St Annes sand dunes sunsetThe Fylde Sand Dunes Project is a partnership project between Fylde Council, Lancashire Wildlife Trust and Blackpool Council, working to grow the Fylde Sand Dunes seawards. The project is fully funded by the Environment Agency until 2022, as the dunes are important for coastal defence. We’ve lost over 80% of the sand dunes in Lancashire over the last 150 years, mainly due to the expansion of our towns, so the project has 3 main aims:

· 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 dune

The Fylde Sand Dunes project carries out a wide range of work to physically grow the dunes, some of which you will have seen when you’re out in the dunes! Wind trap fencing is used to encourage sand deposition, marram grass is planted to help sand accumulate and stabilise, whilst posts have been put in to protect sensitive areas at the foot of the dunes. We also work to remove white poplar, sea buckthorn and Japanese rose from the dunes. These species are not native to our sand dune system, so by removing them we can encourage more natural flora to grow. Since the project started we’ve seen increases in dune width of up to 30m and a 40% decrease in non-native species.

 

A particularly seasonal technique we use is partially burying donated Christmas trees in the dunes. The Christmas trees traps sand in their branches, where it accumulates and helps the dunes to grow. If you’d like to donate your tree this year the drop-off locations are on the Fylde Council website and trees can be dropped between the 3rd and 14th January http://www.fylde.gov.uk/resident/recycling-refuse/christmastree/ .

Xmas Trees supporting St Annes Sand Dunes

There are other opportunities to get involved with the project too! Guided walks are run regularly and our knowledgeable walk leaders point out the interesting wildlife and plantlife, talk about how sand dunes form and the conservation work happening here on the Fylde coast. (See dates on Event Calendar HERE

On Thursdays our ranger takes out a practical conservation work party, made up mainly of local volunteers. Volunteers get involved with a wide range of work and no prior experience is necessary! If you’d like to get involved please email kowen@lancswt.org.uk or chaddon@lancswt.org.uk.

Read more about the Wildlife’s Trust – Irish Sea projects  HERE

Check out St Annes Sand Dunes FaceBook Page HERE

Thank you Kate Owen for the Blog