Posted in Environment, Walks

Ainsdale Sand Dunes


I first encountered Ainsdale Sand Dunes a couple of years ago. Simon and I paid a visit to Formby, therein you can see red squirrels, a scarcity in Britain. Near to Formby is Ainsdale and here is another rarity – natterjack toads.

Our walk took us through woodland – where we came across two metal detectorists. They told us about the varying equipment and costs and how it was possible to discover curious finds.

Of course, what they really wanted was to find treasure.

Our journey took us from woodland into the sand dunes. Sometimes the dunes themselves are not the easiest to walk on, having such a soft ground.


We heard a reed bunting. A flock of black-headed gulls made a racket near a pond, we hoped that they wouldn’t eat any toads that may be around.

Pippets and buff-tailed bumblebees were also spotted.

The dunes took us to the beach. Yet another type of habitat. Unlike many seaside resorts, this beach is incredibly quiet. It can feel as if you are the only one there.



We saw a boat wreck and wondered at the story behind it… And discovered a starfish sheltering under the wreck.


Fish egg casings and an array of shells – razor, cockle and so on – were curiosities we came across on the beach.

The biggest discovery was natterjack toad spawn in one large pond.


The last time we came was a little gloomy in that, while the weather was glorious for us humans, there were signs that the heat and sun was not such good news for our amphibian friends. Yes, we saw many natterjack toads that summer day. Depressingly, they were all dead because there was not enough water in the ponds because of the drought.

And in a way, I guess we did find treasure of a different sort that day, hope for a rare species of toad to survive and thrive in this peaceful wildlife haven.Β 






Interested in environmental issues, wildlife, spirituality, gardening, self-sufficiency and mini-adventures. There are two blogs, one is and the other, more recent one, is - ☺️

11 thoughts on “Ainsdale Sand Dunes

  1. This sounds like another lovely walk, Clare, and just the sort of thing I’d enjoy too. I’m fascinated by sand dunes, and as far as I’m concerned, your walk involving woodlands and coast as well provides all the elements of a perfect walk. My daughter would be fascinated by the boat wreck as she wants to be a maritime historian – it seems strange for it to be sitting there having not been recovered. I share your sadness for the demise of the natterjack toads in last year’s sweltering heat, and I very much hope we don’t have another summer like that this year. Here’s to hope for their survival this year, and that the spawn produces a good and successful population. πŸ™‚

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    1. It was a lovely walk and it’s nice to have varied scenery. The boat wreck was odd, I wonder about its story. I hope the toads will be okay this year. It is nice to have warm sunny days but last year was too much, the heat became deadly for the toads. Fingers crossed this summer will be a better year for Natterjacks.

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    1. Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. πŸ™‚ Yes, it was interesting how nature started to make a home in the derelict boat. It’s the same with old derelict buildings, nature comes and makes them a home.


  2. I have not seen any frogs at the Creek yet and there were worries because of all the shad fish that washed up dead after the ice on the Creek finally melted after this year’s Polar Vortex. The Department of Natural Resources said that with no oxygen from plant life beneath the ice, that likely the turtles, crayfish and frogs/toads would not survive. I’ve seen turtles this year and saw a big and small snapping turtle yesterday so hopefully as far down as they burrow down in the dead of Winter, they will be saved like your natterjack toads.

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    1. I hope the wildlife near you survives the harsh weather too. It can be a worry when weather can have such an impact on animals (and humans too, for that matter). It isn’t something we have much control over.

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      1. Yes, I was happy to see the turtles back Clare, now to see if the frogs made it too. I have heard some fish flopping around in the water, the larger carp as well. We have invasive carp in parts of Michigan. They destroy the other fish and they have no solution to get rid of them … yet.

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