Test results reveal what’s washing up on Fylde coast beaches

This chunk of suspected palm oil washed up on St Annes beach yesterday
This chunk of suspected palm oil washed up on St Annes beach yesterday

The stinking, yellow substance washing up on the beaches across the Fylde coast has been confirmed as ‘palm oil’, officials said this afternoon.

Lab results show the material ‘has the appearance and characteristics of highly rancid palm oil’, Wyre Council said in a statement.

It began washing up at St Annes, Cleveleys, Fleetwood, and Knott End last weekend, before being spotted at Blackpool too, sparking a warning to pet owners and parents to keep their dogs and children away.

“We are continuing our efforts to clear the beaches between Knott End, Fleetwood, and Cleveleys,” the council said.

“So far our teams have collected just over a ton (1,200kg) of substance.

“Our rangers and cleaning teams are patrolling the beaches to monitor the situation and provide updates regularly.

“The beaches remain open, however we advise to keep children supervised and to avoid all contact with palm oil on the beach and in the water due to potential health risks.”

Palm oil is toxic to dogs, though harmless to humans.

The strong smell of the oil, which stinks like diesel, makes it an attractive snack for dogs, but it can prove fatal.

The source of the spill was not confirmed, with oil also reported in Wales and Cumbria. It is believed a ship wreck off the coast, dating back to the 90s may have released the oil following recent storms.