Woodland Path

3.3 miles / 5.4 km
2h 30m
Freshfield railway station
OS Explorer 285 Southport & Chorley
Mostly level, well surfaced paths
Two gates
Category 4 Explain

Merseyside Travelwise: 0151 330 1253

Ainsdale National Nature Reserve is a must for lover of wildlife for here you might see the natterjack toad and sand lizard, both rare and protected by law. The most common plant on the sand dunes is the marram grass which binds the dunes together and stops erosion. In times past local people used this for thatching and for grazing. The grass became sadly depleted and the wind subsequently blew much of the shifting sands inland. Measures were taken to manage the dunes, including the planting of trees. The Corsican pine trees along the Woodland Path were planted about 100 years ago.

Also alongside the route are old asparagus fields. Here farmers once toiled with sandy soils to produce a fine spring crop for the Liverpool and Lancashire markets.

  1. From the level crossing by Freshfield station head east on Victoria Road.

  2. Turn left into Montagu Road.

  3. After the car park take the path on the left which runs beside the railway.

  4. Rejoin Montagu Road.

  5. Continue along the track beside the railway from the end of the road.

  6. Cross the railway at the level crossing.

  7. Go straight on at the crossroads, then bear right (the main path) just after crossing the fairway.

  8. Turn right just after the next gate.

  9. Once the path has come very close to the railway again, take the first path on the left into the woodland, marked 'Inner Woodland Path'.

  10. Turn right at the T junction where you rejoin the path which you left at point 9 and retrace your steps back to the train station.