Formby Pinewoods and coastline

We started our walk from by the National Trust notice board at the Squirrel Reserve at Formby, one of the few remaining places in the country where the Red Squirrels can be found.

A couple of years ago about 80% of the squirrel population was wiped out by the Squirrel Pox Virus but they are now making a comeback. The weather early in the morning was cold and damp so we did not see any squirrels. They were all holed up in their dens.

We headed south through the pinewoods and crossed old asparagus fields to reach Lifeboat Road. We climbed over the dunes to drop down to the beach close to the remains of the old Formby Lifeboat Station.

Only the foundations remain but this was the site of the first lifeboat station in the UK. It was established in 1776 by William Hutchinson, the Dock Master for the Liverpool Common Council. In 1774 eighteen ships were stranded at the mouth of the Mersey and 75 people were drowned. The last boat to be launched from the station was in 1916.

18 Shells and things

17. What's on the beach

We headed north along the beach to round Formby Point looking to see what had been washed up by the tide. The action of the wind and the waves over the winter had caused a lot of erosion of the dunes revealing layers of sediment. Close inspection revealed traces of organic matter.

Further out on the beach erosion of sand has revealed human and animal footprints in sediment that was laid down in the late Neolithic/ Early Bronze Age ( 3500 – 4000 years ago)

Efforts are being made to dry and stop the erosion and stabilise the dunes by recycling old Christmas trees to produce a dune fence.

We left the beach at Gypsy Path and headed back through the dunes towards the pinewoods. We passed a couple of pools which are breeding grounds for the rare Natterjack Toad. Formby is one of the few remaining sites in England where these toads breed.

Near the end of the walk we passed some tubular wood chimes. Wendy could not resist having a go. She was supposed to be playing – Twinkle twinkle little star, but I think the pipes were out of tune.

A pleasant six mile stroll.

Peter leaps over the giant dog!!!!!


About crosbyman66

My aim is to create a photo diary of my walks and my travels. I have two main hobbies, walking and photography and these complement each other. I am a senior citizen, what used to be called an old age pensioner, but I don't feel old. Since retirement I have had more time to pursue my hobbies and the opportunity to travel more. My philosophy now is - Do what you can, while you can. My other interests are fine wines and keeping fit. These may not complement each other but keep me happy.
This entry was posted in Industrial Heritage, Natural History, Photography, Sefton Coastline, Walks. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Formby Pinewoods and coastline

  1. Mike Bell says:

    Alan, I’m surprised you didn’t go up the Fisherman’s Path and pop into the Freshfield for a pint of real ale on the way back!

  2. Roger says:

    I am sorry that I was unable to join you as it was an interesting route.

  3. Wendy says:

    I love the ‘leap over giant dog’. This was a fabulous walk and it does us good to remind ourselves now and again that we have one of the most amazing coastlines on our doorstep; one of my favourite places, and one not visited often enough.

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