began in October 2009, a four year PhD being to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases; normally referred
on the Sefton Coast? Firstly it is worth saying that we are
carried out by Tim Dale, a full time PhD student at Liverpool to as mitigation. However mitigation is only one side of the
fortunate; thanks to decisions taken in the sixties and seventies
University. The first six months of the project have kept Tim coin, because of the delay between emissions and changes in
development at Formby (the main eroding section of our
If recovery continues at this rate then the population could busy collecting samples to look at whether any of the surviving climate, whatever we do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
coastline) was limited and as a result we don’t have houses at
return to its 2002 baseline in just five years. Red Squirrels in our woodlands and gardens have immunity to now, will not alter the changes to climate that we are expecting
risk of falling into the sea in the next hundred years; some of my
Squirrel Pox Virus. over the next 40 years; because of this we need to adapt to
We still need to remain vigilant and work together to conserve counterparts on the East coast do have this problem and my
the Red Squirrel, it is because of the communities involvement If you wish for any further information, would like to get those changes in the climate.
sympathies go out to them and the home owners.
in Red Squirrel Conservation that we still have them in this area. involved or would like to report a Squirrel sighting please With regard to the way we manage the coast a notable change
For Sefton we are developing our knowledge and evidence
contact Fwhitfield@lancswt.org.uk over the last 20 years is that we have started to take a long term
The good news for Red Squirrels in this area keeps on coming to support our understanding of how the coast has and will
in the form of the Merseyside Red Squirrel Project, a three year perspective when developing policies; up to a hundred years.
change through a number of on the ground projects discussed
project steered by Lancashire Wildlife Trust, The Red Squirrel Given this we need to consider how the coast will change in the
in more detail later in this edition by Michelle Newton. A key
future both as a result of natural processes and climate change.
aspect of these projects is that they include communication to
It is this cumulative change that we are referring to when we talk
stakeholders on these issues.

R
about adapting to coastal change.
obert (Bob) Wright, who Bob tirelessly ‘waved the flag’ for It is thanks to Bob that the memory
If you want to know more on different organisations policies
died earlier this year, will Little Crosby, determined to ensure of Sniggery Camp – a transit point for So what do we need to do to adapt to coastal change? As
to adaptation to coastal change have a look at Alice’s article
always be associated with that the history and archaeology of troops in the First World War – was ever the process sounds deceptively simple but in practice is
considering how Natural England’s policy on this subject relates
Little Crosby. Bob’s own family this small community should not kept alive. This feature of local military complicated. We need to:
to the Sefton Coast; look at the National Trust website and
roots were deeply embedded in be overlooked. He was a regular history has now been embedded in
• Understand how the coast will change their Shifting Shores document, as ever the Trust were ahead
the village itself. His knowledge participant in heritage activities, the Landscape Partnership project
of the game publishing their policy on coastal change in 2005.
of the area’s history – particularly including Sefton Coast Partnership funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. • Understand the positive and negative impacts of this
Also worth looking at is DEFRA’s website where they have an
the church, the Blundell estate and events such as the annual Forum. Further research into the camp will change
outline of their emerging policy for adaptation to coastal change
local agriculture – was extensive. He would load a selection of items be a fitting memorial to Bob Wright,
• Consider our options for adapting to these impacts and details of the 15 pathfinder authorities who are exploring
In addition he was the founder of from the museum into his van, then passionate supporter of Little
approaches for adapting to coastal change.
Little Crosby Museum – a veritable set out his display stall and talk Crosby. • Choose the preferred options and secure funding
treasure-trove of artefacts. entertainingly to all-comers. • Implement the options

6 7
Sefton’s approach to adapting to coastal change • Winter rainfall may increase on average by 20% • Understanding the longer term coastal change
Erosion at Formby Point ©Sefton Council
• Extreme storms may be more frequent and intense • How habitats on the coast may respond to sea level
Michelle Newton with rainfall events in excess of 150-200mm in one rise
Coastal Officer Coastal Defence - Sefton Council day leading to increased flooding events
• How the hydrology of the dunes may change with
Coastal Change on the Sefton Coast • Sea levels may rise by up to 85cm climate change as discussed by Derek Clarke in this

C
oastal change is change in the physical environment and edition
the way the coastal environment is used by humans, These potential threats are likely to alter our coast dramatically
both in response to natural change, societal change in both a positive and negative way. As we are aware that • Working with key stakeholders to develop prioritised
and climate change (human induced). The Sefton Coast is these changes will occur in the future it is important that we do adaptation actions by developing an adaptation study
changing; it always has and always will. Evidence of this something about it now, in the form of adaptation and mitigation
change can be found at Formby Point where prehistoric footprints to reduce the impacts, enhance the opportunities and reduce the • Communicating this information to stakeholders,
and remains of a caravan park and lifeboat station are exsposed causes of coastal change. including the general public with a primary focus on
on the beach by the action of the sea; to the reclaimed land at educating school children as our future stakeholders
both Southport and Crosby which has now been developed into Adaptation is an approach to reduce the impacts and as shown in the ECOastlines supplement of this
highly desirable leisure and recreational amenities. encompass opportunities to our changing climate to enable us to edition.
protect society and what society values from the forces of nature. Lifeboat Road sand dune management project
Sefton’s Coastal Defence team have been fortunate to secure
Southport Sea Wall ©Sefton Council funding form the Environment Agency to undertake a sand
dune management project at Lifeboat Road, Formby as part
of providing evidence of adaptation options for sand dunes.
The project seeks to: Quantify the effectiveness of sand dune
management techniques for slowing down the rate of erosion
and encouraging accretion in order to inform the assessment
of adaptation options for the sand dune system. There will be a
two year programme of sand dune management works over a
2.6km length of the coast in order to test the effectiveness of the
Prehistoric footprints ©Sefton Council Archive
methods.

Climate change and the Sefton Coast The methods tested all work with the natural formation
There is mounting evidence that our climate is changing of dunes through wind blown sand and will include fencing,
caused by a combination of both natural and human induced thatching and marram grass planting.
factors. However, there is growing evidence that human
Annie Worsely communicating the importance of our salt marshes ©Sefton Council
activities are a major cause of our changing climate today. We As you can see through available funding and support
are currently locked into a period of change over the next 30-40 Mitigation is about reducing the sources and enhancing the from Europe and a number of national government bodies
sinks of green house gasses to protect nature from society and agencies as Graham Lymbery previously stated -
Pathfinder project adaptation is high on everyone’s agendas and here in Sefton
Children investigating prehistoric footprints ©Sefton Council The Secretary of State for the Department of Environment, we are working hard to put these policies into practise on
Food and Rural Affairs - DEFRA (Hilary Benn) announced on the ground.
Burbo Bank Windfarm ©Sefton Council
the 1st of December 2009 the outcome of the coastal change
Pathfinder Competition launched in June 2009. Sefton was
successful in securing funding and becoming one of 15 local
authorities that have been selected as pathfinders to explore new
approaches to planning for, and managing adaptation to coastal
change together with their communities, using the £11 million
coastal change fund available.

Sefton have been allocated £337,000 to undertake work


between now and June 2011 to plan for adaptation, undertake
adaptation works and community engagement. We will be
working with a number of partners to deliver this work, they
include the National Trust, Edge Hill University, Liverpool
University, North West Coastal Forum and from within the
Adaptation projects on the Sefton Coast
Council the Coastal Defence Team, Coast and Countryside
years as a result of past emissions of green house gases. These There are currently a number of projects underway on the
Service and Leisure and Tourism department and the North Example of sand dune management works at Lifeboat Road ©Sefton Council
gases remain in our atmosphere for long periods of time and Sefton Coast specifically looking at the issue of coastal change
Sefton City Learning Centre. The work will be coast wide with
have the ability to influence our climate into the future. In Sefton and climate change. These projects are:
a particular focus on Formby Point given its rapidly changing
we are likely to see over the next 50-100 years: nature with rates of erosion up to 4 metres per year. The project
IMCORE project
will include examining parking issues at the coast, development
IMCORE, which stands for Innovative
• A rise in maximum summer temperatures by 2-4˚c of a strategy plan for dune slacks and creating dune slacks,
Management of Europe’s changing COastal
construction of boardwalks and access across a mobile dune
• The warmest day of the year to rise by 4˚c REsources, is a European funded project through INTERREG
system, community engagement and specific engagement with
IVB which Sefton Council’s Coastal Defence Team is a partner
• Increased occurrence of “mini heat waves” schools and parents on the subject of coastal change. All findings
of. This project involves improving our understanding and
of these various studies will be reported back to DEFRA.
• Summer rainfall may decrease by on average 11% evidence of coastal change and climate change by:

8 9
Coastal Adaptation: Natural England’s approach managing the area trying to create a system which
will sustain itself. Grazing is one of those tools we
It’s as clear as mud! to adaptation use.
Vanessa Holden and Annie Alice Kimpton
As long standing managers on the Sefton Coast

N
Worsley, Edge Hill University. atural England has a clear position ©Natural England Natural England understands that:
around Coastal Change and a full copy

S
• Local communities have a keen interest in
oft sediment coasts, such as of the position statement can be found at have space to be able to move around responding
the way the coast is managed and generally
sand dunes or salt marshes, http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/Images/coastal- to changes in sea level. Soft coast defences work
wish to participate in decisions on future
are very susceptible to changes change_tcm6-14791.pdf very differently to a hard sea wall. We would expect
management options. They expect
over a relatively short timescale, that through managing the system and processes
The most relevant points from this document for decisions to be made on the basis of sound
particularly due to waves and wind. that the habitats we know and love would flourish
the Sefton Coast are:- science and inclusive consultation and
Because of this, people, animals and as a result.
Training wall 1921 ©Sefton MBC Archive dialogue.
plants need to adapt to the changes The first and most important one which we all
As visitors and users of the coast we also need
fairly quickly compared to other types of need to recognise is: It is really important that users of the coast have an
adapted has largely depended upon the to realise that:
coastlines, such as hard rocky cliff lines. understanding of how natural coasts and ecosystems
• Sea level rise and coastal change are
Such soft sediment coasts however are culture of society at the time, for example • As the coast changes so too does the work. This enables them to fully participate in
inevitable – this creates both opportunities
extremely important in terms of the habitat during Victorian times the approach was mosaic of habitats and species as well as discussions around management. Natural England
and challenges. Sustainable coastal
that they provide to flora and fauna, and very much to control the environment – the landscape and its ‘local distinctiveness’ along with the Sefton Coast Partnership will be
management needs to embrace change.
in their ability to act as ‘soft’ sea defences they loved building things, they trained will change and evolve. We need to manage entering in to community engagement activities over
against coastal flooding. In many, but not estuary channels for shipping, and Monitoring at Marshside ©Vanessa Holden Looking back at maps of the Sefton Coast we these changes to ensure the best outcomes the coming year and if you want to get involved look
all, cases the coastline will try and adapt encouraged salt marsh to claim land from can see that villages have come and gone and that for the natural environment. out for the opportunities advertised in local press.
to changes (for example by changing sea the estuary. Increasingly, humans are now Victorian endeavours to create a promenade at
monitoring of the build-up and erosion It is easy not to notice the tiny changes which go on
levels) by moving the different coastal more aware of the benefits of working Ravenmeols failed as the coast marched seaward
of sediments, and examining the every day and just see the dramatic changes which
environments in line with the changing alongside natural changes and the leaving the prom high and dry.
characteristics and movement of the appear due to a management event. The Sefton
sea levels. For example, salt marshes importance of the natural environment.
sediment, all of which are important to As managers on the Sefton Coast we have to Coast is an amazing place for wildlife particularly
have distinct environmental ‘zones’ that
understand, to allow the most educated find ways to work with natural processes to build a the specialised wildlife that lives in the dunes. As
only exist at certain heights above sea
and appropriate management and resilient coast. We need to look across ownership managers we need to balance the needs of all the
level, where a fairly consistent number
adaptation strategies to change to take boundaries and work together to embrace techniques different plants and animals which live here. We
of tides will cover them. The plants and
place. developed both here and abroad. Dunes need to are always looking for the most sustainable way of ©Natural England
animals that exist in the zones are usually
well adapted to the specific features of
The challenge now is for people to
the zone, and often struggle to survive
in other areas. For instance, where there
adapt to the natural changes that will The Effects of Climate land use management changes on will affect the water table but the
inevitably occur in such a dynamic groundwater levels in this area. changes will probably be an order
are more or less tidal inundations to which Change on Sefton’s
environment as a coastline, whilst of magnitude less than the climatic
they are adapted – if there are less tides
maintaining the already established Dune Slacks Investigations based on the impact. However the dune systems
covering them, they will be ‘out-competed’ Derek Clarke measurements made at Ainsdale are dynamic and they can change
infrastructure that are important for
by more terrestrial species, if there are Southampton University Nature Reserve found that if all other character and location rapidly. At
society, such as roads and buildings,
more tides covering them they often can’t variables such as land use, drainage Sefton, for example, coastal erosion
wherever possible. But, we also need to

T
cope with the associated stresses that he dune system of the and sea level remain the same over south of Ainsdale is removing
have an awareness of the importance of
include waterlogging, wave action and Sefton Coastline supports an the rest of the century, the average dune habitats at up to 4m/year.
Sediment collection at Marshside ©Vanessa Holden
the natural environment around us, the
lack of oxygen. exceptionally rich bio-habitat ©J.Mills photography
groundwater levels may decline by The eroded sand material is being
plants and animals, as they are ultimately
–the dune slack. This is due in part Flooded dune slacks in 2001
critical to the future of the coastline; for up to 1.5m. The study examined transported north and is widening
Marshside saltmarsh ©Vanessa Holden certain species are vital to the ability of to the presence of a shallow water the frequency of flooding of dune the beach at Southport, where
To allow people to successfully adapt table beneath the dunes. Dune Along the Sefton coastline the water
the natural environment to continue to slacks 1km inland at Ainsdale. In 60ha of new embryonic dunes have
to the inevitable changes, and to plan slacks on the Sefton Coast are table rises from mean sea level to
adapt, for tourism, for natural defences an average year these slacks are developed between 1989 and 2005.
for both the short term and long term extremely important as we have 40% a maximum +10.5m approximately
against possible future flooding, and for usually flooded for 6 weeks, but by Mechanisms such as these may offer
future we need to understand as much of slacks found in England. A number 2km inland. When the water table is
keeping the coastline as a very special the end of the century they will rarely alternate sites for humid slacks to
as possible about the processes that of rare animal and plant species are close to the dune slack floors, rich
and unique place. flood. In the future there may be develop, reinforcing the fact that dune
are happening along the coastline. In found in our dune slacks such as assemblages of flora exist and in wet
some years with “normal” wet slack systems can change their character
order to do the Natterjack Toad and petalwort. winters, these slacks often flood to a
conditions, but these events are likely in a few years and that planning and
this, a range of With the threat of climate change the depth of 10-30cm providing breeding
Southport pre Coast Road ©Sefton MBC Archive to be interspersed by sequences management strategies may have to
detailed studies future of this important habitat is at grounds for amphibians such as the
of 5-10 years of no flooding.  This be flexible in the future to account for
to monitor rates risk in some areas of the coast due to Natterjack Toad.
will result in a drastic reduction in this dynamism.
of change are changes that could occur to the vital the percentage of wet slacks and
ongoing, and water table along the coast. A well tube monitoring network was
will cause
A study of the development of the build upon installed in part of the dune system
a gradual
northern section of the Sefton coast has a detailed at Ainsdale Sand Dunes National
transition
shown that adaptations to the always knowledge Nature Reserve in 1972 and water
from humid
changing coastline by people, animals base of what table levels have been measured
slacks to dry
and plants has always been happening. occurs along the every month. Long term monitoring
slacks.
Sometimes the adaptations by people Sefton coastline. of the wells over the last 35 years
have involved actively managing the For the north has provided a comprehensive
Sea
environment, at other times it has been Sefton coast data set to understand the
level rise
to alter how they react with the coast to fit specifically, influences of seasonality, changes
and coastal
the changes at the time. How people have this includes ©Robert Wolstenholme. Female Natterjack
in climate, coastal erosion and
erosion
Toad emerging from a dune slack pool ©Paul Wisse. Dune slack Ainsdale
10 11
Burbo wind turbines ©National Trust
Coastal change and changing climate – the National Trust’s approach
Andrew Brockbank – National Trust

“Our approach is one of continual wide-scale adaptation whether that involves taking measures to
minimise the impact of heavier rainfall or flooding on historic buildings or planning long term to live with
and mitigate effects of sea level rise and erosion along the coast….”
Dame Fiona Reynolds, Director General, National Trust, 2010

2009 aerial image of dune car park ©National Trust

Living Landmarks?
Andrew Brockbank – National Trust

I
n May 2010 the Centenary of a seen in this and later aerials from the late
pioneering flight from Freshfield beach 1950’s and early 1960’s. Pinetrees Café stood
by Cecil Compton Paterson, reminds us as a prominent landmark until it’s destruction
that we share a privilege as we enjoy flight in a November storm surge in 1961 and the
to all parts of the globe today. We also Pinetrees Caravan Park was relocated in
enjoy birds-eye views of landscape and coast 1981 to a less vulnerable position, a former
unimaginable until a few decades ago; and we asparagus field, discreetly set within pine
can view aerial photographs taken from the woodland to the north of Victoria Road.
mid 1940’s onwards. However, it is remarkable Distinctive too was Gypsy Wood which was
that Formby Civic Society holds a few aerial undermined by erosion of the dunes.
photographs of Formby beach taken back
So what coastal landmarks could we see
in 1911 by one of those magnificent men in Aerial oblique photograph showing Pinetree Café,
from the air today? The vulnerable dune car navigation marker and caravan park
their flying machines. The pioneering aviators’
park at Victoria Road? The mobile dunes, with
sheds or hangars appear as contemporary
stabilising layers of brush wood fencing to slow
landmarks close to the shoreline which was a
down their advance across the land? The last
full ¼ mile to the west of the present shore!
remnants of Formby’s Lifeboat Station on the
100 years ago, Formby Point was much shoreline at Lifeboat Road; or maybe the wind
more prominent, shaped by natural accretion turbines on the Burbo Bank set within the arc

C
limate change linked to The Shoreline Management Plan the addition of changes which could
of sand, which had been helped by the labours of the Mersey navigation channel?
greenhouse gas emissions (SMP2) for North West England result from sea level rise linked to climate
of tenants and estate workers who built brush
adds another dimension to and North Wales provides context change. Poorly located infrastructure As historic landmarks gradually disappear
wood fences and planted Marram grass
natural change processes which for adaptation planning through the like the main National Trust car park, as from our coastline what will the landmarks of
during the late 1800’s. But erosion, triggered
already have profound impacts preferred long term policy of natural well as coastal habitats and inter-tidal the future look like? We have less need for
by changes offshore in the early 1900’s, has Gypsy Wood undermined by erosion ©National Trust
especially at the coast. Popular evolution of the dune coast. The policy archaeology are all vulnerable in the buildings and structures near the dune coast
led to the coast receding by ¼ mile in 100
understanding of what climate change guidance in the short, medium and long short to medium term. and those which we may build, will be located
years!
may mean for us in the decades and term is ‘managed realignment’ which at a safe distance from the changing coast.
Identifying the challenges is important
century ahead, ranges from the pleasant allows for the dune system to roll back Aerial photographs are most useful in Future landmarks will be the living, evolving
but achieving effective solutions will
prospect of hotter drier summers to while managing sections of the dunes tracking landmarks and landscape change. features in the coastal landscape, and the
require understanding and support from
fearful images of flood and tempest under pressure from recreation, and The excellent coverage of 1945 reveals challenge for us could be to form a picture of
many parts of the community. At a Sefton
wreaking havoc on our homes and managing adaptation in the coastal risk extensive asparagus fields at Victoria Road, what the aerial photographs of 50 and 100
Coast level, the National Trust is working
livelihoods. In a coastal context, gradual zone. The high amenity value of the set within the dunes with well established years in the future may look like!
with key partners to develop a Coastal
sea level rise may lead to measurable dune system is recognised, alongside woodland and shelterbelts around the fields.
Adaptation Study, recognising that a
increases in the rates of erosion although the need to relocate car parks, footpaths The Victoria Road navigation marker can be
joined up approach will be essential to
greater uncertainty surrounds the and facilities in order to maintain the
sustain the benefits of access, enjoyment
possible impacts of more frequent and social benefits of access and enjoyment
and a high quality natural environment.
intense storms and tidal surges. in the long term.
Extract from 1945 aerial photo ©Sefton MBC
At a more local level, National Trust
From a National Trust perspective, In 2009 a detailed National Trust
is engaging with both local people
coastal adaptation planning is a Coastal Risk Assessment identified
and visitors to identify areas where we
practical, long term approach to deal with the social, cultural and environmental
can work together to achieve shared
complex coastal change issues including features at risk with estimated timescales
solutions to issues. Coastal change
climate change impacts. At Formby, over which changes may occur. This
presents huge challenges but there are
the complexity arises because of the drew upon local monitoring data used in
so many opportunities to work together
vulnerability of the shoreline and dunes the preparation of Sefton Council’s 2007
to make things better. Find information
to storms, the rate of erosion and the Report on coastal erosion predictions
about how you can get involved by
interplay with recreational activities. for Formby Point. The shape of the
visiting the Formby pages at www.
future coastline is considered against
nationaltrust.org.uk
prevailing patterns of change and with 1911 image of shore and sheds at Victoria Road
Formby Lifeboat Station foundations ©National Trust courtesy of Formby Civic Society

12 13
Restoring the Ribble Plan). Most of these recent losses have been Plan for saltmarsh. It was agreed that if the The great range of coastal wildlife will The greatly improved sea defence is
along our south and east coasts, but we have RSPB were to buy the land, the Agency could benefit but the most obvious of these will be the most obvious improvement, but the Managed realignment –
saltmarshes: managed also ‘reclaimed’ saltmarshes all around our purchase the soil that it needed to complete the birds, including lapwings, golden plovers, reinstatement of the kilometre-wide belt of what’s in a name?
realignment at Hesketh coasts for a variety of uses over the years. the upgrading of the sea defences from the wigeon, teal and pink-footed geese in the saltmarsh means that the sea wall is now ‘Managed realignment’ is the ugly
Out Marsh Only now are we beginning to appreciate the RSPB. This additional money made the winter as well as breeding birds like redshanks fronted by a massive natural ‘sponge,’ soaking and uninspiring name for what is
Tony Baker Ribble Sites Manager RSPB enormous environmental value of saltmarshes, purchase of the land possible and meant that and avocets. up the energy of the storm tides before they a beautiful and exciting process.
not just to wildlife but to our own interests and the Agency were able to avoid the costly and reach the sea wall itself. Where a sea defence is no longer

M
any of the UK’s most important survival. environmentally damaging process of bringing But the human benefits are also very considered viable or desirable, the
habitats are threatened by the the soil in by lorry. significant. The Environment Agency have And for the visitors, whether they are locals option can be taken to abandon the
changes in our climate, but At Hesketh Out Marsh, a private landowner upgraded 2km of flood defence bank, raising or tourists, the Ribble Coast & Wetlands existing, compromised, line of defence
saltmarshes are probably the most obvious embanked the entire 350 hectares of Over the last 3 years, the site has been the height by over 1 metre and the width by Regional Park has been able to add a new and create a new line of defence some
victims to date. Britain’s saltmarshes are saltmarsh in 1980. This was the last such transformed into a fully functioning saltmarsh 7 metres. 300,000 cu metres of material ‘attraction’ to its list. Whilst the facilities at distance inland that is less demanding in
of outstanding importance to world bird reclamation to take place on the Ribble again after 30 years in arable production. have been moved in the process. Having Hesketh Out Marsh are modest, (a car park maintenance terms and less vulnerable to
populations. Our geographical location makes estuary and made it an obvious choice when More than 15km of creek have been the material available on-site has saved the and a viewing platform), the new reserve is tides or weather.
us a relatively short-haul flight for the millions the RSPB began to look for opportunities excavated and four 100m wide breaches taxpayer an estimated £2 million and perhaps a very welcome addition to the short list of
of birds that migrate to Arctic areas to nest to restore some of the intertidal habitat that have been made in the outer flood wall, each more importantly, has meant that an estimated places where the keen naturalist or walker This gives space back to an expanding
every year. Many of them spend time on continues to be lost around our coasts. We connecting a newly excavated creek on the 75,000 lorry journeys have not had to be made can reach the shores of the Ribble estuary in water area, allowing it to generate new
Britain’s estuaries on their journeys north and were finally able to purchase the western half, inside of the site with a major creek on the along narrow country lanes and through local safety. and dynamic habitats for a variety of
south or stay the whole winter on our wet, (180 hectares), in 2006 and to begin work in outside of the site. 11 saline lagoons, up to 1.5 villages. wildlife.
warm and fertile coasts. Spring 2007. metres deep and 1 hectare in size were also
dug, providing additional habitat for birds like With a predicted sea level rise of 225mm Managed realignment is an excellent
The loss of saltmarshes has been one of the The opportunity arose when the RSPB the avocet and redshank. Saline lagoons are over the next 50 years, the new flood banks example of how the creation of new
most tangible effects of sea level rise due to and the Environment Agency realised that themselves a very rare habitat in the UK and should be sufficient protection for many years wildlife habitats can help to reduce
climate change; around 600 ha of saltmarsh they shared objectives for the area. The provide nursery and foraging areas for fish and to come. the threats posed to human society by
was lost in the UK between 1992 and 1998 Agency were aiming to upgrade the sea invertebrate species. They also offer great climate change. In this case, ecosystem-
and current losses are estimated at 100 defences at the time and are also the official birdwatching opportunities from the bordering based adaptation is provided by the new
hectares per annum (UK Biodiversity Action ‘champions’ for the UK Biodiversity Action public footpath. ©RSPB. Hesketh Out Marsh
West in 2008 during restoration saltmarsh. It gives space back to the
estuary, allowing it to spread out wards
as sea levels rise and provides a buffer
against the impact of the rising sea levels
©RSPB. ©RSPB. on our coastal defences. It is also a good
Lapwing Brown Hare
example of how adaptation to protect
human interests can be enormously
beneficial to the adaptation of wildlife to
climate change.

©RSPB. Hesketh
Out Marsh West
in 2002 before
©RSPB. restoration
Redshank

©RSPB. Hesketh Out Marsh West in 2008

14 15
©Sally Edmondson

Alien Invaders The pine vegetation and breeding ecology. Large competitive plants can Dragonflies and climate change ©Philip H Smith. Banded
woodlands eliminate areas for Natterjack Toads. totally exclude all the native species.
Sally Edmondson the original dune plant Based on research lead Research shows that the chances of
Demoiselle, Downholland Brook
Liverpool Hope and animal communities,
Philip H. Smith
by Dr Derek Clarke at the established aliens becoming invasive
University ‘folssilise’ the dune University of Southampton, are low, but increased numbers of

B
topography thus stopping water table levels are alien species enhances that chance. eing brightly-coloured and easy to identify, dragonflies
dune dynamics, and lower predicted to fall by over one It is also known that longer residence and damselflies have always been a popular group
The threat of alien
the water table of the
species invasions metre in the next 70 years, time (how long a species has been with naturalists, so we know a good deal about their
adjacent open
to the dunes. We are dunes making this hydrological present) increases the probability of distribution and how this has changed over time. Up to 1991,
currently experiencing impact of tree cover even more it becoming invasive. An example
severe. In summary, these large of an introduced species suddenly
only 14 species had been recorded in the Sefton Coast sand-
the world’s 6th major
extinction event, first identified by woody plants are responsible for very becoming invasive is the Rum Cherry dune system, ten of them breeding here. Today, the total number
internationally renowned conservation significant losses of dune biodiversity. that was present on the Amsterdam recorded is 20, of which 14 are probably breeding. This represents
biologist Norman Myers in 1979. Waterworks Dunes for years. It a 43% increase in dragonfly diversity in only 20 years.
Alongside giant asteroid impacts, and The second most significant source suddenly underwent a population
continental-scale flood basalt events of alien plant introductions onto the explosion invading the open dunes.
The extra species fall mainly into two groups:
effecting global photosynthesis, acid Sefton Coast dune system is gardens. A huge amount of money has been
rain and sustained climate change, Very few plants actually spread spent on clearing the species, but the • Those with mainly southern British distributions that
human actions can sadly now claim themselves onto adjacent dunes. site managers consider that they will have moved north;
to be the cause of such an event. The introductions largely result from probably never totally get rid of it.
The last major extinction event was deliberate dumping of garden waste • Long-distance migrants from continental Europe,
65 million years ago when more onto dune areas. The result is a zone Nearly all the garden-origin alien these appearing during summer heat-waves.
than half the species on the planet, of modified vegetation all along the plant species reported in the dune
including the dinosaurs, went extinct. housing boundary with enhanced manager survey are from lower
nutrient status resulting from the latitudes than the UK, the centroids Of the first group, two dragonflies, the Emperor (Anax imperator)
The introduction and invasion of ©Philip H Smith. Broad-bodied
alien species into areas outside their dumping of organic material, and with of their distributions ranging from and Ruddy Darter (Sympetrum sanguineum) had already arrived Chaser, Range Lane, Formby
native ranges ranks among habitat very high frequencies of established 48o to 30o degrees north or south here by 1990. Our largest species, the Emperor was first seen
destruction and pollution as one of the alien plants. The top five most of the equator (Great Britain lies during the hot summer of 1976 but did not become well-established
major causes for the current extinction commonly occurring plants along the approximately between 49o and 58o until the mid-1990s. The Ruddy Darter, our only nationally notable
event. housing boundary on the dunes in north). They are therefore stealing
dragonfly, first appeared in 1989 at a time when the nearest
Sefton are Snow-in-Summer, Russian a march on native species in terms
Alien species are now a feature of Vine, Montbretia and Red Hot Poker. of potential response to climate breeders were in south Cheshire. Again, by the mid-1990s,
plant and animal communities world- Spanish and Hybrid Bluebells are also change. Changing conditions caused this attractive insect had viable breeding populations in several
wide. In the UK we have suffered extremely common and may have by climate change is just the sort of duneland ponds. More recent colonists are the Broad-bodied
significant losses. Well-known missed being in this top five because trigger that might spark an invasion Chaser (Libellula depressa) (established mid-1990s), Migrant
examples are the demise of Water of surveys being undertaken in by some of the many alien species
Hawker (early 2000s) and Black-tailed Skimmer (Orthetrum
Vole and Red Squirrel populations summer after they have died down. already established on the dunes.
Yucca and Pampas Grass, both cancellatum) (mid-2000s).
because of competition with the
introduced Mink and the Grey Squirrel I have recently conducted a species of lower latitudes, are already
respectively. In the plant world an survey of dune managers throughout very invasive on dunes in southern Three species fall into the migrant group: Yellow-winged Darter
example is the highly competitive, England, Scotland and Wales that Europe. The survey showed them (Sympetrum flaveolum), Red-veined Darter (S. fonscolombii) and
and almost impossible to eradicate, demonstrates this phenomenon to to be established on a number of Lesser Emperor (Anax parthenope). Occasional individuals have
Japanese Knotweed. be occurring almost everywhere that dune sites in southern England, with
appeared here only in warm summers, such as those of 1995,
housing is adjacent to dunes. The Pampas Grass spreading rapidly in
The alien plants that have caused commonly occurring aliens are also some places. 1999, 2003 and 2006. Most recently, the brief heat-wave of early
by far the most serious negative very similar to those recorded July 2009 saw an influx of Red-veined Darters, up to eight being
impact on our dune biodiversity are in Sefton, with freely Biodiversity loss is not something seen at Sands Lake, Ainsdale.
the deliberately introduced woody seeding species that only happens in the world’s
species such as Pines, Poplars such as the non- Garden waste biodiversity hotspots such as the
Another species, the Banded Demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens), ©Philip H Smith. Red-veined
and Sea Buckthorn. These species dumping on the Amazon rainforest. In the UK we Darter, Sands Lake, Ainsdale
have already suffered significant fits less easily into the above categories. Although it has greatly
not only completely replace the dunes adjacent to housing
native sand dune plant and animal damages the dune vegetation losses resulting from alien increased in north-west England, this seems more to do with
communities in the footprint of their by increasing nutrients and species invasions, including on improving water-quality in the slow-moving rivers and streams
established areas, but also invade introducing alien species. In this our dune systems. We need to where it breeds, than to increasing temperatures. This distinctive
adjacent dunes. More than that, their example Hybrid Bluebells are recognise that severity of this insect now occurs abundantly on Downholland Brook, just inland
cover stops the dynamics of sand growing next to a garden threat, seek to mitigate damage
of Formby, so it is perhaps not surprising that there have been two
dune movement, the very process waste tip. already done, and ensure
that provides both the specialist that our actions minimise future recent sightings in the dunes.
environments needed for dune plants introductions and invasions.
& animals, and also the mechanism Following their arrival on the Sefton Coast, most of the
that will allow the dune system to ©Sally Edmondson dragonflies mentioned above have continued to move north and are
adjust to changing conditions such Snow-
in Summer is now becoming established in Scotland. Many studies, both in this
as climate change. In addition, their native Bluebells and Snow-in-Summer
being the most commonly occurring, the most frequently country and in Europe, have linked these trends to climate change.
increased evapotranspiration rates
use water from the dune aquifer more and large perennial, vegetatively garden-origin alien Other species may soon follow, one possibility being the Small Red-
rapidly than dune vegetation. This spreading plants such as Montbretia on the dune-housing eyed Damselfly (Erythromma viridulum), which first appeared on the
depresses the dune water table which also being very frequent. boundary and is Essex coast in 1999. It now breeds over large parts of south-east
is the base level for geomorphological spreading further into
England and, by 2006, had reached Derbyshire and Humberside.
activity and is fundamental to Any introduction of alien plants the dunescape
Recent poor summers have slowed its progress but it should get
providing the seasonally wet dune takes the resources of the native
slacks, home to floristically-rich species it replaces and alters the here eventually.
©Sally Edmondson
16 17
North West Regional provides sound evidence to support the Solway Firth Looking after nature and heritage on the foreshore bird counts, bird-
delivery of sustainable coastal defence ringing studies, barn owl
Monitoring • Silloth • Carlisle Altcar Rifle Ranges John Houston
management across the North West. The studies, red squirrel surveys,

O
Paul Wisse Senior Coastal Officer, Coastal
group’s responsibility extends for more than n 30th July 2011 the Reserve Forces and Cadets orchid counts and natterjack
Defence, Sefton Council
700km from the Great Orme’s Head on the • Workington Association will celebrate the 150th anniversary of toad surveys.
North Welsh coast to the Scottish border in Altar Rifle Ranges.
The North West Coast The ranges include part

T
the Solway Estuary. The group developed The ranges lie to the south of Formby Point and occupy 250 of the Sefton Coast Site of
he North West coast is a very varied
and established a regional coordinated • Ravenglas hectares of land between Cabin Hill National Nature Reserve Special Scientific Interest. A
and complex area including natural
programme of coastal monitoring that collects and Hightown. The present day estate includes a large expanse management plan helps to
habitats, urban communities,
appropriate datasets to provide scientific of intertidal foreshore, high dunes, damp grasslands, rough guide work in line with other
industrial areas and associated
evidence of the changes taking place in the • Barrow-in-Furness former agricultural land and recent conifer plantations. Sefton Coast plans. Help with
infrastructure. These landscapes benefit
from protection by the coastline, however,
diverse coastal areas of the North West. • Morecambe essential conservation work
In the late eighteenth century measures were taken to control
as the coast changes the levels of protection has recently been provided
Monitoring programme design the course of the river Alt. A dune embankment, initiated by
vary across the coast and through time. by estate staff, the Lancashire
The programme is designed around a • Blackpool sand-trapping, forms the western edge of the ranges. The flat
Wildlife Trust and the Coast
This change is driven by a number of forces expanse of land that
risk based model, which places monitoring and Countryside Service. In
such as waves, tides, storms, river inputs • Southport was at one time the
emphasis on areas at a higher risk of 2009 a programme for mowing
and human intervention. A changing coast is foreshore was let
flooding or coastal erosion than those dune grasslands was started
simply a process; it is the way we interact with • Crosby for agricultural use
at a lower risk. The programme is grant and in 2010 new pools will be
it and put values to it that defines this change Great Orme’s
• Liverpool in 1855 but in 1860
aided by the Environment Agency and this Head
created for Natterjack Toad.
as good or bad.
current programme runs for three • Conwy• Rhyl it was offered to
years (2008-2011). Sefton Council Lieutenant Colonel A. All the site records are held
undertake the regional project development of the coastal defence policies S. Gladstone for use in a site dossier. The group
management and collate the data in Shoreline Management Plans and it will as a rifle range. also participates in national
from all the partners in the North provide baseline evidence to support new MoD events such as bird
The training area is
West. defence design. These decisions will not counts, bat surveys and moth
owned by the Reserve
be restricted by administrative boundaries nights. There is increasing Green-winged Orchid
Forces and Cadets
interest in the history of the ©Sefton Council
Data collection, analysis and but rely on the understanding of the coastal Association. The
reporting processes to determine appropriate areas. area. Projects have included
site is used by over
The programme includes the The forward planning and coordinated archaeological investigations as
10,000 troops every
standardised collection, analysis and programme will have significant cost saving One of several ponds on site providing well as supporting research into
year,
habitat for dragonflies ©Sefton Council military history along the coast.
Topographic beach survey 2010 ©Sefton Council reporting of: benefits as only appropriate data is collected, using Alt Grange Barn Grade II listed building
©Sefton Council
partners can collaborate on data acquisition some Guided walks are arranged by
• Wave, tide, wind and current data, and duplication of data collection is reduced. 2 million rounds of ammunition. In 1985 a the conservation group, ranging
Coastal protection decisions are made
based on the risk of and consequences both modelled and recorded conservation advisory group was formed to offer from rambles to specific events
North West Regional Monitoring expertise and advice on archaeology and nature looking at history, archaeology
of flooding and/or erosion. It is essential • Aerial Photography, both oblique Co-ordinating Authority conservation. The group is part of a national and wildlife. We especially
that these decisions are based on the best and vertical
Paul Wisse network of conservation groups supported by the welcome requests for access
possible information and as such appropriate
• LiDAR data Senior Officer - Coastal Defence Defence Estates Environment Support Team. by species and habitat experts
monitoring is important. Both the forcing
• Topographic and bathymetric Ainsdale Discovery Centre and from local interest groups
factors driving coastal change and the actual The estate is rich in history and wildlife.
surveys The Promenade, Shore Road, wishing to see special parts
changes to the coast need to be monitored in Biodiversity Action Plan species include Brown
Ainsdale-on-Sea, Southport, PR8 2QB of the coast. Enquiries can be
order to gain a comprehensive understanding • Satellite imagery Hare, Red Squirrel and Natterjack Toad along with several rare
Tel: 0151 934 2959 addressed to the chairperson John Houston on 01704 870455 or
of the processes taking place. plants. One of the most spectacular sights on the ranges is the
• Coastal habitat extents Paul.wisse@technical.sefton.gov.uk e-mail jh@psammos.co.uk
display or orchids in the damp grasslands and dune slacks.
• Coastal defence condition and North West and North Wales Coastal Group
Historic data collection In 2009 over The group was chaired by
performance reviews www.mycoastline.org
Historically, a wide variety of coastal 20,000 flowers Major Doug Farrington for 18
National Coastal Monitoring Website
data has been collected in the North West, of the Green- years up to 2008. The current
Data is being captured to national survey www.channelcoast.org
with some dating back to the early 1900’s. winged Orchid group membership is John
Unfortunately due to the methods of collection specifications and is quality controlled and were counted. Houston (chairperson), Major
and management much of this historic data securely stored to ensure its durability. Data Bill Hunter (commandant),
is being made available online at the national Members of
has little credible use nowadays and, as such, Major Brian Cobley, Major
coastal monitoring data portal at the conservation
a new improved system of data collection and Doug Farrington, Dr Phil Smith,
www.channelcoast.org. group, all
management needed to be developed. Dr Jen Lewis, Steve Cross,
volunteers, offer
Ian Wolfenden, Tony Duckels,
Summary their time and
North West and North Wales Coastal Fiona Whitefield, Paul Thomas,
This programme will ensure that expertise for
Group Christine Bennett and support
sustainable, coastal defence policy the benefit of
The North West England and North from the Defence Estates
development and management decisions the area. Long-
Wales Coastal Group, a partnership of conservation team.
are made using the best possible term monitoring
maritime authorities in the North West, Ravenmeols, Devils Hole, Aerial photograph Group members: L-R Doug Farrington, Paul Thomas, John Houston,
information. For example it supports the projects include Ian Wolfenden, Phil Smith and Jen Lewis ©Sefton Council
national agencies and other relevant parties, overlaid on LiDAR survey. ©Sefton Council

18 19
Coast and Countryside This year though, keep an eye out for our
‘PLAYIN NATURALLY’ activities throughout
Service Crosby Coastal Park. Our new Play Ranger
Fiona Sunners Community Ranger will be running a series of activities on the
beach, in the dunes and at the adventure

O
ver the last twelve months the play ground. This project is funded by The
Examples of Playing Naturally
Coast and Countryside Rangers Big Lottery Fund (BLF) Play Programme, activites ©Sefton Council
have put on a huge number of encouraging ‘natural’ play outdoors. The
events for the public, from wild flower events are all open access, meaning children, Playing Naturally! opportunities and resources work with the Playing Naturally at the Weekends
natural environment. The list of activities is

W
walks to bike rides and minibeast hunts to young people, families and carers can come Next to the Adventure Playground, on
Planks of wood from our felled trees. ith the development of Crosby endless, but may include: arts & crafts, den
pirate trails! I’m sure many of you have been and go as they please, rather than having to Crosby Coastal Park
©Sefton Council Coastal Park and the Adventure building, scavenger hunts, beach games,
on one or more of these events. book a place and stay for the whole session. Watch out for events and activities on the
Playground – we will be running beach art, recycling art! Whatever we PLAY it
‘Forest School’ is all about learning in the following days:
Many of the events are aimed at families, lots of free fun events and activities! will be FUN – so come and join in.
Sustainability is one of the topics on outdoors – what a fantastic classroom to 31st July & 1st August
encouraging participation by everyone – everybody’s lips and to find out what we work in. It is a method of learning introduced The project has been carefully chosen by 14th & 15th August
Summer Holidays 2010
sometimes watching it’s hard to see who’s are doing take a look at our woodland from Scandinavia, where it is known as Sefton Play Partnership, to encourage and 28th & 29th August
Playing Naturally – On the Beach
having the most fun – Dads in particular at management! Much of the woodland work ‘skogsbornehaven’ or ‘naturbornehaven’, support children and young people to play 11th & 12th September
Every Tuesday
the sand castle competition and the den we do is for the Red Squirrel – felling and where ‘bornehaven’ is the german translation outdoors in the natural environment. All the Mariner’s Road, Crosby
building! With this in mind this year’s program replanting to ensure future food supplies for of kindergarten, ‘skog’ translates as wood or events on this page will be open access, For further information: jayne.foat@
10.00am – 12.00pm and 2.00pm – 3.30pm
continues with a huge variety of events for the Squirrels. But what happens to all the forest and ‘natur’ is nature. allowing young people, families and carers leisure.sefton.gov.uk or by phone 0151 934
everybody. wood we fell? Don’t worry it is not wasted and can come and go as they please throughout Playing Naturally – Adventure Playground 2967 or 0151 966 6884
doesn’t go to land fill. Much of it is recycled, Children are given the opportunity to use the sessions. Every Wednesday & Thursday
Sand sculptures. with the tree trunks being planked and used the woodland resources to learn a variety of Next to the Adventure Playground, on
©Sefton Council practical activities from using tools to having The events & activities will be run by our Crosby Coastal Park
for bins, signs and picnic tables, whilst smaller
camp fires as well as learning to appreciate, Adventure Play Ranger, providing play 10.00am – 12.00pm and 2.00pm – 3.00pm
stuff is made into bird boxes. Even the thin
branches are used to make jewellery! To respect and look after the environment
and the wildlife within it. Natural resources
see all this in action visit us at our Forest
often found in the environment can often
A new name on the Sefton authority in the North West of England to join The RNLI has established an operational
Stewardship Council (FSC) Friday event – just forces with the RNLI to provide lifeguards on base within the Borough, and this has
be used for natural art. The nature of the Coast - the RNLI
to confuse you it’s on Saturday! Saturday 25th its beaches this summer. provided new jobs in the Sefton area. The
September FSC Woodland Fun. activities means many children who may not Gordon White Coast and Countryside Officer
RNLI will provide a like for like service in the
be academically minded have a chance to Sefton Coast and Countryside Service There are over 150 RNLI Beach Lifeguard
first year, mirroring the service previously
learn in an environment more conducive to units around England and Wales, and in 2009,

S
Necklaces. efton Council has been developing a provided by Sefton Council.
learning. There are many reports around that RNLI Beach Lifeguards responded to 13,588
©Sefton Council Beach Lifeguard Partnership with the
show how behaviour improves as well as the incidents, assisting 15,954 people nationally. Well trained and vigilant, Sefton’s RNLI
Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Beach Lifeguards are a fit and capable team
Den building. expected health benefits from being outside, In 2009, the RNLI began providing beach
©Sefton Council (RNLI) since March 2009. The partnership who are able to respond to help save lives
as a result of children taking part in ‘Forest lifeguard services in the north east, at beaches
agreement was finalised in February 2010 and close to the shore. However, the majority of
School’. As we now have one of the Rangers in Tyne & Wear, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire.
the RNLI began to arrange procurement of their work is preventative, both at the beaches
as a qualified Level 3 Forest School Leader, Now on board in Sefton, the RNLI can share
equipment and to initiate recruitment of beach and including educational work with local
we are looking at developing a Forest School its beach safety and prevention messages
lifeguards. The partnership will undoubtedly schools and community groups.
program of activities for schools – so keep a with more beachgoers in the north of England.
improve beach safety and raise water safety
look out in the near future. So, whether it’s Southport,
awareness for residents and The RNLI encourages people
visitors considerably. Ainsdale, Formby (Lifeboat
Pathfinder to choose lifeguarded beaches.
Road) or Crosby beach you are
Bird boxes.
On April 1st this year the But there are still many popular
©Sefton Council What is the future for our coastline? What is planning to visit this summer,
partnership went live with RNLI beaches, especially in regions
‘Adaptation & Mitigation’? Do you want to find you can be assured that the
Beach Lifeguards patrolling outside the South West
out more? Can you do your bit for the future? RNLI Beach Lifeguards will
Sefton’s beaches at Crosby, of England, which
be on duty to help ensure
Southport and Ainsdale. As don’t have lifeguard
As part of the ‘Pathfinder Project’ we will that your visit is a safe one.
the summer holidays approach, Formby patrols.
be looking at what you know, how we can Look out for the distinctive
improve that knowledge and looking at ways (Lifeboat Road) will be added to the RNLI lifeguard units,
you can be involved in the future. list. Sefton Council is the first local vehicles and uniform.

For a full list of events and activities We have already carried out work on
taking place throughout 2010- 2011 please the beach at Formby to monitor sand
check out the Events Guide on the websites accumulation and erosion and will be
at www.seftonnaturalcoast.com or www. improving access in the near future, but most
sefton.gov.uk. The Events guide leaftlet can importantly we will be thinking about the way
also be obtained from Southport Tourism we communicate with locals and visitors to the
& Information Centre, libraries throughout coast. Look out for more information, events
Sefton and at the Ainsdale Discovery Centre. and activities you can be involved in, in the
local press and on our web site sefton.gov.uk
RNLI Lifeguards ©Sefton Council

20 21
Llamas and Lapwings have revealed that foxes are a regular visitor to the 2
nests and suspicions that foxes could be a problem
at Marshside are now confirmed.
Tony Baker Ribble Reserves
Manager That is where the llamas come in. ‘Guard llamas’
have long been used in the USA to protect flocks

O
of grazing animals from the attentions of coyotes.
ne of the stars amongst ©RSPB.
In some areas, coyotes take a number of lambs 3
the many nesting birds at
and studies
Marshside is the lapwing,
have shown that
a long-legged, long-crested wading bird that has made the move
the presence of a llama
from wetland to farmland habitats and thereby endeared itself
can reduce these losses
to generations of country folk. Perhaps because Marshside has
considerably. Could it work for
also bridged that gap between farmland and wetland, it
lapwings and foxes too? We
has always held good numbers of these birds. 4
thought it would be
worth a trial and
RSPB staff and volunteers have been following
so 2 llamas have
the fortunes of the Marshside lapwings very
joined the usual
closely for the past 15 years and this has ©RSPB.
herd of cattle
involved monitoring the outcomes of a sample 1. All photographs ©Mersey Waterfront
at Marshside this
of nests each year. Recently there have been
year. It is too early to say whether the trial will have
some signs that all may not be well. To address
any effect. We are hoping that the llamas, who have a
these concerns, a couple of new initiatives
strong, innate dislike of members of the dog family,
Sefton coastline – Projects in Sefton have included: length of the Sefton coastline has seen
have been introduced in 2010 by Warden, improvements in accessibility to the
Graham Clarkson to firstly, establish what the
will attack and chase away the foxes and that a success story in • Another Place, the spectacular
Sefton Coastal Path and Freshfield Dune
this will, in turn, have the beneficial effect of sculptures of 100 Iron Men by artist
problem might be and secondly, endeavour regeneration Heath with paths, fences and promotion
protecting the lapwing nests from fox Antony Gormley were bought by Sefton

S
to do something about. of access for all – from disabled users to
predation. efton’s coastline has benefited from Council, with a contribution of over
seven years of waterfront projects parents with push chairs and toddlers.
The latest technology has been £500,000 from Mersey Waterfront (1).
If the llamas fail to save the in partnership with the Mersey Other improvements have ranged from
used in the shape of cameras • The classic seaside resort of Southport
lapwings we will at least have Waterfront; a programme set up to enhance enhancing access to habitats at Formby
trained on some of the nests to
tried what is a very natural has seen a range of waterfront Point, to increasing local community
reveal who or what may have and transform the city region’s 135km
solution to the problem and improvements. The new Southport Pier involvement (4).
visited the nest besides the coastline as well as reconnecting communities
we will have gained a lot Tram links the end of the UK’s longest
lapwings themselves. Many to their waterfront. These completed projects have revitalised
of pleasure from seeing a overland Pier with the town-centre, while
mammals and birds are known the coastline across Sefton. With exciting
to be partial to the odd
new grazing animal out on the The creation of the Mersey Waterfront Southport’s Marine Way Bridge has been
marshes. The llamas are owned Regional Park has been an ambitious, attractions, beautiful surroundings and an
lapwing egg and hailed as an outstanding example of
by Gill Baker and Lee Booth and they have also introduced world-class vision. Managed by The Mersey excellent choice of places to explore, Sefton
indeed, it’s not that innovation and excellence (2).
a range of native breed cattle to the marshes including Partnership (TMP), the programme has been has become an essential place to visit while
long ago that we
the shorthorn, Dexter and Highland breeds. If you are • A new £7 million Crosby Lakeside experiencing the North West. In particular
humans would delivered in two stages; the commencement
the sort of person who likes to know where your meat has Adventure Centre will play a key part the Antony Gormely statues have captured
collect the eggs programme (2003 – 2007) funded around 60
for our own
come from and what it has been eating, you can now buy in the continued revival of the Crosby peoples’ imaginations and encouraged them
projects of varying scale, while the succession
your beef fresh from Marshside Marshses at Lee’s stall at Coastal Park and offers a high quality, to discover the Crosby coastline - creating a
tables. programme (2007-2010) supported a number
the Wyevale Garden Centre on Southport Road, Leyland fully accessible, watersports facility with
of flagship projects. new destination and putting Crosby beach on
Sure (Fridays and Saturdays only). the long term aim of creating one of the the map.
enough the The programme has attracted more than UK’s premier watersport destinations.
cameras ©RSPB.
£122 million of public and private money, It is also home to conference and
including over £18 million from the Northwest teaching facilities, specialist short stay
Development Agency (NWDA), with a further accommodation, fitness facilities and a For more information on the Mersey Waterfront
Find out more about Sunday 13th June 2010, 2.00 - 4.00pm Sunday 25 July 2010, 2pm - 4.30pm and £9 million from the European Regional bistro (3). programme please contact Cathy Elwin, Mersey
Sefton’s archaeology and A guided walk led by Jen Lewis and Jenny Wednesday 28 July 2010, 6pm to 8.30pm Development Fund (ERDF). Waterfront Project Manager on cathy.elwin@
• Improving open spaces along the
Stanistreet of Sefton Coast Partnership’s A guided walk led by Gordon Roberts on
history this summer merseyside.org.uk
Archaeology and History Task Group to behalf of the National Trust to explore the
consider the evidence for a WWI transit evidence for Prehistoric human and animal
Sunday 25th July, 10.30am - 1.00pm.
camp and a WWII prisoner of war camp at footprints preserved in silts on Formby’s Sefton Coast book wins brings together updated material originally delivered handsome, inscribed, commemorative plaque was
Arranged by Formby Civic Society - and at a highly successful heritage conference organised presented to Sefton Council
Little Crosby. Join us to find out more about beach. national award by the Task Group. Last year the book was entered by the Book Services Trust.
by kind permission of the Commandant,
these little-known wartime sites. Advance booking essential; Sand and Sea - Sefton’s Coastal Heritage: by Sefton Library Service for the Alan Ball Local
Altcar Training Camp - a visit led by Reg Copies of Sand and Sea
Advance booking essential; please ring 01704 878591 for details. archaeology, history and environment of a History Award 2008. This is a prestigious national
Yorke to the site of Formby’s Lighthouse. are on sale in all Sefton
please ring Jen Lewis on 0151 480 5474 landscape in north-west England was published award, administered by the Book Services Trust,
Erected in 1719 and demolished in 1941, libraries, priced £15. Mail
for details. in May 2008 by Sefton Libraries on behalf of the which recognises high quality local history publishing
we will examine the site, discuss why order enquiries can be
Sefton Coast Partnership’s Archaeology and by libraries and local authorities. When the awards
the lighthouse was built - and why it was made to Library Admin:
History Task Group. were announced, Sand and Sea was judged to
demolished! 0151 934 4741 or library.
be one of the three winners for books published in
Advance booking essential; This superb fully illustrated book, previously service@leisure.sefton.
2008 and judged to be “an excellent archaeological
featured in the ‘Coastlines’ issue for Summer 2008, gov.uk
please ring 01704 872187 for details. account of the coast from Bootle to Southport”. A

22 23
1. RSPB Marshside Parking 9. Fisherman’s Path/Freshfield Dune Heath
Enjoy bird watching from one of two comfortable hides A relaxing walk from Freshfield Station to the beach through
overlooking the wet grasslands, or take a stroll along a mixture of tranquil woodland and open dunes where a
the footpaths to take in the views over the saltmarsh and variety of flora and fauna can be seen. The newly reopened
foreshore. Old Fisherman’s Path provides for an alternative route to the
beach. The main entrance point for a circular walk on the
2. Southport Pier Toilets Wildlife Trust's Freshfield Dune Heath Reserve begins at the
Take a pleasant stroll down the recently refurbished pier, start of Fisherman's Path.
complete with a new modern pavilion which homes a cafe
and interpretation centre for the coast. 10. National Trust, Formby P T
Famous for the Red Squirrels and the pine woodlands, the
3. Southport Beach P reserve also offers access to the beach and has a variety of
One of Sefton’s award winning beaches provides a popular paths to explore the dunes, woodland and old asparagus
location for visitors to take the sea air. On a clear day to the fields.
north you can see Blackpool Tower and the mountains of the
Lake District. 11. Lifeboat Road and Ravenmeols Local Nature
Reserve P T
4. Queen’s Jubilee Nature Trail and Velvet Trail The popular Lifeboat Road area provides access to the beach
The QJNT meanders through a small area of dunes. The as well as local dunes and woodland. For those looking for
trails are well laid out and information boards detail species a quieter spot walk through the extensive dune system at
present. The recently restored Velvet Trail runs through the Ravenmeols and see the Devils hole blowout.
Birkdale Hills Local Nature Reserve.
12. Hightown Dunes and Meadows
5. Sands Lake P An unusual area fronted by an informal rubble defence,
A pleasant area for accessing Birkdale Local Nature Reserve which was formed from demolition arising from bomb
with a new boardwalk around the lake allowing for easy damaged areas in Liverpool. It now provides wonderful
access. A jetty provides a feeding area for the birds that meadows full of flowers and insects, and a small coastal
congregate on the lake. dune system. Bird watching can be rewarding along the
River Alt.
6. Ainsdale Beach P T
A quieter beach than Southport, which provides visitors with 13. Hall Road and Beach P T
a view of the start to Sefton’s sand dune system. A popular Ideal area for walkers of all abilities either along the
starting point for those who wish to explore the remoter promenade or into the Hightown Dunes and Meadows. Those
areas of the coast. not so energetic can relax on the beach or recreational
8. Ainsdale Sand Dunes National Nature Reserve grasslands.
7. Ainsdale Discovery Centre and Ainsdale Local A peaceful nature reserve, which is home to some of the
Nature Reserve P best sand dune wildlife in Britain. The pine woodland also 14. Crosby Marine Park and Beach P T
Come and visit the centre for an informative displays and supports a healthy population of red squirrels. Several A popular area for sun bathing and recreation with views
interpretation about local facilities, wildlife and history. pathways go through the site; the main hard path is suitable over the Mersey Estuary to the Wirral and North Welsh Coast.
The LNR is an excellent example of open dune habitat with for disabled and cycling. Tel: 01704 578774. Dunes are rapidly accreting along this stretch of coast.
mobile dunes and wet slacks.

If you are planning to • Always check tide times if visiting • Dispose of litter correctly either • Do not disturb the wildlife.
visit the sites please the beach. Look out for advice on putting it in the bin or taking it home. • Do not pick wild flowers leave them
remember to look after notice boards and warning flags • Clean up after your dog. for others to enjoy.
especially if planning to swim. If in
the environment and doubt speak to a lifeguard or the
• Keep to paths. • Keep dogs under control at all times.
yourselves. beach patrol. • Don’t forget the suntan lotion.

IN ORDER TO UPDATE OUR RECORDS PLEASE COMPLETE AND RETURN

q I would prefer to receive my copy of Coastlines via post Send to:

coastLINES
Please complete and return to Sefton MBC

q I would prefer to receive my copy of Coastlines via email Sefton Council


Please send your name and email address to info@seftoncoast .org.uk
Planning & Economic
If you would like to subscribe to Coastlines please send your name and address/email address
Development
to either the address at Sefton Council, Planning & Economic Development Department or by
email to info@seftoncoast.org.uk Department
Magdalen House
Name
30 Trinity Road
Address Bootle
email L20 3NJ
Coastlines is available throughout Sefton Libraries and can be downloaded from the website at
www.seftoncoast.org.uk
NB: ANY INFORMATION SUPPLIED WILL BE PROGRAMMED INTO A COMPUTER IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE 1998 COMPUTER DATA PROTECTION ACT

24

Related Interests