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.


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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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

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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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!!

Lizard Bench – behind the scenes

With such a good response and interest in the Lizard Bench, we thought you might be interested to see the Lizards’ journey and all the preparation that went in to creating the Lizard Bench, from concept and design, to  Phill and team working on the wood, the mosaic work and the installation.


The sand lizard is an endangered species that lives along Sefton Coast. They have incredible hearing and are masters of disguise, blending into the marram grass perfectly making it unlikely for you to spot one on your rambles. In mating season the male turns the most amazing bright green – a stunning display that bewitches the females. This is what  inspired us to create the colourful lizards on our bench.

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We selected a log big enough which Phill then cut to size using his saw mill and his chain saw.

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… with a little help from us!

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Thinking about the three main visible sides of the bench we developed a lizard design which we then drew the on to the wood. Phill then used his router to cut out the shapes freehand.

wood yard Lizard in Progress (7)and the Lizards emerged…

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Sanding down the wood till it felt wonderfully smooth ready for the mosaic workshop.

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We are thrilled to be working with Bridge Inn Community Farm in Formby on this sculpture. This is a wonderfully inspiring place where the clients run a farm with sheep and pigs, lots of vegetables and have a brilliant art programme where they create wonderful art. We has super support and enthusiasm from John, Karl and the rest of the team, who were thrilled to be part of this project.

We started them off with a workshop session, then left the bench with them so they had time to finish gluing mosaic tiles into all four of the lizards.

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They all worked incredibly hard, coming up with some great ideas of pattern and shapes, using contrasting colours and finding the tiles which fit just right.

Meanwhile, we met the Natural England Team who took us off in their Land Rover to find a suitable site along the Fisherman’s Path Trail.

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We  found a great site. It offers a chance to sit and relax, enjoying the beautiful surroundings. And who knows, the lizards may see the wood as a lovely warm place to bask when nobody is around.

 Finally we went back to Bridge Inn Community Farm to complete the grouting …

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We then sanded back the wood and applied a fungicide, then the final touch of linseed oil and all was ready for the installation.

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Well done to a fantastic creative team!






Lizard Bench, finding a site

We joined the Natural England team to look for a site for the Lizard Bench. We set off in the Landrover ….

Lizard site (2)and found the perfect spot…..

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People already use these fallen logs as a sitting place, so our bench will be perfect here.

Located just down from Freshfield station, along the Fishermans path, this location is right along the Coastal path and also the crossing of two other paths.