Nature reserve home to a fitting World War tribute

History met nature at a poignant ceremony at The Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Freshfield Dune Heath Nature Reserve in Formby, Merseyside, last week.
Reg Yorke at Freshfield Dune Heath Nature Reserve

The nature reserve borders Woodvale Airfield, which opened on 7 December 1941 and last Thursday was marking its 75th anniversary since opening.

To commemorate this landmark date, The Lancashire Wildlife Trust, in association with the Formby Civic Society and the Sefton Mayoral Fund, have produced and installed an information board to commemorate the airmen that lost their lives at Woodvale Airfield during World War II, which was unveiled at a short ceremony, which included an informative and emotional speech by Reg Yorke of the Formby Civic Society (right).

Staff and volunteers of the Trust were present, along with members of the Formby Civic Society, local historian Aldon Ferguson and Woodvale's station commander, Wing Commander David Hooton and Station Adjutant, Warrant Officer Neil Blair.

Crowds at Freshfield Dune Heath Nature Reserve

Fiona Whitfield, Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Merseyside Reserve Manager, says that the board will provide a dignified memoriam, as well as educating visitors to the reserve on the sacrifices that were made, by the airmen.

“We are pleased that we have been able to work with the Formby Civic Society to have produced what we think is a fitting and informative way to mark those who lost their lives at RAF Woodvale.

“It is hard for many people today to even imagine the incredible and often horrific sacrifices that were made by our airmen. Hopefully this board will help current and future generations understand what horror unfolded on their doorstep.

“We are now looking to get the board officially registered as a War Memorial.”

You can view a downloadable version of the interpretation board by clicking here.