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 helped save Sefton's threatened wildlife
This Back from the Brink project, led by the Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust, worked with key partners and landowners along the Sefton Coast, to carry out various habitat management tasks. These directly improved the quality of the habitat for Natterjacks, Sand Lizards, the impressive Northern Dune Tiger Beetle and many others.
Vital to all of this was helping the public to recognise the importance and vulnerability of the dunes. We offered a range of activities to get them interested and involved, including monitoring, habitat management, walks, talks and a whole host more!
How to get involved
Gems in the Dunes has now come to an end, but there are still plenty of ways to help out on the coast. Local partners such as, North Merseyside Amphibian and Reptile Group (NMARG), Natural England, National Trust, Sefton Council and the Wildlife Trusts for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside have a variety of volunteer opportunities available.
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