Trackway Installation

The final sculpture on the Sefton Coastal Path Sculpture Trail was installed at Hightown just before Christmas.

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This sculpture forms a trackway that runs along the new cycle path leading from Hightown to Crosby beach.

Over 20 feet of wood has been installed which contain artwork relating to the ancient man-made trackway that has been discovered in the area.

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For the artwork we visited Cambridge Children’s Centre and Brunswick Youth Club and delivered workshops based on metal embossing. The images are all of food that our ancestors would have eaten in the area.

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Going to the location we lay out the trackway

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making some on site adjustments


and then a little bit of digging and turf removal

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before lying them down and securing them in place.

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Huge thanks to Fiona, John and Rachel, to all at the Cambridge Children’s Centre and the super kids and staff at the Brunny. And as always to Phill and Joe – Adam, you were missed – such a super installation team.

Wooden Henges

Three Wooden Henges have been installed on the path at Birkdale, near the Weld Road car park. They are  in a small patch  of wetland   – perfectly sited with the artwork representing rare and endangered plant species in the area.

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These forms were inspired by the flora of the Birkdale hills and were used to inspire three Go with the Flow groups to make flowers and plant forms out of delicately twisted coloured wire.

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Wire Making Sculpture Workshop (2)

These were then set in resin inside recesses in the wooden henges, each one cut out by hand by Phill.

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When the three Henges were ready they were loaded onto a trailer, taken on site and unloaded, under Pepper’s watchful eye..

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and hauled into place

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so that digging could start.

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It was hot work –

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carefully monitored…

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only pausing  to rescue a toad deep in one of the holes..

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Finally the holes were deep enough to lift each Henge upright and set then in place.

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Making a beautiful trio.

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Thank you Go with the Flow Bootle and Southport. and Free Flow, Formby.

Bird Bench

The Bird Bench has been installed on the RSPB Marshside site on a lovely section of the coastal path that overlooks the wetlands.

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The Bench, hewn from a tree trunk by Phill Gregson, has individual artworks  embedded in resin in the wood.

We worked with the Natural Alternatives team based at Ainsdale to create the artwork using the ancient photographic process of Cyanotypes.



Through this workshop they created the delicate blue and white images of some of the birds that can typically be seen from the Bird Bench location.


The bird species used in the designs were suggested by Tony Baker, RSPB warden who came to the opening to see the results


We brought the bench on site and then positioned it to get the best view of the wetlands

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and for the team to test it out for comfort!

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Thanks to Tony Baker and United Utilities for enabling the choice of this site and to all at Natural Alternatives.


Installation of the Poles

The Poles for the stained glass pieces have been installed and rise like ancient sentinels on the sand dunes at Ainsdale.

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The poles arrived as tree trunks and have been transformed  along the way by the team…PHILS WOOD YARD (3)

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from their arrival as raw tree trunk logs..

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to  the stripping of the bark by Paul

and the creation of the window cavities by Phill.

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Finally they were ready to take on site and erect on top of the sand dunes opposite the ‘Star of Hope’ shipwreck.  We arrived with plenty of man-and-woman-power to unpack the van

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and walked up the dunes to assess the best spot for digging in the footings,

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checking the sight-line from the beach.

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The dunes are fragile, so the posts had to be carried up by hand – taking 8 of us in harness to lift  them up the steep slope one step at a time.

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Then the digging could start.

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When the holes were deep enough, the poles were guided in and embedded with more sand..

Great views!


and a well deserved lunch break – pies all round!

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Glass Pole Installation SH (23)

We left the beautiful poles to overlook the dune path

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and await  the installation of the glass…..

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Big thanks to the lifting team:  Anna, Emily, Fiona, Phill, Joe, Adam, Sarah and Sian

Creating and installing the Clay Footprints Wall

The Clay Footprint Wall is now installed at The National Trust New and Old Plantation Site in Formby. Here is how we did it..

Our clay feet workshop was open to the public and we created over 40 feet
The glazing and firing really brought out the beautiful shapes of the flora impressed in the feet.
We designed a wave pattern on the wooden panels.
then after Phill had used his router we stained with an aged oak wood stain
Composing the feet along the four panels, we then glued them in place
a dry run fit up in the workshop
before we transport them to the National Trust Victoria Road car park and load them onto a trailer


once on site we cordoned the area off
and started digging
lowering one of the supportive feet in place
and checking the level
before inserting the upright.


Panel 1
Panel 2
Panel 3
Panel four with the top joist placed on
A long days work but the wall is in place.


The clay footprint wall is in direct response to the Mesolithic Formby Footprints, when people from thousands of years ago left their mark in the sands of Formby. See the map above for directions and if you do visit, please do take a picture and post it on our facebook page

The Lizard bench update!

How wonderful to see some people and their furry friends enjoying the Lizard bench down Fisherman’s Path – we thought we would share :

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Sheila’s lovely furry faces Bertie and Elliot

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Geoff and Hannah with the incredible Nico

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Jayne with her perfect little Jack Russels, Florrie and Mavis

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Cheryl with the friendliest dogs ever – Winston and Monty

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John with beautiful Luna.

Thanks so much for sharing these pictures! We love to see pictures of families and pets enjoying the sculptures so if you go visiting please do take a picture and share it with us via our facebook page:


Glazing the Clay Feet

After the bisque firing we went to the Southport Ceramic Studio to see the clay feet. We were really thrilled with the way they turned out, with strong imprints of toes and feet.

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Everyone at the family day workshop had done a great job of rolling on the plants and there is a lovely mixture of both bold and delicate forms.

Glazing Clay Footprints (15)There are over 40 feet – including animal paw prints – that we will be able to choose from for the wall. We spent 3 hours painting on glazes and oxides and rubbing them into the delicate plant traceries.Glazing Clay Footprints (12)

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Under the guidance of Chris

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Then into the kiln for the final firing

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Once fired they look absolutely beautiful, especially against a plank of 7000 year old bog oak

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Next stage is building the wall…



Clay Footprints Workshop

Last month we hosted a family friendly event at Ainsdale Discovery center where we invited members of the public to come and be part of the Sculpture Trail.

We displayed a selection of flora and encouraged people to choose the plants which they liked the best.

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They then used rolling pins to impress the plant into some clay

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and then it was shoes off as people, large and small, created footprints in the clay…

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Even our little furry friends making some too..

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We then very carefully peeled all the leaves off…

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To reveal lots of fantastic clay feet impressions

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and lots of happy faces!

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A huge thanks to everyone who bared their feet to take part in such a fun filled day – and to our wonderful helpers Jayne and Melanie.

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Lizard Bench Installed on Fisherman’s Path

The Great Day has arrived for installing the Lizard Bench. We arrived early at Bridge Inn Community Farm to give the Lizard Bench a final buffing, then Phill and Adam guided it out to the van ready for the journey to the new home.

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The Bench was carefully escorted out of the building

Bridge Inn FArm loading Lizard Bench (13)and onto Phill’s van with a hoist.

A sending off committee arrived with Thank You cards and after a quick photo opportunity ……

Bridge Inn FArm loading Lizard Bench (1)


we were off to the Natural England site, where the Lizards emerged….

installing the Lizard Bench (3)and were carefully loaded onto the trailer….



installing the Lizard Bench (6)We all piled in the Land Rover and set off for the site on the Fisherman’s Path….


installing the Lizard Bench (8)Sarah cleared the site……

installing the Lizard Bench (13)while the men watched….

installing the Lizard Bench (14)and the Lizards were loaded and lifted for the last time.

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installing the Lizard Bench (17)The  Bench was finally set on its feet and settled into its new surroundings.


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Inspecting the Bench and the First Sittings!!

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Sarah’s celebration head stand!!!!

installing the Lizard Bench (53)The Lizards look at home

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It’s a beautiful site!

  Thanks to: Sarah and Sian’s design and concept; Phill’s routing; Adams assistance; Bridge Inn Community Farm; Hobby Island mosaics; John Dempsey and the Natural England Team, Pete, Tony and Sophie!

Bird Bench

We had a very creative day with Natural Alternatives who are an essential and hard working voluntary part of the wider team that keeps the Sefton Coastal Path going and in good repair.

We used  the Cyanotype process for the Bird Bench – a perfect  link in colour and images for this sculpture.  This is an alternative photographic process invented by John Hershcel in 1842 and used in the 19C to record plant specimens. The group explored the process using feathers and images of birds to celebrate  Marshside RSPB where the Coastal Path starts.




Two of the group demonstrating the colour of the paper to start with – the Bockingford watercolour paper has been painted with a light sensitive solution that is green until it is exposed to ultra violet light.

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When the paper is rinsed in tap water, the colour changes to a beautiful deep blue, leaving behind a perfect image of whatever was placed on the green sheet – in this case feathers.

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The images created celebrates some of the species of birds that can be seen at Marshside RSPB: avocets; curlew; pink footed geese; skylarks among others. The group also placed some plants and leaves around the images, making some beautiful scenes.




The group worked hard all day and we had good fun with the process with lovely pieces to put in the Bench – thank you Natural Alternatives!!