A common tern with a sand eel clasped in its bill

David Tipling

A teal walking into water as the sunrise casts an orange glow

Luke Massey

A yellow wagtail standing on the ground

Jim Higham

Life never moves in the slow lane at Seaforth, a coastal nature reserve home to hundreds of thousands of waders and seabirds.


Seaforth Nature Reserve,
Royal Seaforth Docks
L21 1JD

OS Map Reference

SD 318 971
A static map of Seaforth Nature Reserve

Know before you go

33 hectares

Walking trails

Basic footpaths around the site.


LWT Members only - all members require a visitor's pass and a vehicle pass from the Port Police. Please contact the Port Police directly on 0151 949 6144.


No dogs permitted

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times.

Best time to visit


About the reserve

Nestled in the heart of the Liverpool Docks at the mouth of the Mersey, Seaforth, with its industrial charm, is an important part of the Mersey narrows special protection area and a major roosting site for a spectacular variety of waders, seabirds, ducks and small birds. From spring through to winter, life moves at a frenetic pace, and there is always something to see.

Spring is prime-time for spotting migrating little gulls en-route to their breeding grounds in Finland. Black-headed, common, herring, lesser black-backed and great black-backed gulls fill the air with bickering chatter, and are occasionally joined by something rarer: Ross’s and Bonaparte’s gulls have previously been spotted by eagle-eyed visitors.

Spring and summer bring the stunning spectacle of swifts feeding over the freshwater pool, and most years, osprey pass over on their epic migration. Early summer brings up to 1 per cent of the UK population of common tern, and you may even be lucky enough to see small numbers of sandwich, roseate and little terns.

Winter at Seaforth is a bird lover's dream; the lagoons and reedbeed host good numbers of teal, pochard, tufted duck, goldeneye and the incredibly rare scaup. Waders also abound– redshank, oystercatcher, ringed plover, dunlin and curlew are just a few of the 38 wader species recorded at this incredibly special nature reserve, living alongside white wagtails, yellow wagtails, meadow pipits and whinchats.

Contact us

Fiona Whitfield
Contact number: 01519 203769

Environmental designation

Candidate SAC
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)