Sands of Time Title
This site provides detailed information on the sand dunes of the Sefton coast in North West England
Home Page
Coastal Change
A History
  Physical Forces
Growth & Erosion
Future Change
Managing Change
Primary Succession
Model of Succession
The Strand Line
Embryo Dunes
Mobile Dunes
Blow Outs
Semi-fixed Dunes
Fixed Dunes
Dune Slacks
Dune Heath
Vegetation/Soil Data
Studying Succession
Pine Plantations
Project Objectives
Project Partners
Project Funding
Related Links

Since the rabbit population was decimated in the 1950s by the introduction of a disease called myxomatosis, tall woody plants have become widely established on the dunes. Plants such as

  • Birch Betula spp
  • Hawthorn Crataegus monogyna

invaded naturally. A number of species, however, were introduced to the Sefton Coast dunes by people and have since become very widespread; these include

  • White Poplar Populus alba Balm of Gilead Populus candicans
  • Sea Buckthorn Hippophae rhamnoides.

In addition, pines from the plantations seed into the open dunes. See page on pine plantations.Scrub is a natural successional development from semi-fixed and fixed dunes in the absence of grazing.

The scrub species totally dominate the vegetation, which as a consequence tends to be species-poor. A thick, brown soil organic layer develops under the scrub. In the absence of grazing, there has been an explosion of the area of scrub on the Sefton Coast with a loss of the typical dune plants and animals. Management has been clearing the scrub and introducing grazing whereever possible to restore and maintain the open dunes.

A patch of scub on the fixed dunes at Ainsdale
A patch of scrub on the fixed dunes at Ainsdale
Scrub control methodsDigging out scrub
Scrub removal on the fixed dunes
For more information about this project email at Liverpool Hope University.
  Go to the site of Liverpool Hope University    

Liverpool Hope University worked with English Nature and the
Sefton Coast Partnership to implement the Sands of Time project.