Prehistoric footprints at Formby

Searching the mud for footprints at Formby

The sand and mud of Formby holds traces of the distant past. Seek out the footprints of these prehistoric people and animals.

The beautiful Sefton Coast at National Trust Formby contains a tantalising glimpse into the lives of our ancient, hunter-gatherer ancestors. On warm days as long ago as 6000BC the footprints of the humans that lived on the coast and the animals that sustained them were preserved through a process of sun, sand and mud. The sediment beds that contain the footprints are exposed by tidal erosion and offer a unique insight into the prehistoric life of the area.

The human population who inhabited prehistoric Formby subsisted on a protein rich diet that included fish, deer, aurochs (a large, wild ox), birds and their eggs. Foraged foods would have made a good proportion of their diet such as shrimps, razor clams and winkles and edible seaweed.

" These traces of our prehistoric ancestors are a fascinating, fragile and finite evocation of our distant past."
- Jamie Lund, Archaeologist

Archaeologist Alison Burns has produced a user friendly guide to identifying the human and animal prints that appear here. A guide for the footprint detective (PDF / 0.1MB) download

Find out more about  Alison's work on the Formby footprints here and the research done by local resident Gordon Roberts here.