on Merseyside' series... Alt Estuary
Photographs by Patrick
THIS is our 4th location in
our 'Hidden Views on Merseyside' series... If you do
not know where it is, it is in fact the
Alt Estuary. On the first
report, we visited just a few miles
upstream, The Estuary it is located to the North of Liverpool and
the river flows into the Mersey River Estuary at such an angle that
it encourages back-flow.
This part of the river is fully
tidal and at lower tide levels, large expanses of mud flats are
exposed and, in parts, quicksand can be found. When the
Alt, especially if carrying a
greater volume water, meets the flow of the Mersey coming in,
without the pumping station, just slightly further up stream, the
river and the area can easily flood, especially during bad weather.
On this stretch of the Merseyside
Coastline, you can sometimes find the remains of ancient landscapes
as the serious erosion sometimes exposes it. One of these lost
landscapes is a forest that was submerged nearly 5000 years ago.
Despite this erosion, the Blundellsands Sailing Club has its Club
houses, pictured here, and located on the very mouth of the river.
As a result you can often see yachts moored in the river's narrow
channel. For those who like ornithology, the area provides cover
good cover for many breeding birds and its protected environment
sees many unusual visitors to the shoreline and to the Nature
Reserve along the side of its
banks. The Reserve is also full of wildflowers attracting all types
of butterflies and provides a home to small populations of our some
of the rarest species in the UK, like the Sand Lizard and Natterjack
Toad. Over summer months, keep an eye out for day flying moths that
feed on the array of nectar rich and grasses that line the
The 2nd World War left its mark on
the area here as well, and just slightly South of Blundellsands
Club are the vanishing remains
of Fort Crosby, near Hall Road, Crosby, but the military presence in
the area dates further back to the 1880's and it is still ongoing.
Don't be alarmed when you are visiting if you hear gun shots here,
as next door, or on the opposite bank is the
MOD's Altcar Rifle Range.
Altcar Rifle ranges consists of 620 acres of beaches, marshland,
fields and small woods, but it is closed to the public at all times!
The dangers from the location to the craft using the narrow entrance
to the river can clearly be seen on a map, outside the club house,
detailing the restricted zones. Also guard posts often fly red flags
warning that the practice ranges on the Army training camp are in
use. This proximity of the range provides added protection for the
wildlife from both development and also from public interference.
If you do visit the area, do not
try to go for a swim and if you want to go on the river's edge, you
must check the tide times! Also be aware of the limited access to
the site and that both MOD and Sefton Council Byelaws Apply. Always
follow the signage and obey the safety instructions at all times,
including the road signs. Yes, it is no joke; the area does warn of
tanks in operation!
If you are interested, the
Blundellsands Sailing Club will be holding an 'Open Day'
and will have RNLI and Southport Rescue boats attending the club.
That includes the Hovercrafts from the Merseyside Fire Service and
the RNLI. The event will be:- "Lifeboat Day" event
will be held on 13 July, at the club. Location is:-
Liverpool, Merseyside, L38 0BU.
The event starts at 10 and ends around 4pm. the boast will be
on site at round 11/11:30. to around 2pm.
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