Formby Beach. Photo by Plastic Free Formby

People in Southport, Formby, Ainsdale and Crosby have been left saddened after visitors to our beaches yesterday left them looking like “the morning after Glastonbury”. 

Despite warnings to stay away from our coastline by Merseyside Police, Sefton Council and Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, beaches at Ainsdale, Formby and Southport all saw large visitor numbers yesterday. 

Behind them, they left a trail of litter with discarded beer bottles, food cartons, plastic bags, food canisters and bags of rubbish. 


Plastic Free Formby Tweeted pictures of the litter along with the caption: “Formby beach this morning, area of Special Scientific Interest and national beauty, resembles the morning after at Glastonbury today.”

Matthew Slack Tweeted: Sad scenes again down #Southport beach this morning. Litter everywhere what the **** is wrong with people! Why can’t they take their **** home!”

Steven Little Tweeted: “To all those people who visited the beaches – stop being so lazy and selfish – images show the litter left on Formby beach – has to be picked up ,or washed out to sea or left so that the next visitor enjoys the scenery- if visitors that ignorant then please don’t come.”

Kevin Shirley Tweeted: “Formby beach yesterday, so much for the hope that people would change for the better after lockdown.”


There were reports of large numbers of visitors to Formby, though some said Ainsdale was quieter. 

Shirl Tweeted: “Turned away to where though? All are at liberty to travel as far as they wish for exercise then abide by 2m rule when doing so. I walked to Ainsdale beach yesterday & this is how it looked. It’s a big beach! People can easily stay apart. Parking is a problem with current closures.”

Sefton Council said on Friday that since restrictions were lifted allowing people to spend more time outside “we have seen a rise in the number of people using local beaches, parks and beauty spots including Formby nature reserve and Formby, Ainsdale and Sefton beaches”.

A Council spokesman said: “Our beaches are tempting but they are not able to cope with high levels of visitors at the moment.

“We understand that some lockdown measures have been eased nationally but that does not mean that we are through the worst of this and as ever, the health and safety of our communities comes first.

“For those few who do visit our coastline at this dangerous time, they are advised that stringent parking restrictions are in place, all rubbish must be taken home and BBQs are strictly prohibited along the entirety of the Sefton coastline.


“We need people to think about their safety and the safety of others.”

The advice remains that everyone should maintain social distancing at all times and that people should only meet up with the permitted number of people from other households when outdoors.

Public transport should also be avoided other than for essential journeys, and people should only make journeys by cycling, walking or driving in a private vehicle. People also should check in advance of visiting places like National Parks and beaches to make sure they are prepared for visitors.

Sefton Superintendent Graeme Robson said: “We understand how frustrated people have been at not being able to leave home for a number of weeks.


“However our current advice remains that people should remain at home wherever possible and if they choose to leave home they should continue to socially distance and only meet up with the permitted number of people.

“We would also continue to ask people to be respectful if they are visiting local beauty spots. Please don’t leave your litter behind or use campfires or barbecues. And if you must use your car please have consideration for local residents and other road users.”

Mersey Fire and Rescue Service station Manager Lauren Woodward said: “We have seen a significant increase in our attendance to grass fires in recent weeks. Not only do they cause extensive damage to our natural environment and public amenities, but they also take crews away from dealing with other potentially life-threatening incidents.

“We would urge the public to be especially careful in the hot weather and make sure they dispose of their rubbish, cigarettes and barbecues safely.”

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