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Ainsdale Sand Dunes
National Nature Reserve

Ainsdale, Lancashire

Quick Guide
See below grid for details

Four miles south from Southport is the Ainsdale Nature reserve. A peaceful nature reserve, which is home to some of the best sand dune wildlife in Britain.  The Ainsdale Sand Dunes National Nature Reserve (NNR) totals 508 ha and forms part of the Sefton Coast, a dune system on the north-west coast of England. It contains a range of habitats, including intertidal sand flats, embryo dunes, high mobile yellow dunes, fixed vegetated dunes, wet dune slacks, areas of deciduous scrub and a predominantly pine woodland.

Key species include sand lizard, natterjack toad, great crested newt, various rare butterflies, dune helleborine and pendulous flowered helleborine. The pine woodland also supports a healthy population of red squirrels.

The Dunes Pool in Ainsdale dunes is home to Natterjack toads who hibernate by burrowing into the dunes, emerge and spawn in the pools from March, followed by tadpoles around May and baby toads from June.

Several pathways go through the site including the TransPennine Trail, the Cheshire Lines Path, the Sefton Coastal Footpath. There is also a local trail from Freshfield called Fisherman's Path that marks much of the reserve's southern boundary. The main hard path is suitable for disabled and cycling.

The beach at Ainsdale away from the dunes which are protected are used for Kite and Kite buggy racing.

Ainsdale Nature Reserve
by markhsal


Ainsdale Sand Dunes
   Matthew Armstrong

Ainsdale Nature Reserve
Gary Rogers

Dune Pool
David Hawgood

Ainsdale Sands

Ainsdale Nature Reserve
Tom Pennington

Beach Kite Buggy Racing

Also see this link for more details on this reserve and others in the area.

Location: Ainsdale Sand Dunes National Nature Reserve

Grid Reference: SD292110 Ceremonial County: Lancashire

Map Link: Multimap

Aerial photo: Google Aerial

Getting there: Between Ainsdale 2km to north and Freshfield 2km to south of the A565.

Website: http://www.sandsoftime.hope.ac.uk/sefton-coast/ainsdale-sanddunes.htm
Other Useful Websites:
Address: English Nature, 2 West End Lodge, Pinfold Lane, Ainsdale, Southport
Postcode: PR8 3QW Telephone: 01704 578774
Opening Times: Access to reserve by permit only, apply to address above. However there is open access along public footpaths.


Nearby Locations:  Ainsdale Beach and Coastline ;  Birkdale Sandhills , Formby Pinewoods and Red Squirrels Reserve
Other Location Pages:  Formby Pinewoods and Red Squirrels Reserve ;
 Leighton Moss RSPB reserve
; Martin Mere Wetland Centre
Other Relevant Pages:






This page is a Quick Guide, the idea of Quick Guides is to allow very basic information and linking forward information to be added to the system rather than having to wait until a full location guide has been developed. It should therefore be considered a development stage rather than a finished objective. Once more information is known the objective is to create either a Location or Featured Location page which has two grids and far more information.

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By: Tracey Park Section: Nature Reserves Key:
Page Ref: Ainsdale_reserve Topic: Nature  Last Updated: 07/2009


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