Gems in the Dunes

Habitat management and species surveys.

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Project Summary

Gems in the Dunes is focussed on improving the habitat for specialist sand dune species including natterjack toads, sand lizards and northern dune tiger beetles.

Need to know

  • Start Date: 03/05/2019
  • End Date: 31/12/2019
  • County: Merseyside
  • Organisation Name: Amphibian and Reptile Conservation Trust
  • Project Category: Species surveys,Improving habitats


Project Description

Gems in the Dunes is an exciting new project led by Amphibian and Reptile Conservation under the wider HLF-funded ‘Back from the Brink’ partnership programme.


The Sefton Coast is the largest undeveloped dune system in the UK and is also home to a wide range of wildlife, including the rare Merseyside sand lizard, natterjack toad and northern dune tiger beetle.

We work with volunteers to undertake habitat management works including creating natterjack breeding pools which are also home to the rare plants and mosses. Works will also include removing scrub and vegetation to create bare sand patches that are essential  for the sand lizards to bask and lay their eggs in, and to allow northern dune tiger beetles to hunt and burrow.

Volunteers carry out a wide variety of tasks including species monitoring and recording work. Volunteer activities are extremely varied and range from night-time natterjack toad counts, to day-time petalwort spotting and sand lizard surveys.