Red squirrels, natterjacks, prehistoric footprints
and miles of coastal walks are just waiting to be discovered
Smaller than the common toad, the natterjack toad is very rare. This amphibian breeds in warm, shallow pools on sand dunes and sandy heaths in just a handful of special places in England and Scotland; sadly, just one or two colonies now remain in southeast England and east Anglia. Natterjack toads are mainly nocturnal; in the spring, the males all sing together at night to attract females and their calls can be heard up to a mile away!
Ainsdale National Nature Reserve is one of the best remaining strongholds for the rare natterjack toad, Europe’s loudest amphibian. Red squirrels can occasionally be seen in amongst the reserve’s pine forests too, while sand lizards, great-crested newts and a fantastic variety of orchids and other wildflowers can also be found here during the spring and summer.
The reserve has a network of around eight miles of footpaths marked with coloured topped posts. The Woodland Path and Fisherman’s Path are accessible by bike, pushchairs and wheelchairs, and there is a fully accessible picnic area to take a well-earned rest along Woodland Path.