Council share big 'thanks' to visitors as beach car parks close for winter

28 September 2023 3 min read

As we move into autumn, the Council’s Green Sefton service would like to thank the hundreds of thousands of people have enjoyed visits to Sefton’s beautiful Crosby, Ainsdale, and Southport beaches this summer.

Coastal rangers have been kept busy managing beach car parks, emptying bins, litter picking and helping people get the most out of their visit to Sefton’s 22 miles of natural coast.

And they have done this alongside a range of emergency services and landowners, including the RNLI, HM Coastguard, Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and National Trust Formby.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said:

“We would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to all the visitors who’ve been to our beaches over the summer and who’ve played their part by using our bins or by taking their rubbish home.

“This has kept our beaches looking fantastic and the rare and fragile natural habitats that make our coastline so special, safe.

“And finally, a big ‘thank you’ also to Green Sefton and all our partners and volunteers for all the work they’ve done over the summer months keeping our coast clean and safe, and so enjoyable for all our visitors.”

Mark Shaw, Green Sefton Service Manager, said:

“Thanks to all our visitors for coming down this summer, for being kind to our staff, for being kind to each other and we hope you’ve had a great time. We’ll look forward to seeing you next year.” 

Parking Information

Southport and Ainsdale beach car parks are now closed as of Thursday 28th September, and will reopen in April 2024.

For those who visit our coastline all year round, there are still plenty of ways to travel to the coast, by either foot, bike, or train.

Sefton’s beaches are in easy walking distance from Merseyrail stations such as Southport, Birkdale, Hillside, Ainsdale, Freshfield, Formby, Hall Road, Blundellsands & Crosby and Waterloo. People can plan their journeys and find timetables and service updates at

For those driving to our Natural Coast, there are many other pay and display car parks in the Southport area just a short walk away from the beach.

Crosby beach is backed by a promenade, from where people can view the Another Place ‘Iron Men’. There are several pay and display car parks adjacent or close to the promenade.

Autumn at the Coast

For those not put off by the change in weather, people are reminded to take care and to respect wildlife, as well as the landscape, when visiting our natural coast through the winter months.

At this time of year, many species of bird are seen on our coastline taking a much-needed break to rest, feed and build-up energy levels before continuing their migration south.

Disturbing wildlife should be avoided at all times, but in the case of the migrant birds, resting during high tides is critical. If disturbed during high tide, the birds will fly, burning energy they cannot replace while their feeding areas are covered by sea water. If this disturbance happens repeatedly, the birds become exhausted and can die.

To avoid this, we ask that visitors give the birds plenty of space, keeping dogs under close control and horses away from the tide line.  

Water Safety

All visitors are advised to read safety signage at beach entrances. There are no RNLI lifeguards at Southport or Ainsdale beaches during winter.

RNLI Lifeguard cover is year-round at Crosby beach, however it is not a bathing beach and is permanently red flagged.

The RNLI use red flags to signify a severe hazard, that water conditions are unsafe for swimming and other water activities, and people should not enter the water. People can learn more about beach flags and signs at RNLI Beach Safety

Also present at Crosby beach are areas of deep mud which are constantly shifting, there is a quick-flowing tide that can be dangerous. The Council advises visitors stay within 50m of the promenade when walking on Crosby beach.

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