Natterjack Toad - Rose Manby
The Trust's only coastal reserve, consisting of sand dunes, reedbeds and marsh.
This SSSI reserve lies on the edge of the extensive Dee Estuary, looking out towards Hilbre Island, and just a short walk from Hoylake or West Kirby. Consisting of an important range of sand dunes from embryo dunes against the sea to much more established yellow dunes behind, and then on to grey dunes that extend on to The Royal Liverpool Golf Course. As with all dune systems, specialised plants that can survive in dry sandy conditions grow in the dips (slacks) including Mackays horsetail, one of more than 50 flora species found on the reserve. Orchids include early marsh and northern marsh, whilst birds-foot trefoil, sticky stork's bill and fairly flax also bring colour.
In the slacks behind the embryo dunes small brackish pools are home to Natterjack toads, known for their loud vocal calls in the breeding season.
The reserve and surrounding area is a well-known stopping point for migratory birds in spring and autumn, with regular visitors like redstarts, ring ouzels and wheatears joined by spectacular occasional rarities like bee eaters, shrikes and wintering snow and lapland buntings.