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24 September 2014
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NATURE
You are in: Liverpool > Nature > Walks > The Sands of Time > Stage 1
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Explore the sands of time
The Sands Of Time
Take a walk back through time to an era when dinosaurs roamed the landscape, Britain lay on the equator and Wirral was an arid desert of dunes and water channels.
Walk details:
Start point: Car park 100m north of Cottage Loaf on the A540, Thurstaston
Countryside Rangers' office: 0151 648 4371
Ordanance Survey: Explorer 266, Landranger 108
Distance: approx 1.5 miles
Time: approx 1 hour
Extra info:
To see what the symbols mean, please visit the key
Parking facilitieswildlife interestplant interesttoilet facilitiesfood availableviewscircular walk
Acknowledgments: Martyn Jamieson
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More info:
This is a walk back through time. If you had stood here in the Triassic, 240 million years ago, you would have been in the equivalent of the Sahara - hard to imagine after all the rain this summer. At that time, what is now Britain was on the equator, and you would be in the middle of a massive expanse of sand, with huge dune systems and muddy vegetated water channels. Dinosaurs roamed, leaving their footprints in the mud - occasionally we still find these footprints, now fossilized in sandstone.

At the other extreme, 20,000 years ago the landscape was scraped clean by the last ice sheet, and there are still areas of rock with no soil cover dating back to that time. When the ice retreated, plants, animals and then people returned. Today the largest wild animals you may be lucky enough to see on the Common are foxes or badgers. Back then there would have been cave bears, woolly rhinoceros, giant Irish elk, and woolly mammoth, all now extinct, as well as the more familiar beaver, bison, brown bear and wolf. Your walk at that time might have been quite exciting!

Think of the walk as a detective story. There are clues to be found to the past, it is like a jig saw puzzle waiting to be pieced together. Explore the landscape, and see what you can find.

Getting there:
By bus:
Regular bus service 82A from West Kirby/ Heswall Bus Station.
By car: Drive to start point, car park 100m north of Cottage Loaf on A540.
Walk conditions
Paths are sandy or bare sandstone, and can become slippy when wet. Care must be taken on the short set of steps from the car park and when negotiating an awkward sandstone step on the way to Thor's Stone.

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SEE ALSO
Wirral Walks
Liverpool Walks
Liverpool Urban Walks
On bbc.co.uk
Hilbre Island Webcam
Parkgate Panoramic
Liverpool Local History
Rest of the web
Wirral Ranger Service
Liverpool Ranger Service
Sefton Ranger Service
Knowlsey Ranger Service
Halton Ranger Service
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On Science & Nature
Fox illustration, on Science & Nature
More walks through time and amazing wildlife.
Find another walk
Explore wildlife habitats
The TV series:
British Isles, a Natural History
Visit Open2.net's Natural History section
Snail
Get more from your walk,
with the Open University.
bullet point Get active - the Great Snail Hunt
bullet point What does that mean? - a natural history glossary
bullet point Get into nature - the science you need to know
bullet point How do they know that? - explore nature's secrets
bullet point Become a Landscape Detective - Free Leaflets!

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