SLIDESHOW: Old Chistmas trees are put to good use

Hundreds more Christmas trees have been planted on the beach to help preserve Fylde’s sand dunes – and the ‘back to nature’ scheme is proving so successful that it could be extended to take in discarded trees from neighbouring areas.

Some 900 trees were planted this week by Fylde Council staff and volunteers, with the tally including almost 400 collected around St Annes by Fylde Liberal Democrats, as well as those left by residents at various collection points around the borough.

Volunteers plant old Christmas trees in the sand to build up and create new sand dunes on North Beach St Annes

Volunteers plant old Christmas trees in the sand to build up and create new sand dunes on North Beach St Annes

The scheme involves the trees being part-buried on the beach in front of the existing dunes to provide a barrier and support for the sand.

A Fylde Council spokesman said: “Almost 1,600 Christmas trees have been planted in the last three years – but this year’s planting has been the biggest yet, with 900 trees planted in just two days this week.

“It takes a great deal of manpower but we are slowly advancing along the seaward face of the dunes.

“It is such a popular scheme that, next year, we will consider asking for discarded Christmas trees from neighbouring boroughs.

“The work is paying off.

“The aim is for the trees to stop the windblown sand so that the dunes gradually move towards the sea.

“That will have the effect of reducing windblown sand in the roads nearest the seafront.

“The first trees we planted three years ago are now nearly covered and marram grass is taking hold to bind the new section of dune.

“Many tonnes of new sand have been incorporated in the new, seaward side of the dune – sand that would otherwise be on roads and in people’s gardens.”

Coun Tony Ford, chairman of Fylde Lib Dems who was among those helping with the planting, said: “I spend hundreds of hours in meetings with questionable outcomes but this week’s planting session was a great opportunity to do something and see the results. It was very satisfying.

“While we were on the beach, we could see the results of the planting we had done in previous years.

“Dunes are reforming and more sand is being kept on the beach rather than being blown into homes and gardens.”