Dynamic Dunescapes to restore Fleetwood sandunes!

6th of July, 2022

What's the project?

Dynamic Dunescapes are restoring sand dunes across England and Wales for the benefit of wildlife, people and communities, Funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the EU LIFE Programme. Project partners are Natural England, Plantlife, National Trust, Natural Resources Wales, Cornwall Wildlife Trust, Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust and Cumbria Wildlife Trust.

The coastal dunes of England and Wales are internationally important habitats for wildlife, listed as one of the most threatened enviroments in Europe for biodiversity loss. Dunes are a sanctuary for rare species like orchids, sand lizards and natterjack toads. Howeverr, dunes are suffering from widespread over-stabilisation and vegetation growth, this is putting wildlife at risk.

Healthy sand dunes need to be free to move and be dynamic. Many species need areas of open sand to thrive, so this project will bring life back to the dunes by creating areas of open sand.

Fleetwood dunes are important

The sand dunes at Fleetwood are truly special for a siverse range of coastal plants and wildflowers adapted to live on the sandy mobile dunes. Fleetwood dunes are abundant with sea holly, sea spurge, rest harrow and sea cabbage which is important for our pollinators. The sandy dunes systems found at Fleetwood are becoming a nationally scarce habitat.

Why are Fleetwoods dunes at risk?

Along the promenade you may have noticed a lot of bright pink flowers. This is Rosa rugosa. As pretty as it may seem, this is a non-native invasive species which outcompetes rare and specialised plants, putting dune wildlife here at risk. It is a vigorous scrub which can quickly establish, take over and spread across a dune system. This is threatening the mobile dunes systems here and its special wildlife

What are we doing to help Fleetwood?

The conservation team will be removing Rosa rugosa along the promenade 

  • It will be dug out mechanically or removed by bush cutter in sections with follow up control to reduce disturbance
  • Where patches are removed, the sand will be protected and covered whilst pioneer species colonize

We work with skilled local and national experts, involving schools and local groups, volunteers and visitors of all ages and abilities to help rejuvenate our dunes.

Dynamic Dunescapes work here is led by Natural England, Cumbria Wildlife Trust and National Trust.

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Treatment is due to start on 7 July.

Treatment will consist of a selective herbicide (woody stem) to the Japanese rose via knapsack spaying / extendable doom. The herbicide will only effect the target plant and leave our native and natural flora. There will be some cross over to the dog rose and bramble which we have on site, these plants are invasive to dune habitats.

Treatment will take place from the seaward prom and surrounding car parks.

Nightingale Environmental will be responsible for informing the public when they are on site and that treatment is taking place. Banks men, large signage, Vehicles with decals and flashing beacons will all be used as well as full PPE. The ranger team will try and visit at least once a day when they are on site to help with customer inquiries etc.