This book is about one of the richest areas for vascular or ‘higher’ plants (ﬂowering plants, conifers and ferns) in Northwest England, namely the Sefton Coast, north of Liverpool. A low-lying ‘soft’ coast dominated by windblown dunes and extensive saltmarshes, it has enthused botanists, both amateur and professional, for well over 200 years.
In the book, the author has described the typical wildflowers associated with each of the Sefton Coast’s main habitats from the saltmarshes and ‘green beaches’ to the sand-dunes, the latter showing a sequence of successional stages running inland, from the newly-formed strandline and embryo dunes, through mobile and fixed-dunes to older woodland and dune-heath. Increasing interest in non-native or ‘alien’ plants is reflected in a chapter on these sometimes invasive but often innocuous and colourful additions to our flora.
Next, thirteen ‘key sites’ along the coast are reviewed, with the aim of guiding the plant enthusiast to the best places at the right times. Threats to botanical diversity of the coast’s habitats are described in the following chapter. Common or vernacular names of plants are used in the text, the scientific names being provided in Appendix 1. Nomenclature follows Clive Stace’s New Flora of the British Isles.