Join our Gems in the Dunes team this summer on a series of guided walks and family events and activities. Covering the entire length of the Sefton Sand Dunes, you will be taken around some truly unique sites and discover the 'Gems in the Dunes'! With something for everyone, booking is essential to avoid disappointment.

Guided walks:

Saturday 23rd June             

Ainsdale Local Nature Reserve          10am-12pm

Join the Gems in the Dunes team for a guided walk round the Birkdale sand dunes. The flora and fauna found within the dune system is second to none, we’ll hope to catch a glimpse of the stunning Sand lizard, the tremendous Tiger beetle as well some of the fantastic flowers. This short circular walk with our partners from Sefton Council, will give you a chance to see how full of ‘Gems’ our coast is.         

Meet in the beach car park at Weld Road, Birkdale.      

Saturday 21st July                

Ainsdale National Nature Reserve    10am-12pm

Ainsdale National Nature Reserve is teaming with ‘Gems’, from Sand lizards to Natterjacks and Tiger beetles to the Forester moth, all incredibly special species. On our trail though the reserve with our partners from Natural England, we’ll keep our eyes open for many of the other coastal specialities.

Meeting at the Ainsdale NNR office, Pinfold Lane. No parking available on site so please arrive on foot either via public transport or parking close by.

Sunday 22nd July                 

Freshfield Dune Heath                       10am-12pm

Freshfield Dune Heath is a fantastic nature reserve, and as its name suggested, we’ll find out more about the heathland species found there. We’ve done a family event, and so we’re not leaving anyone out, now it’s time to invite our pet dogs with us, on an event. On this joint event with Lancashire Wildlife Trust, you’ll have a chance to find out how dog walking and nature conservation can work together for the benefit of both ourselves (dogs included), the habitat and the wildlife.

Meet at Freshfield Dune Heath, through the kissing gate at the corner of West Lane and Brewery Lane, Formby, L37 7BB       

Friday 27th July         

Altcar Rifle Range                               7pm-9pm

This is an incredibly rare opportunity to join the Gems in the Dunes team on a tour of Altcar Rifle Range. There is no public access to this part of the coast and so you will be one of only a small group of people lucky enough to see what this incredibly unique and diverse site has to offer.

As this is a secure site, booking is essential before hand as we must give the site notice.

Sunday 29th July

National Trust, Formby                     10am-12pm

Sand lizards, Natterjack toads & Tiger beetles - Formby has the lot! What better way than to start the day than with a walk through the sand dunes, particularly if on the way we’ll see some of the coast’s most fantastic flora & fauna. This is a great opportunity to find out how Gems in the Dunes will be working with partners at the National Trust, enhancing the landscape in Formby for the local wildlife.

Meet at the information board in Lifeboat Road car park, Formby. (Parking charges will apply)     

Wed 15th August

The Green Beach                               7pm-9pm

The newest sand dunes on the Sefton Coast are home to some of the rarest species on the coast, as well as some of our old favourites. Join us for a pleasant evening stroll through the dunes to find out more about Gems in the Dunes and take a look at some of the actual gems!

Meet at the Ainsdale Discovery Centre, PR8 2QB               

Wednesday 22nd August

Ainsdale Local Nature Reserve         7pm-9m

The Ainsdale Local Nature Reserve is a ‘Gem’ on the Sefton Coast. Packed full of life, on our two hour walk we’ll try and do it justice. With our partners from Sefton Council, this is a chance for you to find out more about the Gems in the Dunes project as well as the plants, animals and management work that make it such a special place.

Meet at the Ainsdale Discovery Centre, PR8 2QB

Saturday 1st September

Queens Jubilee Nature Trail              10am-12pm

Queens Jubilee Nature Trail is one of the smallest dune sites along the coast, but good things come in small packages! This very accessible site has a lot to offer including some of the UK's rarest wildlife. Join the Gems in the Dunes team on a quick tour of the site to learn what this unique dune system has to offer.

Meet on the Esplanade opposite Southport Caravan Site, PR8 1RX

Family events and activities:


Sunday 24th June                

Natterjack toad v Tiger beetle          10am-12pm

Which of our coastal ‘Gems’ will be the most spectacular? Natterjack v Tiger beetle! Join us for a great walk through the Ainsdale sand dunes, in search of the newly hatched Natterjacks and the speedy Tiger beetles. This is a great walk for keen naturalists as well as adventurous families.

Meet at the Ainsdale Discovery Centre, PR8 2QB   

Saturday 28th July

Be Nice to Bees @ Merseyside Maritime Museum              10am-4pm

Find out more about Gems in the Dunes & Back from the Brink as well as how you can Be nice to Bees. Come and join in our craft activities and take home your very own Tiger beetle.    

Liverpool Maritime Museum, L3 4AQ

Tuesday 14th August

World Lizard Day                               11am-2pm

There are many lizards all around the world, but maybe none so-special as the Sand lizard! And guess what, they live right here on the Sefton Coast! Masters of camouflage, join us on our fun family lizard trail and find out more about the lizards of the Sefton Coast. Help us with our lizard art work too. Bring a picnic and enjoy the sun on the sand dunes. 

Meet at the Ainsdale Discovery Centre, PR8 2QB            

Saturday 18th August

The coast in miniature!                     10am-12pm

Think of world where a Lego man is a giant! That’s where we’re going today. See who is living in our Sea bryum, and create your own mini world, full of ants, beetles and tiny flowers!

Meet at the Ainsdale Discovery Centre, PR8 2QB           

Sunday 2nd September

Tigers of the insect world                  11am-1pm

It will soon be time for our ‘Tigers’ to hibernate for the winter, so this is the last chance to track them down through the dunes. Join us for another fantastic ‘Tiger beetle’ tracking event. A great family walk down on the sand dunes, and who knows we might spot the odd Sand lizard too!

Meet at the Ainsdale Discovery Centre, PR8 2QB  

If you would like to get involved or would like more information, please get in touch on 01704 571 575, email [email protected] or head to the Gems in the Dunes Facebook Group. Please remember to dress appropriately and bring enough food and drink for the day.




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