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Jim’s Path

 

Way back in 2002, our Executive Member, Jim Reed realised that access to the nature reserve from the Village along the existing path was impossible for wheel chair users and others with limited mobility. He realised that what was needed was a proper pathway that was wide enough and easy enough to give access to wheelchairs with enough room for cyclists and joggers to pass each other. Together with the Ainsdale Civic Society, Brenda Porter and Coast & Countryside, Jim Reed worked tirelessly to bring this project to fruition.

What, Where & Why?

 

The completion extends the existing path through to the Ainsdale Sand Dunes National Nature Reserve. It starts by Merefield School running parallel with the railway line branching into two by the Coastal Road, with one branch going up to the Coastal Road and the other continuing under the old Cheshire Lines bridge and onto the Nature Reserve and provides access for many more people.  It allows greater access to the proposed board walk round the large pond and through the woods next to the recently refurbished Information Centre. The path is an upgrade of the existing unsurfaced, well trodden, way-marked route and passes under the Coastal Road.

 

There are two key benefits of the path; firstly access to the Ainsdale National Nature Reserve is improved for people with disabilities and secondly, cyclists and others using the Coastal Road cycle path will have a safe alternative to crossing the busy Coastal Road to reach the National Nature Reserve. As far as possible, the path has been designed to be accessible to all and to reflect the environment it is located in.

The Environment

 

The path runs through land which is home to rare plants and sand lizards. Of course the rarest of animals, sand lizards, hibernate all winter, but there will be plenty of “Winter Lizards” to be seen along the path! These are specially decorated as part of local schools’ art projects and can been seen all along the path and on trees and logs. The Sefton Coast Partnership is planning more events for local people to learn more about the Ainsdale Sand Dunes and the National Nature Reserve.

The Opening & The Future?

 

The path was completed early in 2012 and in May many Ainsdale residents gathered for the official opening of the formally named Ainsdale Link Path. They were joined by members of the Ainsdale Civic Society, and Dave McAleavy from Coast & Countryside, together with some of the team of rangers. The ribbon was cut by Jim Reed and the path will now bear the name “Jim’s Path” in recognition of Jim’s efforts over many years to have this work completed.

 

Our Chairman, Tony Brough, said “We are delighted that at long last this project has been finished and it will greatly benefit the access for all those who like to walk or cycle through the Nature Reserve. We are proud to have been the instigators of this project and thank all those at Coast & Countryside for their persistence in ensuring its completion.  

We must also acknowledge the input of Brenda Porter who has ensured that the project was always kept to the fore and of course to Jim Reed for his foresight all those years ago in recognising the need for the path.”

 

At the opening Dave McAleavy spoke about Coast & Countryside’s role in the project and said he was pleased that the new path was proving to be so popular. It is hoped that a further link will be made from Merefield School to the path to provide easy access for the wheelchair users at the school.

 

Click HERE to visit Sefton Coast & Countryside web page