Red Squirrel Reserve
Featured Location Guide
|The pine woods here are home to one of the
best known homes for Red Squirrels in England.
It is owned and managed by the National Trust
and they work day and night to protect the 200 Red Squirrels that live in the
It's on a wonderful stretch of unspoilt
coastline set between the sea and Formby town, offering miles of walks through
the woods and dunes. There are interesting plants and birds to be found, as well
of course as the cute Red Squirrel.
So what does it have:
- Stunning stretch of unspoilt coastline
- Long sandy beaches and attractive pine woods
- Playful red squirrels, often brave enough to
scamper up close and take your offerings
- Search for 5,000-year-old red deer
footprints on the beach.
It is a magical place to visit. Although the
squirrels here are wild and can move about amongst the woodland and surrounding
area. Like any animal they know where their bread is buttered and because of the
tourists and regular visitors here they are attracted to stay and they just love
to be looked at and photographed. You will see them in the trees, on the ground,
amongst the vegetation and even running across the path in front of you. They
scurry about and move quite quickly, but when they settle they are a joy to
photograph, usually doing some task or other like feeding, burying their food,
washing themselves or even chasing each other. You can catch them going up or
down trees and they will look at you. You can put down peanuts in an area you
would like them to pose for your shots and at least some will oblige.
Some images for the Red Squirrels at Formby
The National Trust run a car park alongside the
Squirrel Reserve for access to the beach beyond, and this carries a charge,
however entering the pinewoods where the squirrels are is free entry, and
therefore if you park in another location and walk to the reserve there is
nothing to pay. On entering the pinewoods from the car park you follow a marked
pathway, by marked I mean they have a waist high fence running either side of
the path which visitors follow and this allows the ground around the trees to
remain protected from heavy footfall. The squirrels tend to stay behind these
fences most of the time, but they will climb and go over the fence if they want
to get to another area. There are other parts in the woodland where you can get
closer to the trees and walk amongst the vegetation.
You will find that if you leave nuts or
something for them to eat, they will retrieve it and come close enough for you
to get some great photographs. They are used to tourists. How many you see will
depend on the weather conditions, time of day when you visit and how active they
are. I have visited three times over the past couple of years and have seen
different numbers on each visit, but each time have seen something.
|There are other places around
with the same sort of woodland and vegetation where you may also see them,
like this picture which was taken at nearby Freshfield, and the Ainsdale
I have also been told that the nearby graveyard
in Formby church also has visiting Red Squirrels who are enticed and encouraged
by the graveyard visitors having food to hand.
Taken at nearby Freshfields
Formby Pinewoods and Red Squirrel Reserve,
From Liverpool, follow signs to Southport
until you join the A565. Follow the brown signs from the roundabout at the
North end of Formby by-pass.
Ample parking facilities and access to the
squirrel viewing areas for prams and wheelchairs. Braille guide. Baby
Car park which also copes with beach access.
Gate closes to park at 5.30pm (Mar-Oct) and 4pm (Nov-Dec)
Toilets open 9am-5.30pm. Refreshments provided
by ice cream vans dotted around site. Picnic tables
Things To Do,
See and Photograph:
Children's quiz trail. Signposted squirrel
What to take:
Camera (great close-up photo opportunities),
comfortable shoes and windproof jacket.
Red Squirrels. Woodland walks. Bird watching.
Formby Pinewoods and Red Squirrel Reserve
Open daily during daylight hours. Closed 25th
Free entry to reserve. However NT run a car
park which covers reserve and beach which costs £3.70 per car, free to NT
Special Needs Access:
Grounds partly accessible, undulating terrain.
Beach access difficult. Squirrel reserve is sand covered.
Special Needs Facilities:
Disabled toilets at top of car park
Baby changing facilities. Children's
Must be kept on leads around the squirrel
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