Peel Ports Group, owner of the Port of Liverpool, has contributed £3k towards a programme of works at Seaforth Nature Reserve (SSSI/SPA RAMSAR), which has enabled the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, who manage the site, to access funding from Veolia Landfill Tax Credit Scheme.
Due for completion in 2021, the programme of works totalling £34k will be designed and contracted by the Wildlife Trust, RSPB and Natural England. It will include bird hide improvements and the installation of a low gradient ramped path and steps with a handrail to make it more accessible for wheelchair users, those with mobility issues, and families with prams. It will also include interpretation displays to ensure greater inclusivity and enable visitors to get close to and learn about threatened bird species, without causing an adverse disturbance.
The funding will also help to create new areas of breeding habitat for several breeding species that Seaforth supports – two of which are considered of regional importance and includes the Common Tern and Ringed Plover. Installation of water control options benefitting the entire waterbird assemblage will also be provided, as well as, seating areas for the local community to enjoy.
The nature reserve is an important special protection area and a major roosting site for a wide variety of waders, seabirds, ducks, and small birds.
Alex Pepper, Group Head of Energy and Environment, Peel Ports said: “Seaforth Nature Reserve is one of the treasures in Seaforth. As one of the largest employers in Sefton, we are committed to the conservation, protection and improvement of the environment in which we operate. We’re delighted to play a part in helping to enrich wildlife habitat and make the reserve more accessible”.
Michael Cunningham, Merseyside Reserve Officer, Lancashire Wildlife Trust said: “Seaforth Nature Reserve is an incredible asset for our region supporting a vast range of threatened bird species. Its position within the Port of Liverpool complex affords it a high level of protection – making it a locally unique sanctuary for wildlife.
“This programme of habitat and accessibility improvement works delivers a vital boost to threatened species and enhances a valuable community resource for connecting with nature. We are delighted to be working with Peel Ports, Natural England, Veolia Environmental Trust and the RSPB to deliver this important project.”
The site, located to the north of the Royal Seaforth Dock on the River Mersey on land claimed from the sea during the 1960’s, consists of a complex of open water, saltmarsh and grasslands. Specifically, it comprises two lagoons, a shallow water lagoon which functions as a settlement lagoon for water pumped from the River
Mersey into the Seaforth Docks and a freshwater lagoon separated from the saltwater lagoon by a wide bund.