Still plenty to see on walks de­spite start of hi­ber­na­tion

Midweek Visiter - - The Sefton Coast - with John Dempsey

THAT hour go­ing back re­ally makes the dif­fer­ence doesn’t it? Night falls ear­lier, and many species are al­ready dor­mant or hi­ber­nat­ing along the coast.

But there’s still plenty to see as the days get shorter, and con­di­tions are of­ten per­fect for ex­plor­ing.

So we’re launch­ing a short se­ries of walks be­tween now and Christ­mas aimed at get­ting you out into ar­eas less of­ten vis­ited along the Sefton coast at a qui­eter, more re­flec­tive time of year.

I’ll be lead­ing the walks, and look for­ward to see­ing some fa­mil­iar and new faces.

As with all of our out­door events, you’ll need warm, wa­ter­proof cloth­ing and stout walk­ing shoes or boots, and al­though free, book­ing for these events is es­sen­tial (but that’s the easy bit).

For more in­for­ma­tion on these walks, or to book a place, please call 0151 934 2964 or email land­scape.part­ner­ship@ sefton.gov.uk

Our first walk will be set­ting off from out­side Merseyrail’s Water­loo sta­tion in Crosby at 10am on Fri­day, Novem­ber 17.

We’ll be trekking down to the coast and then north to Hightown, say­ing “howdy” to Antony Gorm­ley’s “An­other Place” iron men, then stop­ping off at the re­mains of his­toric Fort Crosby be­fore en­joy­ing the dunes and Alt es­tu­ary.

The walk will end at Hightown train sta­tion at 1pm.

On Tues­day, Novem­ber 21, we will meet at Birk­dale Sta­tion at 10am, and head down Weld Road to walk the north­ern sec­tion of the Green Beach and Queens Ju­bilee Na­ture Trail, pass­ing South­port Pier and com­plet­ing a cir­cuit round South­port’s ma­rine lake, be­fore end­ing the walk at South­port train sta­tion at 1pm.

We’ll be dis­cussing how our coast­line is chang­ing, how it looked in the past and what it may look like in the fu­ture.

If we’re lucky we may en­counter some wildlife, es­pe­cially win­ter­ing birds, so don’t for­get your binoc­u­lars.

Then on Fri­day, De­cem­ber 1, we’ll be ven­tur­ing into the pinewoods of Ains­dale Na­tional Na­ture Re­serve, walk­ing from Fresh­field Sta­tion (meet at 10am) north through the trees to fin­ish at Ains­dale Sta­tion at 1.30pm.

The pines can be an at­mo­spheric place in the depths of win­ter, but there are still sur­prises to look out for up in the dark canopy…

Hope­fully any­one with an in­ter­est in the cul­tural and nat­u­ral her­itage of the coast will find these walks in­ter­est­ing – and any walk along our coast is great ex­er­cise, what­ever the weather.

Fi­nally with sheep and cat­tle back at sev­eral sites along the Sefton coast for the con­ser­va­tion graz­ing sea­son, can I re­mind all dog own­ers that it is im­per­a­tive that their pets are kept un­der close con­trol and well away from live­stock in fenced graz­ing ar­eas.

The Sefton Coast Land­scape Part­ner­ship pro­motes the cul­tural and nat­u­ral her­itage of the Sefton coast and is sup­ported by Sefton Coun­cil, Nat­u­ral England, the Na­tional Trust, Lan­cashire Wildlife Trust, the RSPB and the Mersey For­est. This col­umn looks at the flora, fauna and his­tory of the coast­line, and the work the var­i­ous part­ners carry out to pro­tect it.

The pinewoods of Ains­dale Na­tional Na­ture Re­serve

Dave McAleavy

South­port Pier

Win­ter­ing waders off Weld Rd

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