Fylde Borough's Beaches
Stretching from Starr Gate, at the boundary with Blackpool, to the Ribble Estuary at Lytham, the foreshore and beach at Lytham and St Anne's is a considerable asset.
It comprises of historical gardens and buildings, tourist attractions and events. There are also diverse geographical features including sand dunes, wide flat beaches and a nature reserve.
Areas of the foreshore are also designated by English Nature as Sites of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI) this brings considerable responsibility to manage the beach and foreshore in an ecologically sound and sustainable manner.
The beach and foreshore need to satisfy many requirements ranging from numerous leisure activities, to local industries such as fishing. Above all, the needs of the pedestrian are paramount, and Fylde Borough Council are currently managing and controlling activities on the beach to ensure the safety of all user's. Unfortunately this means that some activities are not permitted and access is restricted to certain licensed vehicles only.
The Beach patrol officer, in co-ordination with the emergency services, provides regular inspections and patrols along the 5 miles of beach and foreshore. Their job is to provide supervision and assist in the well-being of the general public and all user's in connection with the beach and foreshore. Apart from being an easily recognisable source of advice and support, they are required to watch for potential hazards and to improve the safety of user's and bathers. One initiative already implemented is a safety scheme to prevent children from becoming separated from their parents on the beach. A ‘wrist band’ scheme was launched in partnership with the local coastguard. Fluorescent wristbands are issued to youngsters, on which parents are encouraged to write their mobile phone numbers, so if the child gets lost or cannot recall where their parents are they can easily be reunited. To obtain a wristband please contact the Town hall on 01253 658658 or the Tourist information centre on 01253 658449.
Seaside Award Beach
Flags are now flying once again this summer as Keep Britain Tidy have recognised St Anne's Beach for the second year running which enables us to fly the distinctive blue and yellow Seaside Award flag given only to Resort and Rural beaches that have excellent facilities. There are 221 beaches in England and the Channel islands that have attained this award of which 16 are in the North West. Each beach must meet 29 criteria ranging from water quality( as laid down under European law) and pollution to toilet facilities and dog control. We at Fylde have a strict 'No Dogs Allowed' policy on the award beach which runs from the Pier, south up to the RNLI lifeboat station and is effective from 1st May until 30th September. However it does extend to North Prom Car Park where you can access the beach.
LOVEmyBEACH is a campaign with a huge challenge: to work together to keep our local beaches and bathing waters clean. You don’t have to live by the sea to make a difference – wherever you live, work, visit in the North West, please support LOVEmyBEACH.
In Fylde LOVEmyBEACH works with three community beach cleaning groups, Friends of the Estuary, Fairhaven CoastalCare and St Annes BeachCare. These groups meet weekly to clean the beach and promote LOVEmyBEACH messages so that everyone can get involved and do their bit to help keep the beaches and seas cleaner.
For more information about where and when the groups meet and how you can get involved visit the events page on www.lovemybeach.org
The top 5 ways you can show you LOVEmyBEACH are:
• Don’t drop litter – put it in the bin
• Pick up your dog’s poo – put it in the bin
• Think before your pour – don’t pour fats down the sink
• Think before you flush – put disposable products in the bin, not the toilet
• Check your drains are connected right – www.connectright.org
A ‘bathing water’ is where a large number of people are expected to swim and paddle. Fylde borough has two designated bathing waters; one at St Annes pier and the second at St Annes North by the Coastguard station.
At these points it is important we keep an eye on how clean the sea water is – how much bacteria is in the water. The acceptable levels of bacteria are regulated under the European Bathing Water Directive. The Environment Agency takes 20 samples over the bathing water season each year – May to September – to test the levels and report the results so the public can decide whether to bathe in the water. The results of the tests are posted on the LOVEmyBEACH website map.
Water quality overall has improved dramatically over the last 20 years, as a result of increased investment in infrastructure and work to tackle the causes of pollution in the water.
However, from 2015 new European Bathing Water Directive (BWD) standards come into force and are around twice as stringent as the previous standards. The new classifications for bathing waters are Excellent, Good, Sufficient and Poor. From May 2016 there will be signs at each bathing water advising of the water quality, so we encourage people to check these before swimming and paddling in Fylde.
Fylde Borough Council currently have 45 lifebelts situated along the foreshore from Lytham Land Registry, Fairhaven Lake, stretching to the Pier at St Anne's.
The lifebelts are regularly checked for damage to vandalism, it is important for people to be aware that it is an offence to tamper or remove lifesaving equipment and the penalty for such act is £5,000 fine, imprisonment or both.
Vehicles on the Beach and current restrictions
It is an offence under Section 34 of the Road Traffic Act to take an unauthorised motor vehicle. including motor cycles and quad bikes onto the beach and sand dunes. Any person found using an unauthorised vehicle on the beach or dunes will be liable for prosecution by the police either by a fixed penalty notice or by reporting of summons to court and could be liable for that motor vehicle to be impounded at cost to that person. Fylde Borough Council is currently issuing licenses (subject to conditions) for use of certain motorised vehicles to use the beach. This is mainly for tractors connected with fishing and launching of boats. For further details please contact beach patrol Officer Paul Mc Williams on 07966 890 640.
Currently there is a ban on wind propelled vehicles including sand yachts, para carts and buggies. This is a temporary measure whilst the beach and foreshore are risk-assessed to ensure the continued safety of all user's of the beach and foreshore.
Information on local tidal conditions can be found using the link to the right.
For more information about the management of beaches in Fylde, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01253 658 658.