Volunteers take trees to make dunes

More than 200 volunteers headed to the Fylde Coast to take part in our annual Christmas tree planting event.

More than 2,000 Christmas trees were recycled after being donated by local people and businesses.

Our Fylde Sand Dunes Project Community Engagement Officer, Amy Pennington, said: “The trees were dropped off at various locations along the coast. Trinity Hospice also arranged a collection service, which was a huge help.

“We had a total of 227 volunteers over the three days and that would equal 908 hours donated to the project.”

A welcome board for volunteers at the 2019 Christmas tree planting event

The event is organised by the Wildlife Trust, Fylde and Blackpool councils. Our Myplace and Mudpack projects attended alongside staff from BT Accrington, NHS Mental Health Nurses, Myerscough College, Princes Trust, Park View 4U, St Anne’s in Bloom, LOVEmyBEACH and Our Lady of the Assumption Primary School.

Amy said: “The trees have been planted south of North Beach car park stretching towards North Promenade car park to join up with previous years’ work. From previous discussions with the local community, this stretch also covers areas of high importance due to wind-blown sand from blow-outs. Hence trees have been planted in blow-outs. Where it was possible, two linear trenches were dug horizontal to the strandline.

Volunteers planting Christmas trees on the Fylde coast

“Planting Christmas trees in the dunes is not only a way to recycle, but is a highly effective management practice for building the dunes. The trees help collect wind-blown sand and, over time, get buried. They help stabilise the sand and reduce wind erosion which allows lyme and marram grasses to colonise, further stabilising the sand.

“Over time this helps to build new embryo dunes, reduce erosion and wind-blown sand. We have been planting Christmas trees along the Fylde coast since 2013 and aerial photography has shown how effective it has been over the years.”

Fylde Council’s Senior Coast and Conservation Officer, Geoff Willetts said: “‘Fylde Council are proud to be a partner in this fantastic project which helps to create a wider dune system and offset the natural rollback of the dunes.

“These wider dunes help with the soft sea defences, the creation of new wildlife habitat and the more sand absorbed on the beach, the less sand reaches the roads and infrastructure behind.”