Thursday 10th April.
It’s a beautiful sunny afternoon so I decided to take a walk down to the beach. I parked the car close to the coastguard station in Crosby and walked along to the mouth of the River Alt. This area is known as Hightown Dunes and Meadows and contains sand dunes, freshwater ponds, willow scrub and wildflower meadows.
Walking along close to the shore you could still see the damage caused by the winter storms. Rocks and water worn bricks were scattered across the grass. The embankment consists of rubble which was tipped along the coastline over a period of 30 years from 1942 to reinforce the coastline. Initially it consisted of debris from the Liverpool bomb damage but later the spoil from the construction of the second Mersey tunnel was used. The wind and the waves had shifted hundreds of tonnes of this rubble and deposited it on the grass. A lot of clearing up work had been done mainly collecting the vast amount of plastic that had been washed up. Several metres of coastline had been eroded in places creating new mini cliff tops and overhangs.
It all looked pretty desolate but nature was fighting back. Little splashes of yellow showed that Coltsfoot was in flower. Some had already gone to seed and the seed heads were battling to stay upright in the strong breeze coming off the sea.
At the mouth of the Alt I turned inland and walked back through the dunes. In this more sheltered area I saw several butterflies, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock. The bees were also hard at work collecting nectar from Dandelions.
Back near the coastguard station some people were flying kites. The strong but steady breeze created ideal conditions and the kites were very colourful against the clear blue sky.
Let’s go fly a kite.
The kites have changed a lot since my youth when a sheet of brown paper stretched over a crosspiece of two garden canes was the height of technology.
Over the next few weeks many more species of plants should begin to flower. I wonder if I will find the orchids?