A programme of sediment and weed removal has begun to ensure the new sea defences at Fairhaven and Granny’s Bay are maintained in optimal condition for decades to come. 

Contractors from Great Oaks Tree Services will be working diligently over the next few weeks to clear and clean the coastal defences with the use of an air spade, keeping the defences fit for purpose and pleasant to look at. 

The £21.8m hard sea defences were completed in July 2020 and protect properties in the area from flooding and coastal erosion. The pre-cast concrete steps are set with gaps known as expansion joints between each section, to allow for the concrete to expand and contract as temperatures change without causing structural damage. Over time, these gaps can accumulate sand, sediment, and weeds, which must be annually removed to preserve the integrity of the sea defences. 

Councillor Roger Small, Chairman of the Operational Management Committee, said: “The coastal defences at Fairhaven are a vital investment for the safety of Fylde residents, and it is important that we keep them in tip-top condition. I have been impressed by the work performed by our contractors so far, and the stretch of sea wall already treated is weed-free and looking wonderful.” 

As the coastal defences are situated on the edge of the ecologically significant Ribble & Alt Estuary, which has several national and international designations, the use of chemicals to remove the weeds has been ruled out, and the works are instead being completed using an air spade. This powered tool uses a high-speed jet of air to loosen and displace soil, weeds, and other deposits which may compromise the defences, without causing damage to the concrete or introducing potentially harmful chemicals to the habitat.  

The works programme is anticipated to take approximately three weeks, ensuring the defences are clear and clean for the summer.  


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