Regeneration of old mussel beds set to start

Artist's impression of the new look for the former mussel beds site at Lytham's foreshore
Artist's impression of the new look for the former mussel beds site at Lytham's foreshore

A long-awaited project to transform a key section of Lytham’s foreshore is due to start taking shape next week.

Three years after Lytham St Annes Civic Society gained permission from Fylde Council for a seating and artist recreation area on the former mussel beds site adjacent to The Green, work is due to start on Monday.

The Civic Society has raised £130,000 to fund the site’s transformation since permission was given in 2014 - and says the project, which Fylde Council is helping to bring to fruition, is the biggest the society has undertaken in its 57-year history.

As well as a destination to sit and admire the views over the Ribble estuary, the recreation area is designed to tell the story of the shellfish industry through interpretation, artwork and sculpture.

Designed to resemble the look of the old mussel beds, taken out of use six decades ago, it will include an ‘art wall’ with ceramic tiles portraying local features by students at Lytham Sixth Form College, along with a large-scale mussel carved in durable stone by the sculptor Martyn Bednarczuk, sponsored by the Ribble Rivers Trust. The Friends of the Estuary and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds have also assisted with the production of interpretation boards to explain the history of mussel fishing as well as the flora and fauna of the area.

Society chairman Marion Coupe said: “A great deal of volunteer time and fundraising has gone in to this scheme – we are grateful to members of the local community who have supported us.”

Coun Cheryl Little, chairman of Fylde Council’s tourism and leisure committee, said: “I am so pleased Fylde Council has been able to assist in bringing to fruition a wonderful scheme.”