After 20 years of successful partnership with Sefton Council, the RSPB is celebrating a new 99-year lease of the RSPB’s Marshside reserve, in Merseyside.The new lease from the Council trebles the size of the nature reserve. It grants the RSPB control over the saltmarsh at Marshside as well as the fresh marsh and includes the former 'Rainford's marsh'. It also includes the car park and the roadside strip as far as the sewage works, but does not include the ‘Old Sand Works’, which is still under the control of the Sand Company.
Tony Baker, RSPB Ribble Sites Manager, said: "This is a fantastic way to celebrate 20 years of the RSPB and Sefton Council giving nature a home at Marshside. It’s great that it comes in the first year that our fantastic avocets have nested on the saltmarsh at Marshside."
There will be a chance to celebrate the news and talk to site staff about their plans for the future of Marshside at a special 20th celebration event, to be held at the reserve on Sunday 7 September.
Tony added: "We have lots to think about as we look to future plans for encouraging more wildlife and more human visitors to come to the reserve; adding further value to Southport as a tourist destination, and we know we can count on our wonderful volunteers to help us step up and meet the new challenges the new lease brings."
Avocet in flight © Lee Fuller. Image from the BirdGuides Iris galleries.
Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Schools, Families and Leisure, commented: "The RSPB has done a great job of managing this part of our amazing coast. It’s good to know the Marshside reserve will be in good hands well into the next century."
The RSPB’s management of Marshside forms part of the conservation organisation’s Ribble Coast and Wetlands Futurescape. This is a large-scale project aimed at creating a network of linked homes for nature across the local area.For more information about the forthcoming celebration event, visit www.rspb.org.uk/marshside.