• About Formby

    Formby is a coastal town with an area of roughly 7 sq miles (17 km2), located in the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton, Merseyside. The local authority, Formby Parish Council represents the community and as a Parish Council is the first tier of local government and the one closest to the people. It consequently engages in partnership working with Sefton Metropolitan Borough Council.

    Formby was historically in Lancashire and is recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as part of three manors - "Fornebei", Halsall, Walton and Poynton. Cockle raking and shrimp fishing lasted into the 19th century. By 1872, the township and sub-district was made up of two chapelries (St Peter's and St Luke's), Birkdale township, the hamlets of Ainsdale and Raven-Meols and Altcar parish. Formby was built on the plain adjoining the Irish Sea coast a few miles north of the Crosby channel. With such close proximity and travel links to Liverpool, it is now a popular commuter town.

    Formby. Red Squirrel
  • Formby Geography & Wildlife

    Formby is built upon the west of a large flat area of land called the West Lancashire Coastal Plain. Formby's highest point is within the sand dunes that separate the Irish Sea from Formby.
    However, these sand dunes are ever-changing in shape and formation, so there is no fixed point. The River Alt runs into the Irish Sea just south of Formby at Hightown.

    The town is rurally landlocked; the land between Formby andthe areas of Southport, Ormskirk and Liverpool is green belt land and is used for arable agricultural purposes. The areas round the urban fringe are drained by irrigation ditches and open areas get boggy in the winter months. Earth in urban areas is well drained, very loose and sandy.

    The section of land between Formby and the coast is variedin vegetation, wildlife and terrain. This area includes pine forests (both natural and man-made), sand dunes, marram grass, deciduous woodland, seasonal ponds and lakes. Large areas of this land are protected and conserved by the National Trust. Invariably Formby is also a popular tourist destination with day trippers attracted to its dramatic beaches, sand dunes and wildlife, particularly the endangered red squirrel and natterjack toad. Consequently the area too is designated a Site of Special Scientific Intere st. Do also visit Dynamic Dunescapes and Woodland Trust for local conservation information.

    Formby is in a temperate climate zone, with mild winters andwarm summers. Formby's coastline faces an ongoing threat from water-based erosion, with high tides washing away yards of sand dunes. In an attempt to stem this, in some years discarded Christmas trees are collected and planted by rangers and volunteers to help slow this effect.

    This section's references are via Formby Wiki and correct at the time of writing

  • Formby History

    Erosion of sand on the beach at Formby is revealing layersof mud and sediment, laid down in the late Mesolithic to the late Neolithic, approximately 8,000 – 5,000 years ago, and covered in the early Bronze Age. These sediments oftencontain the footprints of humans and animals (red deer, roe deer, wild boar, wolf, aurochs) and birds (oystercatcher, crane and other waders) from that period. In June 2016, over 50 human footprints from 7,000 years ago were uncovered on the beach.

    The common place-name suffix -by is from the Scandinavian 'byr' meaning "homestead", "settlement" or "village". The village of Formby was originally spelt Fornebei and means "the old settlement" or "village belonging to Forni". At that time Fornibiyum was also a well-known Norse family name. He could have been the leader of the invading expedition which took possession of this coast. Until its closure in 1998, Oslo Airport in Norway was situated in a town called Fornebu.

    It was from Ireland in about 960 AD that these Norsemen orVikings first came to the west coast of Lancashire, initially trading or raiding and then settling. Tradition says that the Viking invaders failed to defeat the native Anglo-Saxons on the coast of Formby, so they sailed inland, up the River Alt, and attacked from the rear. Dangus Lane, on the east side of the village, is sometimes called Danesgate Land, being connected by local traditions with this incursion.

    Formby Hall is a Grade II listed building dating back to1223. It has traditionally been the home of the lords of the manor. Much of the land around it is now a golf course. Formby Beach is the location of the first lifeboat station in the UK. It is believed to have been established as early as 1776 by William Hutchinson, the Dock Master for the Liverpool Common Council.
    Although no exact record has been found, the boat used is believed to have been a 'Mersey Gig'. The last launch from thestation took place in 1916. Remarkably, a film of this event survived. The foundations of the last of the lifeboat stationbuildings remain on the beach to this day.In 2016, the newly opened Wetherspoons pub in the town was named 'The Lifeboat' in honour of the original lifeboat station.

    Formby is home to RAF Woodvale, a small RAF station to thenorth of the town.[19] The airfield opened in 1941 and is a former Second World War fighter station with three active runways, the main runway being a mile in length. Today it is used by RAF for light aircraft and fighter training, as well as a few civilian aircraft. The station was also home to Merseyside
    Police's helicopter, known as 'Mike One'. The RAF station was also home to the last operational service of WWII fighter plane the Supermarine Spitfire. In 1957 the last Spitfire to fly operationally with British military markings took off from RAF Woodvale. Woodvale is also home to the Woodvale Rally, one of the biggest shows on an active MOD station in the North West. To find out more about Formby we'd recommend contacting the Formby Civic Society. A Little more is about them below.


    This section's references are via Formby Wiki and correct at the time of writing

    Formby Civic Society

    Originally founded as ‘The Formby Society’ in 1953, the local Formby Civic Society's aim has always been to preserve, protect and celebrate Formby’s heritage. The Society is also affiliated with the Merseyside Civic Society. Today they are registered as a Charity and affiliated with ‘Civic Voice’, the National Charity for promoting civic pride in England and making the places we live more attractive, enjoyable and distinctive. Visit the Formby Civic Society website for further details, their latest news, events and how they are also assisting with local wildlife and geography initiatives