During the week before Christmas our ARG volunteers were working in the Birkdale Dunes on the Sefton Coast providing emergency aid for a very special lizard. The sand lizard is one of Britain's rarest and most beautiful wild animals. And as the name suggests it is found only in sandy places. Almost all of our sand lizards are confined to a few heathlands in southern England. But local conservationist Mike Brown says, 'There is a distinct form of sand lizard found only on dunes along the Merseyside coast.'
But all is not well for the Merseyside sand lizard. A recent report has shown that the sand dunes – which are key to the lizards' survival – are becoming overgrown by scrub and trees on the Sefton Coast. The warmth-loving lizards need unshaded, open sand dunes to allow them to bask in the sun and to breed successfully, and without this essential habitat the future looks bleak for them.
Help is on hand, though, supported by the ARGUK 100% fund, ARG volunteers from Manchester, Bolton and South Wales will be helping Northwest Merseyside Amphibian and Reptile Group, working alongside Sefton Council's Coast and Countryside team, to tackle the scrub that is swamping dunes at north Birkdale. The out-of-town volunteers include specialist chainsaw operators, who are key to reversing the tide of scrub - vital to keep the sand off the dunes, and the lizards 'running free'.
The ARGUK 100% fund is supported by and all those lovely folks who bought tickets at the HWM raffles in 2013 and 2013.