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Reminders for visiting Sefton’s beaches

Sefton Council is providing a few reminders for people planning on visiting Sefton’s glorious coastline.

Stretching for 22 miles the Sefton coast, which is also a protected haven for nature, attracts visitors from across the Borough, the City Region and the whole of England’s North West.

Travel Smart

Those thinking about visiting one of Sefton’s coastal gateways are being encouraged to travel safely, thinking about ways to walk or cycle where they can.

Southport, Ainsdale and Crosby beach are all RNLI lifeguarded beaches with natural beauty and fantastic facilities.

And they are in easy walking distance from Merseyrail stations such as Southport, Birkdale, Hillside, Ainsdale, Hall Road, Blundellsands & Crosby and Waterloo.

You can plan your Merseyrail  journeys and find timetables and service updates here.

Those who do drive should plan ahead to avoid traffic delays and are reminded to park responsibly and considerately, away from residential areas.

Ainsdale and Southport Beach Parking

Aindsdale Beach Car Park

On-beach car parking will be available at Ainsdale-On-Sea and the car park will be open until 7pm.

The men’s, women’s, and disabled toilet facilities have now re-opened at Ainsdale for the summer season.

Accessible toilets are also available at Crosby Coastal Park.

Southport beach car park is currently remain closed due to poor sand condition.


Beach car parking charges for 2023 are:

  • £10 per day for cars at Ainsdale beach
  • £16 per day for horseboxes or minibuses
  • 50% off the above rates after 4pm subject to car parking management arrangements
  • £35 season ticket for Sefton residents and those who drive an electric or hybrid vehicle
  • £70 season ticket for non-Sefton residents

The car parks operate a cashless payment system as a preference.

You can buy your money-saving season ticket here.

Car parking for the beach at Formby is managed by the National Trust, who have lots of helpful tips for anyone planning a visit there, at

Environmental sensitivity

Visitors are also reminded of the environmental sensitivities and how they can play their role in protecting the landscape by taking litter home.

Natterjack Toads, one of Sefton’s rarest native species, are emerging from hibernation, please keep dogs out of pools and flooded areas along our coastline

A Natterjack Toad. Picture by Phil Smith.
A Natterjack Toad. Picture by Phil Smith

Fires, BBQs, balloon releases, and fireworks have a detrimental impact on Sefton’s wildlife and are not allowed anywhere at the coast. Failure to comply risks a Fixed Penalty Notice or prosecution.

The range of dune habitats and rare species found along Sefton’s coast are unique and protected as a site of special scientific interest. Please do your bit to keep our natural coast clean and safe for all to enjoy.

You can find out more about Sefton’s coast and its important role in protecting and nurturing UK wildlife here. 

Green Sefton staff awarded prestigious playground accreditation

Sefton Council staff have joined a prestigious register of people qualified to undertake inspections of play facilities.

The RPII (Register of Play Inspectors International) is the official body for examining, accrediting, and certificating inspectors of indoor, outdoor, and inflatable play, throughout the UK.

Reflecting the Council’s commitment to having the best qualified and trained safety staff, three Green Sefton staff members undertook the RPII training course late last year. They have now been officially accredited as RPII Operational Inspectors, joining only 4,000 others registered to this level worldwide.

The team will be applying the expert qualification to Sefton’s 99 play facility sites.

Improvements to South Park

The Council has invested an additional £200,000 into maintaining children’s play facilities.

This funding will allow parks like South Park, one of the largest play facilities in Sefton, to receive investment and improvement works.In 2023, works will begin to install a new toddler play unit, an evoke swing and new springers. And existing equipment will also receive a fresh lick of paint.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “To have three staff qualified with an internationally leading accreditation is a huge asset to our Borough’s parks and greenspaces. And it reflects the Council’s ongoing commitment to play areas for children.

“We have all felt the importance of our parks and play facilities over the last few years, and we are determined to deliver improvements that will benefit families and young people in Sefton.”

Jon Dalton, Managing Director of the Play Inspection Company said: “Norman, Chris and Paul are all RPII Qualified Operational Inspectors and have been certified competent to undertake both Routine and Operational inspections on playgrounds, multi-use games areas, skate parks and outdoor exercise equipment and therefore help to ensure that this equipment is kept adequately maintained and safe for public use in Sefton parks.”

SHOL announce expansion plans after success of The Lake House

Following the success of its first seven months running The Lake House at Waterloo and the popularity of its Beach House food and drink outlet at Ainsdale, Sefton Hospitality Operations Ltd (SHOL) is now looking at expanding its operations.

SHOL is a Sefton Council-owned, arm’s-length company which operates The Lake House in Waterloo.

Located alongside the Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre, The Lake House comprises a new cafe bar and restaurant, conference and events spaces and 14 refurbished rooms for guests to stay over.

Since it opened under SHOL’s management in August 2022, The Lake House has been a huge success.

Sustainable and dog-friendly

The venue has served over 20,000 teas and coffees, and received over 2,000 dog visits, many of which are regular canine customers.

Customers have rated their experience as ‘Excellent’ on both and Trip Advisor, while staff turnover is well below the hospitality industry rate.

And over 80% of staff are Sefton residents, reflecting SHOL’s mission to create jobs for local people.

Sustainability is at the heart of operations at The Lake House who have adopted the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, while utilising local and seasonal ingredients to minimise food miles and support local businesses.

Recognising the popularity of the venue with dog owners, its dog-friendly areas are being expanded this year.

Expansion plans

As Sefton Council expands and improves facilities for visitors to Ainsdale Beach in 2023, SHOL will be providing food and drink through its Beach House pop-up.

SHOL are also exploring options to reopen the White House Café, for the public and golfers alike, while the Council continues to explore longer-term options and opportunities for Southport Golf Links.

And SHOL hopes to deliver a much-needed food and drink outlet to Bootle Town Hall and bring the currently-unused areas of the spectacular building back to life.

Cllr Marion Atkinson, Sefton Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Skills, said:

“We are delighted that SHOL has met our aims by providing the customer experience that has made The Lake House so popular with visitors, while at the same time providing local people with first-rate employment opportunities.

“And I am excited to see the company now looking to build on its success by returning to its pop-up at Ainsdale beach over the summer, and explore options to create new hospitality offerings at Southport Golf Links.”

“Plus, dog owners will be able enjoy access to more areas of the Lake House which will no doubt result in even more happy customers and wagging tails.”

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “It is fantastic to see SHOL making the most of our incredible coastline and working to enhance the hospitality offering for residents and visitors alike.

“I’m sure many residents will be pleased to hear that SHOL are also exploring options to bring back assets such as the White House Café at Southport golf course.”

Sefton Council stage fly-tip to raise profile of the issue locally

This week Sefton Council has launched a campaign to tackle the epidemic of fly-tipping that is affecting communities up and down the country.

#CrimeNotToCare, which is being run in partnership with environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, aims to educate householders about the right thing to do with their rubbish and to reduce the amount of household waste that is fly-tipped by rogue traders who offer to take people’s waste away for money and then dump it.

The campaign aims to spread the message that if an individual’s waste is fly-tipped, even if they gave it to a third party to dispose of, they can be prosecuted and end up with a fine and a criminal record.

To raise the profile of the issue locally, the Council’s Green Sefton service hosted a staged fly-tip in Poets Park, Bootle made up of items collected from the area.

Keep Britain Tidy Poets Park fly-tipping stunt

Twenty black bags, three bed frames, a fridge freezer, washing machine and pram were among the items found fly-tipped early Tuesday morning on streets surrounding the Park.

The items were dressed in crime scene tape to raise awareness of the environmental damage of fly-tipping and start conversations between Council staff and the local community on ways to combat this issue collectively.

The Council’s Cleansing team were on hand to dispose of the fly-tipped items in a timely manner following the stunt.

Cllr Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “At this time of year, many residents may be spring cleaning their homes and having a clear out. We need our residents to understand that their rubbish is their responsibility.”

Cllr Lappin, Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services said: “Crime Not To Care campaign highlights the fact that residents can be taken to court and fined for giving their waste to an unlicensed waste carrier, who then goes on to fly-tip the items.

“Fly-tipping is a criminal offence and we want to remind residents that both littering and fly-tipping can lead to a Fixed Penalty Notice or prosecution.”

Keep Britain Tidy Chief Executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “#CrimeNotToCare is an important campaign for our country and we are delighted that Sefton Council is partnering with us on it.

“There are almost a million fly-tipping incidents in England every year and cleaning it all up costs us more than £50million a year.

“Giving it to a ‘man with a van’ who offers to get rid of it cheaply could prove costly for people and result in them getting a criminal record. They have a duty of care and this campaign will help explain to them exactly what that is and how to protect themselves.”

Householders using private contractors to remove household, garden or construction waste must make sure the company or individual is a registered waste carrier. Residents are advised to:

Ask the person who collects your waste to see their registration – it should start with CBDU, followed by a set of numbers. Take a photo if possible.

Ring the Environment Agency on 03708 506506 to check their credentials or visit their website:

Ask where they’re proposing to take your waste and if they have a waste transfer note.

Don’t pay cash. Ask for an invoice and pay by a secure payment method or cheque, so payments can be traced if the waste is fly-tipped.

If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. If you’re hiring a skip, the average cost should be around £150.

Never agree to cold callers offering any type of home improvements work, roofing, gardening services, tree surgery or household waste removal.

Not checking if you’re hiring a registered operator could be more expensive in the long run, as householders can face an unlimited fine for failing to hire an authorised waste carrier.

You can expect to see a ‘Waste Carrier Registration’ for these types of businesses:

  • All building and associated trades;
  • Landscape gardeners, tree fellers and surgeons;
  • House clearers;
  • Retail establishments and;
  • Scrap metal dealers.

Residents can also dispose of their waste at Sefton’s Household Recycling and Waste Centres run by the Merseyside Recycling and Waste Authority. Find the locations and site opening times here.

Alternatively, Sefton Council also operate a Bulky Waste collection service. Find out more here.

People invited to have their say on Sefton Council’s revised Licensing Policy

Sefton Council are seeking views on a revised version of the Statement of Licensing Policy.

Under the Licensing Act 2003 regulations, councils are required to publish a policy statement which forms the basis for deciding any applications submitted under the Act.

The Licensing Act 2003, as introduced by Government, has the following four objectives:

1. The prevention of crime and disorder;

2. Public safety;

3. The prevention of public nuisance; and

4. The protection of children from harm.

The policy remains in place for five years and is due to be replaced with a revised version in December 2023.

A public consultation running from Monday 3rd April to Monday 5th June 2023, will provide residents an opportunity to review the draft policy and feedback their thoughts.

The Licensing Unit will also be seeking the views of key partners, including Merseyside Police and Public Health colleagues.

Chair of the Licensing & Regulatory Committee, Councillor John Kelly, said: “We are consulting with operators and businesses in the licensed trade and we also want the views of local residents.

“Any opinions on the licensed trade, on how we can meet the Licensing Act objectives, are welcome and the draft revised Licensing Policy will be available in local libraries and on the Sefton Council public consultation portal.”

The revised policy and online survey will be available on Your Sefton Your Say (the Council’s consultation portal) from Monday 3rd April:

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