Giant footprints message aims to stamp out beach litter

‘Leave nothing but your footprints’ is the inspiration behind a series of 10-metre-long footprints spectacularly created on a Fylde beach.

By Tony Durkin
Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 3:44 pm

A total of 15 footprints were raked into the sand at St Annes as part of Fylde Council’s awareness campaign to encourage people to dispose of their litter responsibly.

They are part of the council’s ‘Take it, Don’t Leave It’ programme throughout the summer to tackle litter on the coast and in rural areas.

It took artist Richard Shilling and his team approximately six hours to create the stunning artwork located just west of St Annes Pier during low tide.

The giant footprints on the beach at St Annes

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Coun Karen Buckley, leader of Fylde Council, was joined by the lead co-ordinator for local litter volunteers, Tracey Hope, to see the artwork in progress.

Coun Buckley said: “We wanted to make a bold and dramatic statement about the importance of keeping Fylde tidy because with the warm summer weather and fewer people travelling abroad for holidays this year, Fylde is receiving more visitors than ever.

“We took inspiration from the quote ‘leave nothing but your footprints’ to symbolise the importance of leaving our beautiful beach and coastal areas just as you find them, free of litter.

Artist Richard Shilling (centre) with (from left) Tracey Hope, lead co-ordinator for Fylde litter picking volunteers; ,land artists Julia Brooklyn and Justin Lindsey-Noble and Fylde Council leader Karen Buckley

“The drone footage really captures the dramatic impact of the giant footprints and also the beauty of our magnificent coastline.

“We hope the message resonates with everyone and we can stop littering on the coast and in Fylde’s beautiful rural areas.”

Tracey, a marine biologist and medic, co-ordinates the army of volunteers who give up their free time to clear litter.

She said: “Watching the sea take the footprints without the any litter, brings to life our ‘leave nothing but your footprints’ message.

“It looks amazing and I hope it will inspire everyone to look after their local environment whether that’s in the streets where they live or out and about in the wider community.

“I’m passionate about protecting the environment and while most people pick up after themselves, there’s a minority who leave their rubbish behind.

“We all have a role to play and we can all do our bit to protect the environment and wildlife.”

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