Secrets of the sand dunes

Amy Pennington, Fylde Council sand dunes officer
Amy Pennington, Fylde Council sand dunes officer

A new series of walks are set to reveal some of the secrets of Fylde’s sand dunes.

Sunday sees the launch of a programme hosted by Lancashire Wildlife Trust, starting from North Beach car park off Clifton Drive North, St Annes.

The walks will continue on Saturdays, October 22 and November 12 and then regularly until June.

Amy Pennington, the Trust’s Fylde sand dunes officer, said: “Many visitors to the sands dunes at St Annes don’t realise they are walking across one of the North West’s most important wildlife areas.

“Not only are the dunes vital for holding back the Irish Sea and drifting sand to protect properties from flooding and storm damage, they are habitats for some varied and rare wildlife.

“Over the past 150 years, more 80 per cent of sand dunes in Lancashire has been lost, mainly due to the expansion of Blackpool and St Annes.

“The range of conditions in a sand dune habitat supports a surprisingly rich variety of plants and wildlife.

“There are hundreds of plant species recorded on the dunes, including several internationally rare plants such as the Isle of Man cabbage and dune helleborine.

“In addition to more than 150 recorded species of butterfly and moths, the area is home to several breeding birds including stonechats, skylarks and reed buntings.

“These walks will allow the Trust to share some of the secrets of the dunes.”

All the walks are free of charge and led by regular volunteers with the Fylde Sand Dunes project .

Sunday’s opener starts at 10am and participants can just turn up on the day or further details are available in advance from Amy at apennington@lancswt.org.uk.