Formby Point is a National Trust site between Southport and Liverpool. The site is important as it hosts an isolated population of red squirrels that inhabit a small stand of Scots Pines. The pine cones grow on slender branches which provide food for the red squirrels, but are out of reach of the heavier greys, which has allowed the red squirrels to hold on in this small area. However their existence remains precarious. In 2008 the population was cut by 85% due to squirrel pox, but fortunately some survived, and their numbers have now largely recovered. The forest is also home to numerous birds, most notably Jays, which are usually difficult to get close to but have become more used to people at Formby.
Formby also boasts a stretch of beach, backed by shifting sand dunes. Numerous fences have been erected to stop the erosion of the dunes, but a more interesting approach uses old Christmas trees to create barriers to retain the sand. The dunes are also home to numerous butterfly species, so the site provides a good mix of wildlife, macro and landscape photo opportunities.
To photograph the squirrels it is best to arrive as early as possible (the car park opens at 9am) as the squirrels are most active in the morning. It is also best to avoid weekends or bank holidays as it gets rather busy and noisy at these times.
Address/Postcode: Victoria Road, Formby, Liverpool, L37 1LJ
The A565 is the main road between Southport and Liverpool and runs behind Formby. From the roundabout at Formby drive west along Southport Rd and after 0.4 miles turn left onto Ryground Lane and follow this around a right bend to reach a roundabout. Go straigh on at the roundabout onto Piercefield Rd, then right onto Gores Lane then left onto Victoria Rd. Cross the railway and continue to the entrance to the NT property at the end of the road. Parking for the squirrel walk is just after the NT entrance, or continue to the end of the road for the beach car park.