About Sefton - Liverpool City Region
Sefton Settlements - A Coastal Borough
Sefton has a combined population of around 275,000 people,
with the large towns of Southport and Bootle accounting for the lions share of that total.
Like most of the Liverpool City Region, the borough was originally a part of Lancashire.
Formed in 1974, the borough stretches along the coast from Bootle in the south to Southport in the north, extending inland to Maghull and Aintree.
Southport is a large affluent seaside town located within the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton. It has a population of around 92,000 people and relies heavily on tourism. There are vast stretches of sand dunes for several miles between Birkdale and Woodvale to the south. The Ainsdale sand dunes have been designated as a National Nature Reserve, with local fauna including the Natterjack Toad and the Sand Lizard. The town contains many examples of Victorian architecture and town planning. Another particular feature of the town is the extensive tree planting, which was one of the conditions required by the Hesketh family when they made land available for development in the 19th century. Town attractions include Southport Pier with its Southport Pier Tramway and the second longest seaside pleasure pier in the British Isles. Over the course of the 20th century, Southport saw its population almost double from 48,000 to just over 90,000. Southport has always been a popular destination for people wanting to spend the day at the seaside. In 2011, it was named the 14th most popular coastal resort in the country.
Bootle has a combined population of around 75,000 people, with
the urban areas of Litherland, Netherton and Orrell, contributing to around 22,000 of that figure.
The town's economy has been centred on the docks and their associated industries.
The settlement began to grow as a bathing resort for wealthy residents of Liverpool in the
early 19th century.
By the turn of the 20th Century, the population of the town had grown as it became swallowed up
by the Liverpool sprawl.
The expansion and increased trade from the second city of the empire, led to the building of new docklands and the expansion of the Liverpool Overhead Railway. Culturally, the town has remained a scouse suburb of Liverpool ever since.
Crosby is a coastal town with a population of around 52,000 people. The town has several miles of beach, a marina, a number of parks and a large area of woodland known as Ince Woods. Crosby Beach is home to Antony Gormley's art installation Another Place. His work consists of 100 cast iron figures which face out to sea, spread over a 2 mile stretch of the beach between Waterloo and Blundellsands. The opening of the Liverpool, Crosby and Southport Railway in 1848 resulted in the growth of Crosby as suburb of Liverpool. The town encompasses the areas of Great Crosby, Little Crosby, Blundellsands, Waterloo, Brighton-le-Sands and Thornton.
Formby is an affluent coastal town in Sefton with population of around 25,000 people. Parts of Formby are conserved by the National Trust and designated a site of Specific Scientific Interest. It has attractive beaches, sand dunes and various wildlife, including the protected Red Squirrel. The town has strong economic and cultural ties to Liverpool, with many of its residents commuting to the city on a daily basis.
Maghull is the eastern most town in Sefton and has a population of around 22,000 people. The town is somewhat separated from the rest of the Liverpool sprawl by a green belt, running across the Switch Island motorway junction along the River Alt.
Aintree is home to one of the most famous races in the world, leading to the mere name of the village being synonymous with Horse Racing itself. Over half a billion people watch 'The Grand National' in over 140 countries, it's a calendar event that boosts the local economy every year. Located on the borders of both Liverpool and Knowsley, the village has a population of around 7,000 people.
Hightown is a coastal village located south of Formby with a population of around 3,000 people. It is where the River Alt joins the sea and forms an estuary. Hightown beach is the site of a former wartime military base known as Fort Crosby.
Smaller settlements in Sefton
Located on a flood plain of the River Alt to the South West of Maghull is Sefton Village. The small village which bares the name of the borough has a population of around 1,000 people.