Progress Update: Fylde Sand Dunes Restoration Project

The Fylde Sand Dunes Project, part of the Lancashire Wildlife Trust were thrilled to have been awarded the North West Coastal Forum’s 2023 Award for Excellence for Coastal Best Practice at the Climate Change on the North West Coast Conference in March 2023. The Conference focused on challenges facing coastal communities and working with nature to adapt to coastal change so it was perfect for them!

You can watch/listen to the Award presentation here (they are the final category):

Thanks to generous support from VP plc, the Fylde Sand Dunes Project has purchased an iSandBOX mini, zoom camera lens, drone equipment and Go Pro during the last financial year. In the face of escalating production costs, they brought forward the design & production of a Sand Lizard interpretation panel from Year 2, so that they could combine production/delivery/installation costs with Fylde Council and remain on budget. The panel is installed on site and they have been using the camera lens images on their social media channels (examples below):

The iSandBOX is currently securely stored, awaiting an alternative venue after the Council changed their plans for the Windsports Centre. They used the Go Pro to capture footage of the annual Christmas tree planting event & they think this really captures the flavour of the event. It was too windy to deploy the drone during the event, but Amy will be practicing with the drone once the summer events are over, ready for next year’s events & tree planting (winter weather permitting).

Looking forward, the accompanying Sand Lizard Tale Trail will be commissioned this Autumn. They will shortly purchase the remaining survey equipment (bat detector, Garmin GPS, moth trap, binoculars) and the practical equipment/materials (tree poppers, loppers, chestnut paling and posts plus Marram and Lyme Grass plug plants) once they’re back into optimal planting conditions and out of the bird breeding season/current drought.

They’ve included images of a sand lizard interpretation panel which features images taken with the specialist camera lens, as well as the bird disturbance panels featuring long lens images above.

In other sand lizard news, they now have confirmed breeding on the Local Nature Reserve (LNR), meaning that they somehow made it across the main road between Blackpool and St. Anne’s (extremely unexpectedly). The sand lizard breeder (Ray Lynch) is now advising what habitat management is required to make the LNR more optimal for sand lizards (scrub control and patches of bare sand on south-facing slopes). Ray also spotted a juvenile sand lizard much further south than before in May. Due to the dune creation with recycled Christmas trees since 2013, they have bridged a previously impassable gap & created suitable habitat that will enable the lizards to spread south towards St. Anne’s Pier within the next 5 years according to Ray.

This is our CEO (Tom) enthusing about the Irish Sea:

And the launch of Our Future Coast (of which the Dunes Project is a learning site, included to share our best practice nationally):

Report Author: Kim Wisdom, Senior Conservation Officer for North Lancashire (Blackpool, Fylde, Lancaster and Wyre districts)


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