The Isle of Walney, also known as Walney Island, is an island off the west coast of England, at the western end of Morecambe Bay. It forms part of the town of Barrow-in-Furness, and it is separated from mainland Barrow by Walney Channel, a narrow channel which is spanned by the Jubilee Bridge. Walney is the largest island of the Furness Islands group, both in population and size, as well as the largest English island in the Irish Sea. Its population at the 2011 UK Census was 10,651, distributed evenly across the island's two Wards of Walney North and Walney South.
Walney Island formed during the last glacial period, when the River Duddon was a large glacial lake, depositing till at its mouth, which became Walney. Some evidence of neolithic inhabitants has been found in the island's sand dunes, though its name is likely of Norse origin. The island remained rural until the growth of Barrow-in-Furness' industries in the nineteenth century. In particular, the development between 1867 and 1881 of docks at Barrow Island, in Walney Channel opposite Walney, encouraged the growth of Walney as a settlement. The planned worker town of Vickerstown was built on the island in 1898, resulting in a large population increase, and the construction of Jubilee Bridge connecting Walney to the mainland in 1908. Walney's contemporary population now forms about a seventh of the overall population of Barrow-in-Furness. The island contains two nature reserves, at either end, and its sandy beaches make it a popular leisure site.
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