Liverpool South Docks
The Liverpool South Docks date back to the 18thcentury with the last major construction in the docks taking place at the beginning of the 20thcentury.
The decline of the docks began after the Second World War, accelerating in the 1960s. The docks were closed to commercial shipping in 1972 and silted up over the following decade.
In 1981, the Merseyside Development Corporation was established with the aim to develop the docks as a commercial project. The docks were dredged between 1981 and 1985, finishing with the replacement of the double lock gates at the Brunswick River entrance.
Today, the Albert Dock is now a major tourist attraction, comprising luxury apartments, retail outlets, restaurants , bars and museums.
The URBANE team are working with the NERC National Facility for Scientific Diving and Peel Ports to resurvey the Liverpool Dock Complex to describe the long-term stability (or otherwise) of benthic communities. We aim to combine historic data collected in the 1980s and 1990s with contemporary data collected as part of the current study to establish how the communities have stabilised almost 30 years following redevelopment and restoration.
URBANE research on habitat enhancement
The URBANE team have been working with British Waterways who manage Liverpool's famous Albert Docks to experiment with cheap habitat enhancement units called "DOCKBLOCKS". We are using various blocks to investigate the role of surface roughness and complexity in determining the diversity and abundance of colonising animals and plants such as mussels and sea squirts.
Albert Dock, Liverpool
Diverse communities living on walls of Salthouse Dock. Photo: L. Firth
Jellyfish blooms are also common in the Docks. Photo: L. Firth