Stretching from Starr Gate, at the boundary with Blackpool, to the Ribble Estuary at Lytham, the foreshore and beach at Lytham and St Anne’s is a considerable asset.

It comprises of historical gardens and buildings, tourist attractions and events. There are also diverse geographical features including sand dunes, wide flat beaches and a nature reserve.

Areas of the foreshore are also designated by English Nature as Sites of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI) this brings considerable responsibility to manage the beach and foreshore in an ecologically sound and sustainable manner.

If you are heading to Fylde’s stunning beaches, estuaries or dunes please, spare a thought for safety.

Fylde Council, HM Coastguard and The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) are urging anyone planning a trip to the beach and particularly, anyone thinking of going into the water to follow our guidance on a safe visit to the seaside.

Dangers

Fylde’s coastline which includes Lytham and St Annes can be extremely dangerous with winds coming in from multiple directions which can cause dangerous wave conditions at the shoreline. Around two thirds of people in the UK go to the seaside at least once a year, both for summer holidays and day trips. Last year alone, RNLI lifeguards responded to more than 9,500 incidents and helped more than 10,900 people on some of the UK’s busiest beaches. There are several significant dangers to be aware of from being washed out to sea, misjudging tidal and weather conditions and being pulled under by a strong current.

You can visit RNLI’s website here for more detailed information and guidance.

What to do in an Emergency

  • Immediately dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard if you see anyone in danger or attempting to enter the water in poor sea conditions
  • If you are in difficulty in the sea, raise your hand and shout for help

Coastal and Beach Patrol Services

Fylde Council do not have their own dedicated lifeguards, however the Council’s Coastal Patrol and Ranger Service work closely with the HM Coastguard and local RLNI to patrol and inspect our coastline and beach daily. They ensure Fylde’s coastline is kept clean, safe and enjoyable for both residents and visitors. You can find out more about the work of our team by following their Facebook page.

Beach Safety Guide

Please read the guidance below prior to making your trip to our coastline. The information is here to keep you safe:

• Wherever possible, always swim at a lifeguarded beach. Go to www.goodbeachguide.co.uk to find listings around the UK
• Read and obey safety signs usually found at the entrance to the beach
• Check the tide timetable for the local area prior to visiting
• Be aware of incoming tides and sandbanks which can cut you off
• Always stay with your children whether on the beach or in the sea
• Do not trust others to look after your children
• Do not swim alone
• Do not swim in the dark
• Keep within your depth and stay within your capabilities
• Do not use dinghies and inflatables which are not made for the sea
• Do not try to retrieve toys that have been blown out to sea
• Do not swim if you have just eaten, after drinking alcohol or if you are feeling unwell

Please click here to view our beach safety FAQs.

Is there a lifeguard at Lytham and St Anne’s beaches?

Fylde Council do not have their own dedicated lifeguards, however the Council’s Coastal Patrol and Ranger Service work closely with the HM Coastguard and local RLNI to patrol and inspect our coastline and beach daily.

What safety/public rescue equipment is available?

We currently have 45 lifebelts situated along the foreshore from Lytham Land Registry stretching to  St Anne’s Pier.

What coastal staff are available to maintain beach safety?

We currently have a Coastal Patrol Officer who ensures the safe and appropriate use of Fylde’s promenade, beaches, coastal open spaces and associated features and facilities. They provide local information and coastal safety advice to members of the public. They also provide first aid cover on tourist beaches as well as assist HM Coastguard and RNLI in reacting to emergency situations.

Supporting the Coastal Patrol Officer are 3 dedicated Area Rangers who ensure the safe and appropriate use and protection of Fylde’s coastline and ecological assets. They work closely to undertake programmes of green space and costal patrolling, recording and reporting any defects or hazards as well as ensuring the security of Council property.

What safety checks take place to ensure beach safety?

The Coastal Patrol Officer undertakes a daily, comprehensive programme of patrolling and inspection as well as maintaining the Council’s coastal lifesaving equipment and safety signage.

How can I check the tide timetables?

Before visiting our beaches, it is extremely important to check the tide times to ensure it is safe to access. The easiest way to do this is online here. We also update our notice boards surrounding the beach entrances with the relevant information.

There are also tide timetable apps which are available to download on your smartphone.

Are there lost child meeting points?

During the busier summer months our Rangers install several lost child meeting point areas along the beaches. These are numbered to make it easier for emergency services and parents to locate lost children.

Can I drive on the beach?

It is an offence under Section 34 of the Road Traffic Act to take an unauthorised motor vehicle including motorcycles and quad bikes onto the beach and sand dunes. Any person found using an unauthorised vehicle on the beach or dunes will be liable for prosecution by the police either by a fixed penalty notice or by reporting of summons to court and could be liable for that motor vehicle to be impounded at cost to that person.

Fylde Council is currently issuing licenses (subject to conditions) for use of certain motorised vehicles to use the beach. This is mainly for tractors connected with fishing and launching of boats. For further details please contact Tourist Information on 01253 658443.

Currently there is a ban on wind propelled vehicles including sand yachts, para carts and buggies. This is a temporary measure whilst the beach and foreshore are risk-assessed to ensure the continued safety of all users of the beach and foreshore.

Can I take my dog on the beach?

There is a seasonal dog exclusion zone on the amenity beach at St Annes which starts every year on Good Friday and is in place until 30th September. The amenity beach is located between the slipway for St Annes Lifeboat Station and the northern end of North Promenade car park (by the Danfo toilets).

There is also a seasonal dogs-on-leads restriction for the Promenade and Promenade Gardens between Fairlawns and North Promenade car parks for the same period.

The amenity beach area is relatively small leaving dog walkers a vast amount of beach stretching towards Squires Gate one way and Lytham Quays in the other direction.  Dogs can be freely exercised here without any restrictions.

The fixed penalty for having a dog in this area during the exclusion period is £100 and Enforcement Officers regularly patrol the area.

Can I take a BBQ on the beach?

BBQs are banned on all our beaches with a fixed penalty notice of £50 for anyone who does not comply.

LOVEmyBEACH is a campaign with a huge challenge: to work together to keep our local beaches and bathing waters clean. You don’t have to live by the sea to make a difference – wherever you live, work, visit in the North West, please support LOVEmyBEACH.

In Fylde LOVEmyBEACH works with five community beach cleaning groups, Friends of the Estuary, Fairhaven CoastalCare, St Annes BeachCare, St Annes North BeachCare and Freckleton EstuaryCare.

These groups meet weekly to clean the beach and promote LOVEmyBEACH messages so that everyone can get involved and do their bit to help keep the beaches and seas cleaner.

For more information about where and when the groups meet and how you can get involved visit the events page on www.lovemybeach.org

The top 5 ways you can show you LOVEmyBEACH are:

• Don’t drop litter – put it in the bin
• Pick up your dog’s poo – put it in the bin
• Think before your pour – don’t pour fats down the sink
• Think before you flush – put disposable products in the bin, not the toilet
• Check your drains are connected right – www.connectright.org

A ‘bathing water’ is where a large number of people are expected to swim and paddle. Fylde borough has two designated bathing waters; one at St Annes pier and the second at St Annes North by the Coastguard station.

At these points it is important we keep an eye on how clean the sea water is – how much bacteria is in the water. The acceptable levels of bacteria are regulated under the European Bathing Water Directive. The Environment Agency takes 20 samples over the bathing water season each year – May to September – to test the levels and report the results so the public can decide whether to bathe in the water. The results of the tests are posted on the LOVEmyBEACH website map.

Water quality overall has improved dramatically over the last 20 years, as a result of increased investment in infrastructure and work to tackle the causes of pollution in the water.

However, from 2015 new European Bathing Water Directive (BWD) standards come into force and are around twice as stringent as the previous standards. The new classifications for bathing waters are Excellent, Good, Sufficient and Poor. From May 2016 there will be signs at each bathing water advising of the water quality, so we encourage people to check these before swimming and paddling in Fylde.

Fylde Borough Council currently have 45 lifebelts situated along the foreshore from Lytham Land Registry, Fairhaven Lake, stretching to the Pier at St Anne’s.

The lifebelts are regularly checked for damage to vandalism, it is important for people to be aware that it is an offence to tamper or remove lifesaving equipment and the penalty for such act is £5,000 fine, imprisonment or both.

It is an offence under Section 34 of the Road Traffic Act to take an unauthorised motor vehicle. including motor cycles and quad bikes onto the beach and sand dunes. Any person found using an unauthorised vehicle on the beach or dunes will be liable for prosecution by the police either by a fixed penalty notice or by reporting of summons to court and could be liable for that motor vehicle to be impounded at cost to that person. Fylde Borough Council is currently issuing licenses (subject to conditions) for use of certain motorised vehicles to use the beach. This is mainly for tractors connected with fishing and launching of boats. For further details please contact Tourist Information 01253 658443.

Currently there is a ban on wind propelled vehicles including sand yachts, para carts and buggies. This is a temporary measure whilst the beach and foreshore are risk-assessed to ensure the continued safety of all user’s of the beach and foreshore.

Click on the button above to visit the BBC Weather Tide Tables for the Fylde Coast.

Please find the beach access application form at this link.