SAND YACHTING in St Annes has overcome the final hurdle, with a key nature watchdog agreeing to a trial period.
The Express reported the prospective return of the popular windsport in May, but the St Annes Sand Yacht Club has been waiting on approval from Natural England who were concerned about wildlife on the beach.
A spokesman for Fylde Council said: “A modus operandi will be completed to monitor the impact of sand yacthing on beach wildlife both before and during the trial. Fylde Council welcomes the return of the sand yacths to St Annes beach, and we are sure it will be a big boost to the tourism industry.
“As long as the club sticks to using signposting and marshalling, then the sport will be perfectly safe for those involved and the public.
“We hope it will not have a detrimental effect on wildlife, and there will be a long term future for sand yacthing in the Fylde.”
Fylde Mayor Coun Howard Henshaw has been instrumental in campaigning for the return of wheels to the beach.
He said: “I am very pleased to hear that Natural England are no longer opposing the matter. Windsports are very popular and this is sure to be a positive decision for St Annes.”
Sand Yachting was banned from the beach after the tragic death of mother-of-two Carol Cruz in 2002, leaving windsporting enthusiasts to travel further afield to engage in their hobby.
Ian Dibdin, organiser of the St Annes Sand yacht club said: “Natural England was the final problem holding us back, and so we are very pleased to be given the go ahead. We now plan to open up the beach a bit more and will be contacting people to come down and give it a go.”
“If the trial period is a success, then we hope to stage the European and British Championships here in St Annes in the coming months.”
Safety will be an instrumental part of the trial as the public will not be allowed to enter the zoned areas of North Beach while the sand yachting is in process.