A budget increase of £232,338 has been approved for the Fylde Sand Dunes Project to continue the employment of dedicated conservation staff until 2026/27. 

The funding, paid in annual increments through the period, will allow Fylde Council to retain the expert services of the Area Conservation Ranger and the Conservation Operative, both already in post, who undertake all specialist conservation work and dune related maintenance. 

Fylde Council has worked in partnership with Blackpool Council and Lancashire Wildlife Trust to manage the Fylde Sand Dunes Project since 2012, collaborating to ensure the protection and improvement of the dune habitat in its role both as a soft sea defence and as a nationally significant conservation area. 

The partnership secured a grant of £999,000 in from the Environment Agency in 2022/23 to fund the project delivery team as well as managing and improving the 80 hectares (800,000 square metres) of dune estate. The grant was split between the partner agencies, with Fylde Council’s allocation to be used in delivering the operational elements of the project as per their role in the partnership. 

Cllr Tommy Threlfall, Lead Member for Environment, said: “Our beautiful sand dunes are both a place of great ecological importance and a valuable part of our sea defences, and need to be protected just as they help protect us. 

“This project is of particular interest to me, as the project began when I was Cabinet Member for Environment. The continuation of these two specialist roles is essential in ensuring the conservation of a unique ecosystem and the safety of our homes and businesses.” 

The Fylde Sand Dunes Project covers the area between Starr Gate at the boundary of Blackpool to Lytham Green, and includes a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest, County Biological Heritage Sites, and a Local Nature Reserve. The dunes also provide valuable open space for tourism and recreation, proving enduringly popular with residents and visitors alike.


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