Want to help protect Sefton sand dunes’ important wildlife?

Volunteers are an important part of the Gems in the Dunes project and are responsible for carrying out vital habitat management and species surveys within an incredibly rare habitat. If you want to get involved, see below for our winter works programme!

Dates, times and tasks may change from time to time. To make sure you keep up to date, why not register with us as a volunteer? Email the team at [email protected] and ask for a volunteer form!

Date and time Volunteer activity Description Meeting location
Wednesday 3rd October 10am-3pm Scrub clearance A joint conservation task day with Natural England volunteers tackling scrub on Cabin Hill National Nature Reserve. End of Jubilee Rd, Formby,
L37 2YN.
Thursday 4th October 10am-1pm Petalwort survey A Petalwort survey targetted at finding new populations of the incredibly rare plant along the edge of the Green Beach. Ainsdale Discovery Centre,
PR8 2QB.
Thursday 11th October 10am-1pm Sea bryum survey A Sea bryum survey which will help us establish presence and absence along the Green Beach edges. Ainsdale Discovery Centre,
PR8 2QB.
Tuesday 16th October 10am-3pm Sea buckthorn clearance Invasive sea buckthorn is to be cut and dug out of a dune slack to benefit other species including Natterjack toad. Ainsdale Discovery Centre,
PR8 2QB.
Thursday 18th October 10am-1pm Sea bryum survey A Sea bryum survey which will help us establish presence, absence and abundance along the Green Beach. Ainsdale Discovery Centre,
PR8 2QB.
Saturday 20th October 10am-3pm Natterjack toad breeding pool creation Day 1 - Hand digging a new Natterjack toad breeding pool within the dunes. Work has already started and we hope to have it finished this weekend.  Ainsdale Discovery Centre,
PR8 2QB.
Sunday 21st October 10am-3pm Natterjack toad breeding pool creation Day 2 - Hand digging a new Natterjack toad breeding pool within the dunes. Work has already started and we hope to have it finished this weekend.  Ainsdale Discovery Centre,
PR8 2QB.
Wednesday 24th October 10am-3pm Sea buckthorn clearance A joint conservation task day with Natural England volunteers tackling sea buckthorn along the LNR and NNR boundary. Ainsdale Discovery Centre,
PR8 2QB.
Tuesday 30th October 10am-3pm Sea buckthorn clearance Invasive sea buckthorn is to be cut and dug out of a dune slack to benefit other species including Natterjack toad. Ainsdale Discovery Centre,
PR8 2QB.
Sunday 4th November 10am-3pm Family scrub and bonfire Gems in the Dunes will be inviting families to come and get involved with looking after the sand dunes. The day will be filled with removing scrub from the dunes and having a small bonfire to celebrate Bonfire Night with jacket potatoes and toasted marshmallows! Ainsdale Discovery Centre,
PR8 2QB.
Tuesday 6th November 10am-3pm Natterjack toad  breeding pool rejuvenation Rejuvenating an exisitng Natterjack toad breeding pool by removing scrubby vegetation and opening up areas of standing water. Ainsdale Discovery Centre,
PR8 2QB.
Thursday 8th November 10am-1pm Petalwort survey A Petalwort survey targetted at finding new and old populations within the Local Nature Reserve. Ainsdale Discovery Centre,
PR8 2QB.
Tuesday 13th November 10am-3pm Natterjack toad breeding pool rejuvenation Rejuvenating an exisitng Natterjack toad breeding pool by removing scrubby vegetation and opening up areas of standing water. Ainsdale Discovery Centre,
PR8 2QB.
Thursday 15th November 10am-1pm Sea bryum survey A Sea bryum survey which will help us establish presence and absence along the Green Beach edges. Ainsdale Discovery Centre,
PR8 2QB.
Tuesday 20th November 10am-3pm Sea buckthorn clearance / species surveys A rare opportunity to volunteer on Altcar Rifle Range and help with scrub removal from around some important Natterjack toad breeding pools. The day will be split in two with half a day habitat management and the other half carrying out species surveys. Altcar Rifle Range, Hightown
Thursday 22nd November 10am-3pm Sea buckthorn clearance / species surveys A rare opportunity to volunteer on Altcar Rifle Range and help with scrub removal from around some important Natterjack toad breeding pools. The day will be split in two with half a day habitat management and the other half carrying out species surveys. Altcar Rifle Range, Hightown
Saturday 24th November 10am-3pm Sea buckthorn clearance Day 1 - A joint conservation task day with North Merseyside Amphibian and Reptile Group (NMARG) carrying out scrub removal from an area important for Sand lizards. End of Upton Ave, Ainsdale,
PR8 2PW
Sunday 25th November 10am-3pm Sea buckthorn clearance Day 2 - A joint conservation task day with North Merseyside Amphibian and Reptile Group (NMARG) carrying out scrub removal from an area important for Sand lizards. End of Upton Ave, Ainsdale,
PR8 2PW
Thursday 29th November 10am-1pm Sea bryum survey A Sea bryum survey which will help us establish presence, absence and abundance within Devil's Hole. End of Jubilee Rd, Formby,
L37 2YN.
Tuesday 4th December 10am-3pm Natterjack toad breeding pool rejuvenation Rejuvenating an exisitng Natterjack toad breeding pool by removing scrubby vegetation and opening up areas of standing water. Ainsdale Discovery Centre,
PR8 2QB.
Thursday 6th December 10am-1pm Petalwort survey A Petalwort survey targetted at finding new and old populations within the Local Nature Reserve. Ainsdale Discovery Centre,
PR8 2QB.
Tuesday 11th December 10am-3pm Sea buckthorn clearance Invasive sea buckthorn is to be cut and dug out of the frontal dune areas to benefit many species including the Sand lizard. Ainsdale Discovery Centre, PR8 2QB.
Thursday 13th December 10am-1pm Petalwort survey A Petalwort survey targetted at finding new and old populations within the Local Nature Reserve. Ainsdale Discovery Centre,
PR8 2QB.
Saturday 15th December 10am-3pm Buckthorn christmas bonfire Day 1 - We will be cutting buckthorn from an area important for Sand lizards and burning it in a bonfire. As a Christmas celebration, there will be of course be treats for all! Ainsdale Discovery Centre,
PR8 2QB.
Sunday 16th December 10am-3pm Buckthorn christmas bonfire Day 2 - We will be cutting buckthorn from an area important for Sand lizards and burning it in a bonfire. As a Christmas celebration, there will be of course be treats for all! Ainsdale Discovery Centre,
PR8 2QB.
Wednesday 19th December 10am-3pm Sea buckthorn clearance We will be cutting buckthorn from an area important for Sand lizards and burning it in a bonfire. As a Christmas celebration, there will be of course be treats for all! Ainsdale Discovery Centre,
PR8 2QB.
Thursday 20th December 10am-1pm Petalwort survey A Petalwort survey targetted at finding new and old populations within the Local Nature Reserve. 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.