Cockle harvest is back

The beach behind the Beach cafe at St Annes when cockle pickers were at work in 2004 - despite the ban
The beach behind the Beach cafe at St Annes when cockle pickers were at work in 2004 - despite the ban

COCKLING is coming back to St Annes.

The tradition, with a rich history to the area, is set to return to the foreshore within a fortnight after a 20 year ban.

Commercial cocklers have got the green light to operate between September and April.

More than 50 have already come forward.

Cockling was banned in the 1990s to give mollusc stocks time to recover.

However licences will again be issued from next month by the Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority (IFCA).

But the move has already met protest from one leading councillor.

Coun Tommy Threlfall says Fylde Council ought to regulate the licences which should go to local fishermen.

The cabinet member for environment and partnerships, said he was due to meet representatives of IFCA this week to discuss his concerns.

“When the cockle beds are open they are going to be open to anybody and everybody,” he stormed. “I think it should be for local fishermen who make their living here.”

The rich cockle beds are concentrated between the pier and Granny’s Bay.

Full story in this week’s Express.