Morecambe Bay, located in the north-west of England, south of the Lake District National Park, is a large estuary. It has the distinction of being the largest area of tidal mudflats and sandflats in the United Kingdom with a total area of 310 square kilometers.
In 1974, an important discovery was made in the bay – the UK’s second largest gas field, located 40 kilometers west of Blackpool, with initial reserves of more than 200 billion cubic meters. At its peak, the gas field provided 15% of Britain’s gas supply, but production has since been in decline.
Notably, Morecambe Bay is also home to the tall brown fritillary butterfly.
These extensive sandbanks are the remnants of the vast Sandur which is essentially a low-lying plain formed by meltwater after the gradual retreat of the last ice age. At the beginning of the Holocene, about 11,000 years ago, sea levels were about 3 meters lower than today.