What is the habitat of Gems in the Dunes?
Sand dunes are wonderful places, but they are very fragile. The dunes of the Sefton Coast, stretching from Southport to Seaforth, form the largest undeveloped dune system in England. They are home to some real gems, including one of our rarest reptiles, the colourful Sand Lizard, and the scarce Natterjack, a charming little toad. There are also many other special plants and invertebrates, all depending on the dunes.
Why is this habitat at risk?
Sand dune systems are extremely vulnerable to a number of pressures. These include urban development, overgrowth of vegetation and frequent human disturbance. Unfortunately, many of the species that live in the dunes need very specific conditions to exist. All of this means that a significant number of species face extinction here if the dunes are lost to them.
How we’ll save Sefton's threatened wildlife
This Back from the Brink project, led by the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust, is determined to ensure a safe future for these creatures and plants. We will work with key partners and landowners along the Sefton Coast, to carry out various habitat management tasks. These should directly improve the quality of the habitat for Natterjacks, Sand Lizards, the impressive Northern Dune Tiger Beetle and many others.
Vital to all of this is helping the public to recognise the importance and vulnerability of the dunes. We will offer a range of activities to get them interested and involved, including monitoring, habitat management, walks, talks and a whole host more!
What we’re aiming for
By the end of the Project, we aim to ensure that people will have become as involved and passionate about the sand dunes of Sefton and the gems that live there, as we are. In this way, we hope to secure their future for future generations.
How to get involved
Can you help us by getting involved with surveys, or with management for the gems in the dunes? Find out more at our talks, walks and events.
You can get the latest news, and find out about upcoming events, by following the links below.
Petalwort and bryum survey season starts
Volunteer winter works underway
Data collation from 2020 summer surveys
Final large-scale habitat management work continue
Practical volunteer tasks continue to improve the sand dune habitat
Petalwort and bryum surveys continue
Coastal change workshop for land managers
Virtual events to engage with the local community, increasing knowledge and experience of the landscapes
Species survey training workshops for volunteers; natterjack toad, sand lizard and northern dune tiger beetle
Monitoring to see how the areas of improved dunes are benefitting species
Coast-wide volunteer species surveys of natterjack toad, sand lizard and northern dune tiger beetles
Volunteer led species surveys continue
Project wraps up – reports, data and resources finalised and distributed
Final species survey submitted
Join ARC for one of two amazing Expert Days on the stunning Sefton Coast - the largest undeveloped dune system in England. It's a fantastic opportunity to spend a day with a wildlife expert in their specialist field.
What to expect
- A whole day (approximately 6 hours) accompanied by a wildlife expert.
- Yourself and if you wish, up to 4 friends or family can join you.
- The wildlife expert will, over the course of the day, take you out in the field to try to find the species.
- Note: finding one of the species to observe in the wild cannot be guaranteed. However, you will spend plenty of time in the habitat and landscape that the species inhabits, with an expert who knows best how to spot them.
- You will learn how the species is conserved, how and why it is threatened, and what is known about that species’ life history.
What you receive
- Exclusive attention of the wildlife expert for you / your group.
- Demonstrations of survey and conservation techniques.
- Lunch at a local location, or picnic in the field if weather permits.
- Goody-bag of things to take away: information about the species and the charity, and how you might be able to help further in future.
Note: we will ensure Expert Days are carried out according to the current social distancing and other safety guidelines. For further details and to discuss your particular circumstances and preferences, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note - we would love people to get involved with the project by volunteering to carry out surveys - it's an exciting way to learn more about the species who inhabit the dunes and surrounding area.
In order for this to be as effective and accurate as possible a little training is required. If you are interested please contact via the email address above.
Thank you - Amphibian & Reptile Conservation Trust