A Step Back in Time: My First Guest Blogger – Peter Taylor


My last post was a collection of some of my favourite photos which I took on a recent visit to Ainsdale Beach, which is in Merseyside, close to Southport in the Northwest UK.

In that post I mentioned that Ainsdale was one of the places my Dad, Peter Taylor, most liked to visit when he was a child growing up in Manchester and today I am delighted to have him here with me reminiscing about those days.

1-IMG_5380


Peter Taylor – “I’ve always been interested in herpetology and the attraction of Ainsdale is that it is the home of Britain’s rarest toad, the natterjack, and rarest lizard, the sand lizard, both of which have a specialised habitat requirement – sand dunes.

1-IMG_5340

Ainsdale Dunes

1-IMG_5790

As a child, our annual holidays would be at Gronant, a small coastal village in Flintshire, North Wales. Gronant had, in those days, extensive sand dunes (which I believe now no longer exist) where natterjack toads and sand lizards thrived.  Gronant was a train journey of several hours from Manchester, whereas with Ainsdale, during the long summer days, I could cycle there and back in a day, with several hours to spare in which I could play around and so was able to visit with ease.

1-IMG_5521

Ainsdale had, and still has, extensive sand dunes which are now protected but weren’t in my early days, and there was a healthy population of natterjacks and sand lizards.

1-IMG_5533

This way to the natterjacks!

This way to the natterjacks!

1-IMG_5759

I used to catch natterjacks and take them home to Manchester, a practise that is now thankfully illegal!

1-IMG_5530

There were natterjack tadpoles in this pond

Natterjacks are the most vocal of the British amphibia and some people complain about their nocturnal mating calls!

1-IMG_5536

The red squirrels didn’t interest me all that much, mainly because in those days they were still relatively common and not considered threatened. The red squirrels now exist in the wooded area to the south of the reserve near Formby.

1-IMG_5834

Formby Squirrel Reserve

There were no motor ways in those days and far less traffic than is the case now. For most of the way I would cycle along the East Lancs Road which had a cycle lane making it pretty safe and I always went with a friend.”

 

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “A Step Back in Time: My First Guest Blogger – Peter Taylor

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s