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Green Sefton celebrate World Sand Dune Day with guided dune walks

Saturday 25 June is World Sand Dune Day, a day celebrated annually by coastal communities and projects across the world.

Established in 2021 by Dynamic Dunescapes and Sands of LIFE, two projects working to restore coastal sand dune systems, the day offers an opportunity to highlight the importance of sand dunes.

Ainsdale sand dunes
Ainsdale Sand Dunes. Photo by Natural England

Along Sefton’s natural coast we are fortunate to have one of the best ranges of dunes in the country and one of the most important dune stretches in Europe.

The Dynamic Dunescapes project has worked on a number of activities on our Nature Reserves, including control of the invasive Rosa rugosa and scrub removal at Queen’s Jubilee Nature Trail in Southport.

Most of the work to the sand dunes can only take place in the winter months to avoid disturbance to breeding species, so summer is a time to enjoy the spectacle of the dunes.

Guided Dune Walks

To mark the occasion, John Dempsey from the Council’s Green Sefton service will be running two free guided walks in the natural splendour of Ainsdale Local Nature Reserve on Friday 24 June and Saturday 25 June.

The first event will explore the dunes south of Shore Road at Ainsdale, while the Saturday trek will take place in the nature reserve north of Shore Road.

The walks are taking place as follows:

  • Friday 24 June – Meeting at Ainsdale Discovery Centre (PR8 2QB), running from 1pm to 4pm
  • Saturday 25 June – Meeting at Ainsdale Discovery Centre (PR8 2QB), running from 10am to 2pm

Booking is essential for the walks and unfortunately, both are now full.

Dynamic Dunescapes Ainsdale event

However, the Dynamic Dunescapes team will also be at Ainsdale National Nature Reserve to host their World Sand Dunes Day event on Saturday 25 June, from 10am to 3pm.

There will be lots of free activities running throughout the day, from Tai-Chi to Viking dress up. There is no need to book, people can pop along to Pinfold Meadow and join in the fun. To find out more, people can head to Dyanmic Dunescapes website.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “Sand dunes are among the most threatened habitat on the planet due to climate change, invasive species, and people pressure.

“It is fantastic to be celebrating and highlighting the importance of Sefton’s dynamic sand dunes. Our natural coast is a cherished asset among our local communities and visitors alike, and it is wonderful to see many free events available for people to learn more about our special landscapes.”

People can also get involved by sharing photographs of the dunes over on social media! Don’t forget to tag us @seftoncouncil / @greensefton_ and use the hashtag #WorldSandDuneDay


Sefton Council supports RLSS Drowning Prevention Week campaign

The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), have launched a brand-new animation to encourage children to get learn more about water safety as part of their national Drowning Prevention Week campaign.

Over 400 people die each year in the UK and Ireland from accidental drowning.

In a recent survey, only 30% of parents surveyed said they are ‘very confident’ that their child knows how to stay safe in and around water, which leaves a lot of parents less confident that their child would know how to stay safe around water. As well as this the survey showed that of those surveyed only one in five children have had any formal water safety education at school in the last year, showing that there is a gap to be filled for children when it comes to understanding water safety.

Even for parents of children who can swim, there is still much to be done, as research conducted by RLSS UK shows that despite 88% of parents whose children have swimming lessons being confident their child knows how to stay safe in and around water, the statistics show there is still a concern for swimmers. In RLSS UK’s analysis of 76 accidental drownings of 8-18 year-olds in the UK, 61% were described as swimmers.

Lee Heard, Charity Director at RLSS UK said: “With June, July, and August proving to be the months with the most fatalities, it is vitally important that everyone has an understanding of water safety, especially during the summer months, and we believe it is never too early to start learning about water safety.

“We have seen a rise in the number of drownings over the last few years, with peaks during the summer. In July 2021, there were 49 accidental drowning fatalities in the space of just two weeks in the UK, and we know that with the right water safety knowledge, accidental drownings are avoidable.

With this in mind, for Drowning Prevention Week this year, RLSS UK have launched a brand new animation which is freely available to watch on YouTube to give parents the opportunity to engage their children in learning about water safety in a fun way.

For more information on the campaign and tips to keep yourself safe this summer, please visit the RLSS website

Sefton Council thanks volunteers for immense contribution during Volunteer’s Week 2022

Sefton Council is saying “thank you” to the hundreds of volunteers who give up their spare time to give back to the Borough, as Volunteer’s Week 2022 comes to an end.

During an exceptionally difficult couple of years, people in Sefton have taken the time to volunteer and make a huge difference to their communities – just as they do every year.

The contribution of volunteers is often unseen and unrecognised by many, visible only through the incredible impact of their volunteering. However, the coronavirus pandemic has rightly raised the profile of volunteering and more people than ever are aware of the immense contribution being made every single day by volunteers.

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, has paid tribute to the Borough’s volunteers, saying they set a shining example to our communities.

Cllr Hardy said: “Just this past weekend alone we saw many wonderful community events organised by volunteers to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee weekend.

“Thank you to all Sefton volunteers, both past and present! And to those who are considering taking up a volunteering role in the future, I can only stress how vital and appreciated your support will be, whatever you choose to do.”

If anyone would like to volunteer their time, there are so many opportunities to volunteer across Sefton.

Sefton CVS manage Volunteer Centre Sefton and it is a great resource to find out more about what opportunities are out there.  Head to the Volunteer Centre Sefton website to find out how you can get involved.


Sefton’s Girl Guides to light beacon for The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

It has been confirmed today, 1st June 2022, that Guides from Sefton will be lighting a beacon to mark HRH The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee on Thursday evening.

The event will be taking place on the Crosby seafront above the seawall off The Serpentine. This will form part of a nationwide celebration.

It is important to note that this is not a public event.

Approximately 200 Guides and their families will be arriving by coach at the Burbo Bank coastal car park from 8pm.

After activities and games on the beach, Guides will gather around a gas-powered beacon from 9.20pm and will listen to a bagpiper playing “Diu Regnare”, a unique tune written for the Jubilee before singing in tribute to Her Majesty.

The beacon will be lit at 9.50pm and extinguished ten minutes later at 10pm, when the Guides will tidy and leave the site.

Residents are welcome to witness this historic event alongside the Guides should they wish to join in.

Emergency services are fully briefed and aware of the event and Sefton Council has given its approval.

Get Outdoors in Sefton this Half Term

Whether you live in Sefton or are planning a visit, there is an abundance of beautiful outdoors spots that offer something for everyone.

Historic Parks and Greenspaces

Those planning to get out and about over the Half Term break may want to consider a visit to one of Sefton’s parks where playgrounds and sports facilities offer a space for people of all ages to spend time outdoors.

Sefton has over 30 parks across the borough, as well as 61 play areas and 183 open spaces. This ranges from the stunning Botanic Gardens in the north to the historic Derby Park in the south.

Botanic Gardens, located in Churchtown, are renowned for its community-maintained floral displays, aviary and fernery.  For more information, head to

South of the borough is Derby Park, an important cultural asset that was built in 1895! The park has been recognised by its designation as part of the Derby Park Conservation Area and its listing on the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. Facilities at the park include a play area, bowls green, zip wire and a multi-use games area. To learn more, head to:

Natural Coast

Sefton’s environmentally protected coastline stretches for 22 miles from Crosby in the South to Crossens in the North and is a nature haven that offers something for everyone.

In the north there is one of the largest areas of wild dune land left in Britain, the Ainsdale and Birkdale Sandhills Local Nature Reserve. A series of trails leads visitors around the dunes which form the backdrop to magnificent Ainsdale Beach.

For directions and further information, head to:

Further south there’s Crosby Coastal Park, home to Antony Gormley’s famous Iron Men statues. The site is ideal for many informal activities such as birdwatching, flying kites, walking and picnics. Facing west, the beach makes an excellent spot to watch the sunset and there are fantastic views of the Iron Men, the docks and North Wales.

The pop-up food and drink venue, The Bus Yard, has returned to Crosby Coastal Park once more this summer. The Bus Yard is an outdoor space with a fully licensed mobile bar on the lower deck with a roof top terrace and kitchen container serving delicious street food. Check them out on Instagram – @the_bus_yard


It is also home to an incredible array of flora and fauna – from the famous Red Squirrels, to the rare Natterjack Toads and Sand Lizards. The range of dune habitats and rare species found along Sefton’s coast are unique and protected as a site of special scientific interest.

People can play their part in keeping the coast’s precious wildlife safe by taking all their litter home and by not lighting fires or BBQs anywhere at the coast.

To learn more about Sefton’s wildlife and their different activities through the year, people can read our Nature Calendar by heading to:

Travel Smart

Visitors looking to head to the coast are being encouraged to explore travel options such as walking or cycling to avoid traffic jams and delays. And drivers are being urged to be considerate to local residents when parking and to avoid fines by using official parking spaces only.

Car parking is available at both Ainsdale and Southport beaches through the summer months.

Ainsdale, which has 2,000 spaces and Southport, which has 400, are among just a handful of on beach car parks across the UK. Unsurprisingly they are closed at some high tides and there may be limited in capacity at other times.

All day beach parking costs £8 at Southport and £10 at Ainsdale. Prices are halved after 4pm subject to available space and the cost for horseboxes or minibuses at both sites is £16 per day.

This funding provides essential support to contribute to the costs to provide our services and preserve the natural beauty of our coastline for generations to come.

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