ainsdale.info - website of the Ainsdale Civic Society
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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
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
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