The North West Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment field survey of Merseyside recorded the remains of three prehistoric sites, including preserved human and animal footprints, two medieval sites, consisting of a remote island chapel and a moated enclosure, six post-medieval sites, including lifeboat stations, shipwrecks and industrial sites, and four Second World War sites, including pillboxes, air-raid shelters and anti-tank blocks. The prehistoric footprints sites are revealed by the process of coastal erosion that removes sand from the beaches at Crobsy and Formby and reveals a past land surface containing remains of hundreds of footprint trails from men, women and children as well as animals. There are only a handful of other such examples of footprint sites in Britain and the Merseyside sites provide a fascinating record of everyday life in the Late Mesolithic (c.6000 BC) to Early Neolithic (c.3000 BC) periods.
Once exposed, these remains are at immediate risk from further erosion and destruction, and as inter-tidal features they are offered no protection from damage caused by wave action and blown sand. It is estimated that as much as 140m to 681m of coastline will be lost at the Formby footprint site in the following 100 years, which places the footprint sites at imminent and ongoing risk of coastal erosion.