Nature and Wildlife Designations

The main nature conservation designation in the UK is the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). A suite of SSSIs have been declared on the Sefton Coast and a further site, the Mersey Narrows, is proposed. English Nature have proposed an amalgamation and extension of five of the dune SSSIs to form a new site Sefton Coast SSSIs. The SSSIs have been used to identify Ramsar sites, Special Protection Areas and Special Areas of Conservation.

The International designation of Ramsar site is applied to the Ribble and Alt Estuaries Ramsar site.

The European designation of Special Protection Area under the Birds, Directive is applied to the Ribble and Alt Estuaries SPA.

The European designation of Special Area of Conservation is applied to the Sefton Coast SAC.

Statutory Nature Reserves include the Ribble Estuary NNR, Ainsdale Sand Dunes NNR, Cabin Hill NNR, Ainsdale and Birkdale Sandhills LNR and Ravenmeols Sandhills LNR. In addition land is managed for nature conservation by the RSPB, Lancashire Wildlife Trust and the National Trust.

Other sites are given regional/local protection through identification as Regionally Important Geological/geomorphological Sites (RIGS) and (in Sefton) Sites of Local Biological Interest (SLBI).

More information and GIS datasets are available on the English Nature website.

Designation maps

Click on each thumbnail map for more detail. Close map window before viewing another map.

SSSI & NNR Sefton SSSI & NNR map Ramsar Sefton Ramsar map SAC & SPA Sefton cSAC & SPA map LNR & SLBI Sefton LNR & SLBI map

dunescape copyright sefton coast partnership