Huge grass fires devastated the reserve earlier this year causing substantial damage and a loss of 9.7 acres, which is 20% of the nature reserve.
The reserve holds a special place in many people’s hearts and is also a real haven for wildlife, including Isle of Man’s Cabbage; a flowering plant which is both nationally scarce and internationally rare.
During the fires, the largest area of Isle of Man’s Cabbage on the nature reserve was sadly destroyed and there are still many large areas which have seen little to no re-growth.
Amy Pennington, Fylde Sand Dunes Project Officer said “We were all heartbroken to see the huge amount of fire damage caused to the dunes earlier this year. Our project staff and volunteers have put so much into this site and to see it in such a bad state was a real shock.
Nature is resilient but it needs a helping hand from us. Thankfully, Isle of Man Cabbage along with many other species of dune plant have a long-lasting seed-bank in the soil. We are hoping that by disturbing the sand we can encourage seed germination but it’s going to need the help of a lot of people.”
On Saturday 22nd September the Fylde Sand Dunes Project will be holding a dune fire community action day to help revive the dunes. Large areas of the reserve need to be disturbed, this involves using rakes and spades to turn over the top layer of ash and burnt material in order to expose the seed bank below.
“We would be so grateful to anyone who could give up a few hours of their Saturday to support us in this effort. We had such an amazing response from the local community when the incident happened and we are hoping to get as many people as possible to join us on the day” said Amy
The action day will run from 10am till 1pm and meet at the yellow hut on Lytham St Anne’s Local Nature Reserve (opposite Thursby Nursing Home). Free refreshments will be provided on the day and volunteers are encouraged to bring along any spades or rakes that they might have, as well as suitable outdoor clothing. Any support you can offer will be greatly appreciated.