APEx has organised a couple of extra Spring Walks – the first was to Hilbre Island, with a later one arranged for late April, Mindfully taking in the sights, sounds and feel of an early morning Dawn Chorus in a bit of old deciduous spring-woodland near the West Wirral Coast. For more details, please email
Meanwhile, here’s a flavour of two APEx activities that took place on Sunday 25 March – A Tale of Two Tides by Chris Shaw.
Shivery Sun-ups , sand-sunken-shipwrecks, Saharan -sand-silted skies, salty-sea-strands and tangs, shellfish, sad seal sandbank sounds, Sandstone-isles, softening-sun-lights, slanting long-legged-evening- shadows and soaked-shaggy dogs and soul soothing - smooth-sea'd sunsets...
To run on the sandbanks off Leasowe Bay is great - but there is very little margin for error: you really must know the tides and the checking of tide-tables and whether they state about adding on an hour for British Summer Time - and make sure that you are well on the way back to shore before the tide has turned. If anyone would like to do this run then contact me and we can arrange something. On summer mornings in previous years we have swum right on the tide line - well, well over a mile out off the Derby Pool Embankment. The views are stunning and 360 degrees wide!
The first day of BST at 7am (or 6 am!) on 25 March 2012 - bleary eyed, early-out, and cold, morning trundle way-out up onto the sandbanks between the coastguard station on Wallasey Prom and Leasowe Bay. A lovely 6 mile numb-toed circuit miles out to the tide line at low water, with the close proximity to the windmills at the Mersey bar creating a real atmosphere of remoteness.
On leaving the sea wall steps we could see a black outcrop - that proved to be the wreck of a small, old, cast-iron cargo coaster. This winter’s proper Atlantic gales had obviously scoured round and exposed the old bones of this small ship. I have seen it a number of times - but the sand reclaims it slowly as sediment is deposited upon it again in calmer weathers.
Mark's photographs capture the sun appearing over New Brighton. The light was hazed and slightly misted by ‘clag’ in the air that folk have told me is from Saharan dust blown way up north on southerly breezes (the fine layer of dust particles found on your car and other surfaces). A foot-freshening (freezing) trundle back through shin-shallow pools, and runnels and silty sand to The Leasowe Castle embankment and back up and over the Sand-hills and through the new woods made for a really beautiful run in cool still morning air. Just had to brush down Seth (the dog) - and then it was back in time for breakfast - a really great way to start the day!
4.50pm - waiting at West Kirby Prom - in August temperatures and cloudless skies - 18 of us (and 6 dogs!) turned out to start an evening's walk out to the Lifeboat station at the point end of Hilbre Island – including 7 people who hadn’t been on an APEx walk before.
Convivial, with a sprinkling of canine chaos - I think it was great: gentle but great for talking and sauntering and taking time to mindfully make sense of the views. Even though cloudless, the southern airs and their being full of dusty sediment meant that the visibility was just about ok - no sign of Lancashire's Pennines, and just the merest trace-line of the Carneddau out West. The evening sunlight on a swim-inducing smooth sea was beautiful, the air temperatures held a steady t-shirting 20 degrees until the sun sank to a couple of inches above the sea when it settled back to a hardly cold 17 degrees at walk’s end (7.50pm).
We could see the distant seal haul sandbank (by the buoy) and hear the melancholic sounds of their wailing occasionally wafting across the channel when the gentle breeze dropped to a still and allowed airwave passage across the mile or so of water.
White, Little Egrets - heading up estuary to roost, or feed; dinosaur footprints on old Sandstone; long legged shadows stretching east on the way back; 18 chatting folk; a post-festival knackering of soaked, mud-smeared and bedraggled, tail-wagging dogs – all this and a final muster of folk at the beach near the Marine Lake to watch the sun nip over the ocean-horizon somewhere North west of the larger Orme! A great way to finish on a weekend high - fully fortified for the coming week's days.
We are planning a very early morning (Dawn Chorus) walk through Roydon or Stapleton/Caldy woods: this will be a ludicrously early start - 5am meeting - but should be rewarded by sitting and listening to the deafening cacophony of sound in cool-green sylvan surroundings and sunshine - (End of April). If you are interested, please can you contact us within the next week or so via
We welcome families and well behaved pets!