Benefits for nature and people
This important conservation work would provide long-lasting benefits for people and wildlife; by restoring Formby’s sand dunes to their natural state and making them more dynamic. The natural processes needed to protect and bring new life to the dunes would be re-invigorated, re-connecting important sand dune habitats so that wildlife can thrive. Healthy, mobile dunes also act as a natural sea defence.
Removal of rubble
The project also includes a solution for removing the unsightly and potentially hazardous rubble on the beach. We are proposing to repurpose the majority of this rubble in the construction of a replacement car park at Victoria Road, avoiding the many thousands of lorry movements through Formby that would be required if we moved the rubble off the site.
Replacement car park
The current beach car park is disappearing, around a third of spaces have been reclaimed by nature since the 1980s, due to natural dune rollback. This is compounding the busy day issues felt by the local community. Moving the car park away from the sand dunes will also ensure there is space for people to park and enjoy Formby for years to come.
The replacement car park would be a similar size. However, a better lay out and spaces defined with line marks, would make it easier for people to park cars more efficiently and help improve traffic flow on and off the site.
What would the short-term impact be?
Whilst the work was carried out there would be no National Trust car parking available at Victoria Road. However, the National Trust car park at Lifeboat Road would be open as normal and the vast majority of Formby beach would still be open for visitors to enjoy.
We would continue to keep visitors updated on our social media and website to help people know what to expect and highlight any impact on plans to visit.
We’ve consulted widely on this proposal, including a focused period of engagement in summer 2021, which reached over 45,000 people and gathered valuable feedback from the local community and visitors.
How would this project be funded?
This important conservation project would be made possible thanks to a significant contribution towards the dune restoration work from the UK-wide Dynamic Dunescapes project with funding from EU LIFE and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, alongside the money raised from National Trust memberships and visitors.
What's the latest?
A planning application for the Victoria Road conservation project was submitted in November 2022. Despite being recommended for approval, the planning application for the Victoria Road project was refused in July 2023.
We need to find solutions to the issues caused by Formby’s rapidly shifting coastline. That’s why we’re in the process of appealing the refusal of the planning application.
We’re committed to this project as it will deliver significant long-term benefits for both nature and people and we’ll continue to work with and involve local people and leading experts in the field.