Saving England's most threatened species from extinction


Gems in the Dunes

Sunshine on the Sefton coast – a reminder of last year’s surveys

Last week during the wonderful sunny weather, I noticed hundreds of St Marks flies hanging round outside my window whilst working at home, so called because they emerge around St Marks day - 25th April. They reminded me of this time last year when I was out surveying in the sand dunes on the Sefton...

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Sand Lizard – Volunteer Surveying

I saw my first sand lizard in the 1960s at Ainsdale, when I was aged about ten. The car would be parked on the beach, and we would climb over the frontal dunes to the dune slack area, looking for whatever creatures were in the water. That is where I saw my first newt and...

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Arty Gems in the Dunes!

Outdoor Art in the Dunes Sarah Jane Richards on Painting in the Dunes........ It was a blustery windy day on Sunday as we met at the st Lukes Church. There was a good mixture of people, a few were regular visitors to the life boat road beach, living locally and walking it regularly, others came...

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The Perfect Pond!

The Perfect Pond! What a difference a year makes – this time last year we were in the middle of a heatwave clocking temperatures close to 30, and now, well the forecast says it’s at least 16 degrees outside but the rain is definitely making it feel cooler. The rain isn’t all bad however, in...

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Gems of 2018

When I tried to pick out one thing to focus on from my volunteering experiences with Gems in the Dunes over the last year, I found it was an impossible task!  Looking back over all the talks, walks, training, habitat management and surveys I have been involved in, I decided to showcase my favourite Sefton...

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“Have you lost something?”

“Have you lost something?” It's a question I hear surprisingly often in this job and it isn’t hard to see why. Imagine walking your dog through the sand dunes and you come across a group of people on their hands and knees with their faces close to the ground. It isn’t a group of people...

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Natterjacks, Petalwort and custard creams!

Tuesday 19th June saw a large party of us (volunteers) creating a new “dune scrape” in the dunes north of Ainsdale beach.  A dune scrape is where a wet hollow is created in the dunes, with the intention of providing a habitat for species such as Natterjack Toads and Petalwort, amongst others.  On the day...

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Gems in the Dunes is ready for 2018

In our last two Willow Tit blogs, we introduced the project itself and then looked at why it’s been chosen for Back from the Brink. In this blog piece, we’re focussing on how you can spot a Willow Tit and what you can do when that happens.

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Introducing Gems in the Dunes

Having grown up around coastal sand dunes I believe it is the most interesting of all UK biotopes. Sand dunes are such unique environments existing only where a particular set of conditions allow. Their uniqueness allows species which tend to thrive in much warmer climates, exist on the Sefton Coast way beyond what many would have thought their natural range.

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