Biologist aims to recruit volunteers to conserve important sand dunes

Amy Bradshaw has been appointed sand dunes office by Fylde Council
Amy Bradshaw has been appointed sand dunes office by Fylde Council
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A marine biologist has started in a new role with Fylde Council to promote the area’s famous sand dunes.

Sand dunes officer Amy Bradshaw’s brief is to recruit a network of volunteers to help with conservation and to go into schools and community groups to explain the importance of dunes.

They work as a valuable sea defence. More than 80 per cent of Lancashire’s dunes have been lost in the last 150 years.

Amy, 24, a former marine biologist at Cumbria Wildlife Trust, believes they could form the ideal subject for school projects.

She also believes conservation work could provide an ideal opportunity for volunteers.

She said: ‘I’ll be going into schools and meeting community groups as well as organising a range of coastal events for both children and adults.

“People know we are using old Christmas trees to encourage the dunes to move seawards and reduce wind-blown sand on the roads, but there is a lot more to the project than that.

“We are also removing invasive species such as Japanese knotweed, the Japanese rose, white poplar and sea buckthorn. Burnt rose plants are then used to thatch over wind-created ‘blowholes’ – they trap the wind-blown sand and fill the holes.

“We also plant dune grasses to prevent erosion and use fences to trap sand to extend the dunes towards the beach.

“It’s all about enhancing the sea-defence aspect of the dunes and increasing public enjoyment of them.

“It will be a busy few years’ work with many opportunities for the public to get involved.

“We already have volunteers removing invasive species and removing litter but more are needed so we can protect the dunes more.’

Existing volunteers meet every Thursday. Other sessions will be organised if enough other volunteers come forward.

Volunteers should call 07860 954290 or email abradshaw@lancswt.org for more information about volunteering opportunities.