The Sefton Coast

Why is Royal Birkdale and the surrounding areas an important wildlife site? The sand dunes of the Sefton Coast are the largest dune system in the UK at over 2000 hectares.

Royal Birkdale comprises almost 5% of this unique resource, and 80% of course is available for nature as out-of-play areas.The natural value of the course and the surrounding dune coast has been recognised by local, national and international nature conservation designations, including:

  • Ramsar - internationally imported wetland
  • Candidate Special Area of Conservation - European nature designation contributing to the NATURA 2000 SERIES
  • Special Protection Area - European nature designation under the Wild Birds Directive contributing to the NATURA 2000 SERIES
  • Site of Special Scientific Interest Local Nature Reserve - Birkdale Sandhills

Royal Birkdale Golf Course is just one part of the Southport Sand Dunes and Foreshore Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI in which there is a wide variety of wildlife interest.

This includes large numbers of overwintering wading birds, rare species such as the Natterjack Toad, Sand Lizard, Petalwort, (a liverwort, the Dune Helleborine orchid, and the only location in England for Baltic Rush. The Dunes also provide an opportunity for human contact with nature, with an estimated 500,000 people visiting the coast each year.

Download Guide