Discussions have taken place between Sefton Council and the National Trust over the potential land transfer of land in Formby.
Sefton Council has just published a formal notice considering the disposal of land to the northern and southern side of Lifeboat Road (Formby Point).
In light of this, positive conversations have taken place regarding the transfer of land at Lifeboat Road and Ravenmeols from Sefton’s ownership to The National Trust.
If agreed, it would see more than 204 hectares become part of the National Trust Formby portfolio which is home to one of the very best mobile sand dune habitats in the entire UK.
The dunes themselves are home to some very rare wildlife including sand lizards, Northern Dune Tiger Beetles and the rare Natterjack toad. The pine woodlands that fringe the coast are also home to rare red squirrels.
The land at Lifeboat Road adjoins an area whose significance is reflected by being part of the Sefton Coast Site of Special Scientific Interest, Special Area of Conservation and Special Protection Area for birds.
The potential land transfer coincides with 2017 being the Year of Sefton's Coast and also the 50 year anniversary of the National Trust in Formby.
Cllr Ian Maher, Labour Leader at Sefton Council, said:
"As part of the Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership Board, we constantly work with partners to continue to conserve and enhance the natural landscape that forms the Sefton Coast. This is done while managing growing visitor numbers in a sustainable and responsible manner.
"Residents and visitors to the borough made strong representation through the consultation process for the Sefton 2030 Vision for their desire to access and enjoy all the benefits the Sefton coast has to offer. The consultation also revealed how people wish to preserve the cultural, historical and ecological assets that are much cherished.
"In light of this, discussions are taking place with National Trust with the view of transferring land to them to develop further and secure the future of this fantastic coastline.
"We see this as an amazing opportunity where National Trust can improve and invest on this piece of land for the benefit of our communities and the many visitors to our borough."
It is hoped the acquisition of the land at Lifeboat Road and Ravenmeols will enable the National Trust to have a much bigger positive impact in terms of managing the broader landscape for the benefit of people, wildlife and nature.
Rebecca Burton, National Trust Assistant Director of Operations, said:
"The Formby Coast is very important both to the people who love it and use it and because of its environmental significance and the wildlife that lives here.
"As one of our key neighbours and partners in the management of the coastal area at Formby, we are continually talking to Sefton Council, local people and with our other partners, about the best way to manage this special area for the benefit of both wildlife and people.
"2017 marks 50 years since parts of Formby came into the care of the National Trust. This stretch of coastline is of international significance for its sand dunes and is home to rare wildlife including red squirrels and Natterjack toads.
"Our aim is to ensure that this special place can continue to be used and enjoyed by future generations, whilst recognising that the coast is a continually evolving and changing environment.
"We are excited about the future opportunity to invest in better visitor facilities and access across this area of the Sefton coast, working with local people to help us design our plans
"By working closely with our neighbours, key stakeholders and partner organisations, we will continue to care and protect this special piece of coastline in a way no other organisation can."
Any objections or representations to the proposed disposal must be made in writing and addressed to Mr David Street, Assets and Property Manager, Sefton Council, Magdalen House, 30 Trinity Road, Bootle, L20 3NJ, no later than March 22, 2017.
(Source: Sefton Council and NT)