A natter with...

Formby ranger Izzie checking water table level with a dipwell

We’re keen to help you get to know the people caring for Formby’s nature haven. Meet ranger and Dynamic Dunescapes project officer Izzie...

Formby ranger Izzie Spall with marram grass and sand dunes behind
National Trust Formby ranger Izzie Spall
Formby ranger Izzie Spall with marram grass and sand dunes behind

How long have you worked at National Trust Formby?

I first started at Formby back in 2015 and worked as an Environmental Education Guide and a Visitor Experience Assistant. I then worked in different roles in the Cairngorms National Park and Hampshire before coming back to Formby in 2018.

What was your previous job?

Previously I worked in the Ecologists team with Hampshire & the Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. This meant I got to visit various Wildlife Trust sites across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, carrying out surveys for wildlife and plants species. Helping the ranger teams on the ground manage the sites for the special wildlife.

Describe your role at Formby?

I have two roles at Formby. I work three days as a ranger and two days as a project officer. My role as a ranger is really varied, from monitoring protected species like bats and natterjack toads to habitat management and maintaining access for visitors to the coast. My work as a project officer enables me to be part of the national Dynamic Dunescapes project and carryout landscape scale conservation intervention to help rare wildlife at Formby thrive.

What do you like most about your job?

I love the variation, there’s no day the same. I also love working with some of the UK’s rarest and specialist species including natterjack toads, sand lizards and northern dune tiger beetles.

What’s your favourite spot to enjoy nature at Formby and why?

I love the frontal dunes, anywhere on site, they are constantly shifting and shaping so there’s always a different view.

What’s your most fascinating find at Formby?

One Christmas we had a reindeer running around the dunes after it had escaped from a local winter wonderland!

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently spending about half my time on the Dynamic Dunscapes project at Formby. It's a really  exciting and important project to be involved in. We’re working with partners across the Sefton Coast to restore natural dune habitats and create space for rare species like natterjack toads and sand lizards to thrive.

How would you describe National Trust Formby in three words?

Wild, diverse and one-of-a-Kind

What’s your favourite National Trust place to visit (other than Formby of course)?

I have a huge soft spot for the coast and National Trust has some great stretches of coastline but one of my favourites is Rhossili on the Gower Peninsular.

Who would you most like to meet dead or alive?

David Attenborough or a living dinosaur!

What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?

I spent time in Botswana learning how to track as a safari guide.