List of Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Merseyside

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The Ribble Estuary, the largest SSSI in Merseyside.

This is a list of the Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) in Merseyside, which is part of North West England. Merseyside has a population of 1,353,600 making it one of the most densely populated areas of the United Kingdom.[1] Geographically, Merseyside is split by the River Mersey which has a surrounding network of canals, rivers and valleys some of which have been created by human activity. Other habitats have been adversely affected by humans including many peat mosslands.[2] As of 2007, There are 14 sites designated within this Area of Search, of which 10 have been designated due to their biological interest, 1 due to its geological interest, and 3 for both biological and geological interest.[3]

In England the body responsible for designating SSSIs is Natural England, which chooses a site because of its fauna, flora, geological or physiographical features.[4] Natural England took over the role of designating and managing SSSIs from English Nature in October 2006 when it was formed from the amalgamation of English Nature, parts of the Countryside Agency and the Rural Development Service. Natural England, like its predecessor, uses the 1974–1996 county system[5] and as such the same approach is followed here, rather than, for example, splitting these sites between the Lancashire and Cheshire lists. The data in the table is taken from English Nature's website in the form of citation sheets for each SSSI.[6]

For other counties, see List of Sites of Special Scientific Interest by Area of Search.


Site name Reason for designation Area[A] Grid reference[B] Year in which notified Map[C]
Biological interest Geological interest Hectares Acres
Dee Estuary Green tickY Green tickY 14.4 35.6 SJ238832 1979  Map 
Dibbinsdale Green tickY 53.2 131.5 SJ338815 1979  Map 
Hesketh Golf Links Green tickY 14.6 36.1 SD352190 1989  Map 
Heswall Dales Green tickY 29.6 73.1 SJ261821 1979  Map 
Meols Meadows Green tickY 7.1 17.5 SJ245903 1988  Map 
Mersey Narrows Green tickY 117.8 291.1 SJ315949 2000  Map 
New Ferry Green tickY 73.9 182.6 SJ340862 2000  Map 
North Wirral Foreshore Green tickY 2109.9 5213.6 SJ250920 1979  Map 
Red Rocks Green tickY 11.4 28.1 SJ207878 1979  Map 
Ribble Estuary[D] Green tickY 9226.3 22798.2 SD375240 1966  Map 
Sefton Coast Green tickY Green tickY 4605.3 11380.0 SD295106 2000  Map 
Stanley Bank Meadow Green tickY 14.9 36.8 SJ535972 1986  Map 
The Dungeon Green tickY 1.2 2.8 SJ251831 1977  Map 
Thurstaston Common Green tickY Green tickY 70.8 174.9 SJ245851 1954  Map 


A Data rounded to one decimal place.
B Grid reference is based on the British national grid reference system, also known as OSGB36, and is the system used by the Ordnance Survey.[7]
C Link to maps using the Nature on the Map service provided by English Nature.
D Ribble Estuary was originally two SSSIs: Southport Sanctuary (designated 1966) and Ribble Estuary (1976). The site also extends into the county of Lancashire and so can be found on the list of SSSIs in Lancashire.[6]


  1. ^ "Population Statistics". National Statistics. Retrieved 2007-11-02. 
  2. ^ "Urban Mersey Basin". Natural England. Retrieved 2007-11-02. 
  3. ^ "SSSIs in Merseyside". English Nature. Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  4. ^ "Notification of SSSIs". English Nature. Retrieved 2006-08-01. 
  5. ^ "County search of SSSIs". English Nature. Retrieved 2006-08-05. 
  6. ^ a b English Nature citation sheets for each SSSI. Retrieved on 2006-10-27. (PDF files).
  7. ^ "Guide to National Grid". Ordnance Survey. Retrieved 2006-08-07.