Lytham Civic Society’s 55th anniversary year has got off to a grand start.
Members are celebrating the award of a grant of £1,000 by the Forestry Commission to go towards a new management plan for Witch Wood, the woodland walk between Ansdell and Lytham which comes under the Society’s care.
In addition to the management plan, a major tree survey has been carried out by Fylde Council’s arboricultural team and more than 1,000 trees in the wood have now been tagged with extensive information about them, available digitally.
With 400 members, the Society is one of the biggest organisations of its kind in the country, having been founded in 1960 with a brief to promote high standards of planning and architecture, to educate the public in key aspects of the area and to secure the preservation of places of historical and environmental interest.
In what is already shaping up to be a particularly busy anniversary year, Society officials are pleased with progress on its plans for a new seating and artist area on the former mussel beds at Lytham’s foreshore.
Two surveys have been already been carried out on the area concerned and chairman Marion Coupe said that the Society is now further investigating materials to be used to finalise the design.
“This will be low key, informative and free for all to use as an extension of The Green,” she said.
The Society also contributed £3,000 towards the restoration of the painting Lytham Sandhills by Richard Ansdell, a key work from the Lytham St Annes Art Collection.
Marion said: “We regard the Lytham St Annes Art Collection and the Fylde Gallery as very important to the cultural life and heritage of our town, and this painting, the second to be given to the collection, epitomises Ansdell’s appreciation of the area.”
The Society is to launch a new website to commemorate its 55th year and Marion added: “We are busy compiling our own local list of heritage assets which will feed into that of Fylde Council and we expect soon to be helping Fylde Council fund a conservation assistant at to bring this about.
“We successfully achieved National Listed building status for Ansdell Institute – and there are others in the pipeline.”