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History of Formby.

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History of Formby. The present landscape of Formby documents the constant changes in climate and sea level which has occurred since the Ice Age about 12,000 years ago. Between and beneath the dunes formed slack silts and peats. Pollen and animals remains preserved in these have indicated how Mesolithic hunters; some 7,000 years ago began clearing the birch and pine woodlands. From the Neolithic, settlers have used the area for animal husbandry. The earliest records are the medieval land grants to Cockersand Abbey for the grazing of cattle. Sheep and horses are known to have been kept at Ainsdale and Ravenmeals from about 1200 whereas the dunes were used as warrens for rabbits, historically an important food source until about 1750. ...read more.


The fossil pine forest at the mouth of the Alt and the footprints of prehistoric man and the deer and primitive cattle they pursued across ancient estuarine silts, occasionally visible on the foreshore, are examples. 6000bc. 8000 years ago sea levels increased and flooded large areas of Britain. The wide Lancashire plain was created at this time. Layers of mud were deposited under the sea. After sea levels dropped layers of peat built up. The rich soils produced mean the Lancashire plain is now an important agricultural area. 16th Century. The dunes formed 300 - 400 years ago, during a mini ice age, when sea levels dropped. ...read more.


Britain's first lifeboat station was built in Formby in 1776, now buried by sand. 19th Century Coastal line extended 220metres out to sea with formation of new dune systems. Ravenmeols village buried by sandstorms. Formby-by-the-sea, Victorian holiday resort built with promenade, now 360m inland. 1840 - 1930 landowners planted pine trees to further stabilise the dunes and trap more sand. 20th Century Since 1906 coastline retreated over 500 metres in place due to wave erosion. River Alt changed its course badly eroding the coastline. 1912 - 28 coast at Blundellsands eroded at an average of 10m per year, several houses had to be demolished in 1932 before coast was protected by tin slag from Bootle smelting works. Later, rubble from bombsites was used and the Alt was diverted away from the coast by a training wall which still exists. ...read more.

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