Nature and Wildlife

The Sefton Coast is of international importance for birds and for its rare dune habitats and species.

The extensive foreshore zone along the Sefton Coast is part of the Liverpool Bay complex of estuarine habitats. The sand dunes of the Sefton Coast form the largest dune system in England. Habitats include embryo dunes, mobile dunes, fixed dunes, dune slacks, dune scrub and dune heath. Rare species include Sand Lizard, Natterjack Toad, Great-crested Newt and Petalwort (a bryophyte). The extensive coastal pinewoods support a thriving population of the Red Squirrel.

The coast is protected through a series of designations. The intertidal foreshores, salt marsh and grazing marshes form part of the 12,400 hectare Ribble and Alt Estuaries Special Protection Area (EU Birds Directive). This area, along with the wet slack system in the dunes, is also designated as a Ramsar Site (internationally important wetlands).

The Sefton Coast Special Area of Conservation (EU Habitats Directive) covers 4,500 hectares of beach and dune habitats.

In 2000 a number of sites were amalgamated to form the Sefton Coast Site of Special scientific Interest.

In 1999 a conservation strategy was prepared for the Special Area of Conservation. In 2007 a revised nature conservation strategy for the whole Sefton Coast will be prepared to support the Sefton Coast Management Plan.

In February 2006 a consultation period on an Issues Report and draft principles was launched. The documents and a response form can be found on the consultation pages of this site.

On these pages you will find:

  • details of the nature conservation designations on the Sefton Coast.

  • information on habitats and species lists for selected flora and fauna.

  • dune habitat management including a summary of the Sefton Coast Life Project, conservation awards and Best Practice guidelines.

  • Biodiversity Action Plans

    Chestnut fencing