The Fylde Sand Dunes Project
The Fylde Sand Dunes Project is a partnership project between Fylde Council, Blackpool Council and The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside. The project is based on the Fylde Coast in Lancashire and covers approximately 80 hectares from Blackpool to the mouth of the Ribble Estuary at Lytham.
The project, which is funded by the Environment Agency, works hard to make the dunes a better place for both wildlife and people with the help of volunteers and the local community.The borough of Fylde contains more than 90% of Lancashire’s sand dunes. However, unfortunately over the past 150 years, more than 80% of our sand dunes have been lost, mainly due to the urban expansion of the coastal towns.
This project works hard to encourage visitors to the dunes in a way which does not further threaten their existence, whilst letting people know about all the important wildlife present.
The range of conditions in a sand dune habitat supports a surprisingly rich variety of plants and wildlife that are well adapted to their environment. The dunes provide an important recreational resource for the community who come to enjoy the dunes through activities such as picnics, dog walking, bird watching, walking and horse riding.
The dunes are not only important for wildlife and recreation, they are also crucial for their flood defence properties. The dunes act as a natural barrier to the sea at high tide, and release sand during storm conditions to reduce wave action. Due to their importance for habitats, biodiversity, sea defence and recreation it is vital a management plan is implemented to conserve our dunes.
In 2008, a management plan was commissioned in order to evaluate the importance of the dunes and suggest management proposals to maintain or enhance key features. The partnership delivers the management plan by working with natural processes to grow the dunes towards the sea.
The main aims for management of the Fylde sand dunes are to:
- Enhance the nature conservation interest of the coastal habitats
- Improve the efficiency of the dunes and saltmarsh as soft sea-defence
- Enhance public appreciation and enjoyment of the dunes
The project carries out regular practical conservation methods on the dunes which includes:
- Controlling invasive non-native species
- Repairing the dunes by thatching and filling blow-outs to reduce sand loss from the system
- Developing pathways to create recognisable access points and reduce dune erosion
- Creating dune slacks to encourage a greater diversity of wildlife
- Planting dune grasses and using chestnut paling and other natural materials to trap wind-blown sand and create new dunes on the foreshore.
"I feel really good after a day of practical work on the dunes. It's rather therapeutic, and I've learnt a lot about dune processes, vegetation and wildlife whilst volunteering with this project”.
We are looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help in the delivery of our Fylde Sand Dunes Management Project.We hold regular volunteer work parties tackling everything from scrub removal to community engagement - there's something for everyone to get involved with!
If you are passionate about your local area and keen to make a difference please get in touch.
For more volunteering opportunities with The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside please contact Catherine, our Volunteer Co-ordinator:
The Fylde Sand Dunes Project runs FREE regular volunteer-led guided walks on Lytham St Anne’s Local Nature Reserve and surrounding sand dunes.
The guided walks aim to promote the importance of our amazing dunes and to provide information about the project and our local wildlife.
We've got over a dozen weekend guided walks available from October 2016 through to summer 2017. Come along and discover the wonders of this Site of Special Scientific Interest with our passionate and informative volunteers
More information and a full list of upcoming dates can be found here.
For more information about The Fylde Sand Dunes Project please contact our project officer, Amy Pennington on firstname.lastname@example.org