How to help Fylde nature reserve ravaged by blaze

The Fylde community is set to be invited to help revitalise the area's nature reserve following a devastating fire.

Sunday, 29th July 2018, 10:56 am
Updated Sunday, 29th July 2018, 11:02 am
The sand dunes at St Annes were badly damaged in the fire

Some 25 per cent of the habitat on the Fylde Nature Reserve at St Annes was lost in the blaze at the Fylde Nature Reserve on Saturday, June 30. Officials have confirmed the fire is being treated as arson, with youths seen running away from the scene.

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Devastation after major blaze at sand dunes

Amy Pennington, Fylde’s sand dunes project officer, pictured, has praised the public for their support and promised a community action day as part of the recovery plan.

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She said: “At the moment we are just trying to assess the damage, and then we will look into what kind of work needs to be done to help speed the recovery of the area. The most notable plant species lost is the Isle of Man Cabbage which is rare, but endemic to this area. We are liaising with ecologists and specialists to figure out the best method of recovery for the area.

“They have suggested that as Isle of Man Cabbage has a long-lasting seed-bank in the soil and responds well to disturbance, one approach to restoring its population may be to disturb the area it previously occupied, using hand-tools or machinery to create bare sand patches, and to encourage seed germination.

“Once the best way forward is known, we will organise a community action day to help with the recovery.

“One silver lining from the fire is that we have received an overwhelming response from people wanting to help, which is really heart-warming.”