The crater, the deepest widest hollow among the high Formby dunes–is it what the signs nearby refer to as the Devil’s Hole?
Conflicting stories from locals and explanatory-but-not-explicit tourism signs bring up three possibilities for this strange formation:
- It was one of Formby’s formerly lucrative sand-mining sites, before folks considered the problems of erosion. Sand-mining, as well as rabbit warren cultivation and asparagus farming were mainstays of Formby livelihoods.
- It’s a natural aeolian phenomenon, whipped up by wind and cosmic mystery
- It’s a WWII bomb crater
We did not see or hear any Natterjack toads. Like the red squirrel, they are famous Formby inhabitants (and are also called Bootle Nightingales). However, it isn’t the season for toadly revels. Springtime is primetime for Natterjack lovesongs.