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Formby Beach: Prehistoric Footprints

Volume 714: debated on Thursday 12 November 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to preserve the prehistoric animal footprints on Formby beach in Sefton Metropolitan Borough; and what grants are available for that preservation. [HL6023]

The prehistoric footprints on Formby beach provide important insights into how animals and humans were moving about in the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods. We have taken the advice of specialists in this period. The human and animal footprints have been exposed in soft tidal silts through coastal erosion, and therefore cannot be preserved “in situ”, since they are constantly eroded by the tide, but they can be recorded as they appear.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has earmarked funding of £1,174,000 towards proposals for a Landscape Partnership Scheme on the Sefton coast, which covers the area with the footprints. The earmarked funding includes funding of £57,200 to further develop the bid. Landscape Partnerships is an HLF grant programme to support schemes of between £250,000 and £2 million led by partnerships of local, regional and national interests, which aim to conserve areas of distinctive landscape character throughout the United Kingdom. This scheme includes a project which involves training volunteers to record the footprints, and helping to make information available to the public about them.