Ainsdale Sand Dunes Nature Reserve

Tel: 01704 578774

Website: www.naturalengland.org.uk/

Ainsdale sand dunesThis beautiful reserve, managed by Natural England, is one of the most important wildlife sites in England, and a place where visitors can really get close to nature. The landscape is perfect for a leisurely stroll through the magnificent scenery of dunes, pinewoods and golden sands, while children can enjoy the wide open spaces of the huge sandy beaches.

Ainsdale National Nature Reserve is one of the best remaining strongholds for the rare natterjack toad, Europe’s loudest amphibian. Red squirrels can occasionally be seen in amongst the reserve’s pine forests too, while sand lizards, great-crested newts and a fantastic variety of orchids and other wildflowers can also be found here during the spring and summer.

The reserve has a network of around eight miles of footpaths marked with coloured topped posts. The Woodland Path and Fisherman’s Path are accessible by bike, pushchairs and wheelchairs, and there is a fully accessible picnic area to take a well earned rest along Woodland Path.

For an extra special experience they also put on family events, nature trails and open days occasionally throughout the year. Just a 15 minute stroll from Ainsdale Station to the north or Freshfield Station from the south, Ainsdale NNR is a fabulous nature reserve to visit any time of year. Why not try visiting on your bike, bikes travel free on the Merseyrail network?

Alternatively, hire a bike from the Eco Centre or train station in Southport, you can ride to the reserve and catch the train back, or alternatively ride both ways. It’s a wonderful way to see the area.