Formby beach is mostly empty of people as much of it is a national secret of tranquil beauty on the English coastline. Looking south one can see Liverpool’s majestic wind turbines and the ferries or ships that cruise towards Ireland. In the north is Blackpool’s coastline; its tower looking tiny from a distance. From the east where I’d come from are the pine trees and grasslands protected by the National Trust.
But I wanted to get closer to the debris which is washed ashore day by day; the glass, plastic containers, fishing lines, bits of wood and beach balls. The beach is awash with crab shells and seaweed. This year alone two bodies were washed ashore; their identity unclaimed.
I walked some distance until I found a rotting carcass. I was hoping it was a small whale but on close inspection I couldn’t decide if it was a sea lion or a dolphin. The animal’s face had been eaten away and its identity unknown. I took photographs while a couple of passersby tried to guess what it was. One man decided it was a porpoise and who was I to argue with him. The body was breaking down and blood oozed out of a hole on the side of its body.
Further up the beach lay the trashed body of a sea bird with it’s ribcage resembling the devoured bird of a Sunday roast; its identity unclaimed.