Exciting eco-zone plan for Rossall seafront

Charlotte Dew from Wyre Council and residents Rita Dines, Chris Hart and Lorna Hart with Debbie King from Lancashire County Council view the plans
Charlotte Dew from Wyre Council and residents Rita Dines, Chris Hart and Lorna Hart with Debbie King from Lancashire County Council view the plans

Proposals would see dull strip of grassland transformed

Exciting new plans have been unveiled to transform a dull strip of grassland into a vibrant ecology zone on Rossall seafront.

I think it will be lovely to have something to look at and I was particularly interested to find out there were lizards up there, and that they will be providing a habitat for them.

It will include ponds, pathways and viewing areas as well as an abundance of flora and fauna – and even a safe haven for lizards.

The investment is all part of Wyre Council’s £1.5m Five for Fleetwood scheme which is rapidly changing much of the seafront to incorporate a range of new leisure facilities.

The draft plans for the ecology zone, on the landward side of the new sea defences, will brighten the area for residents.

It will also provide a draw for visitors as the entire stretch of Fleetwood’s coastline is set for a total revamp.

The strip of grassland, from West Way to Fairway, is already classed as a biological heritage site because of the rarer species of plants that grow there.

For decades the area has been popular for dog walkers and has been a vital part of the sea defence system acting as a gully from waves and sea spray bashing over the sea wall.

But now it will be redesigned to create a much more attractive and vibrant feature and to let people get closer to nature.

Balfour Beatty will carry out the work which it is hoped will start at the end of the year.

The zone will include:

Meandering water channel and reed bed habitat

Salt marsh mosaic

Salt sprayed short grassland

Reed swamp

Seeded path with a geogrid structure

Path

Safe habitat for lizards

Multi-use green space with added potential for wild play

The plans were put on show at Larkholme Community Centre and feedback has been positive.

A council spokeswoman said: “There was a steady stream of people coming to talk to us and feedback was very positive and the main feeling was it will be an improvement on what’s there now.

“People were also very helpful in giving their views on things like the inclusion of benches and shelters and what materials they should be made of.

“All these views will be incorporated into the next stage of designs.”

The project team is due to meet this week to discuss feedback and proposed amendments to the design.

A revised plan will then be submitted for planning permission, possibly in May.

The project falls within the landscape budget of the Rossall sea defence project with extra cash from Coastal Communities funding.

Local resident Alan Marsh, who lives close to the site, said: “Its going to be superb when everything is completed.

“One of my only concerns is who is going to maintain it?

“I would hate to see in six to 12 months that it’s wrecked, it will need someone from Wyre Borough Council to keep an eye on it and to maintain it.

“I also think it needs furniture because its a long walk from one end to the other without somewhere to sit down.”

Mr Marsh suggested that the multi-use space incorporates adult fitness equipment which he says is currently not being used on a green space off Roundway.

He added: “ I think it would be an ideal opportunity to move it to the ecology zone to create a family area for adults and children alike.”

Port resident Sheila Williams, who went along to see the plans with her husband David, added: “We were pleasantly surprised by the plans.

“I think it will be lovely to have something to look at and I was particularly interested to find out there were lizards up there, and that they will be providing a habitat for them.

“I’ve walked my dog for years up there and I never knew there were lizards living there!”

Plans will also be available online shortly at wyre.gov.uk/fiveforfleetwood, alongside details of the other projects that make up the wider improvement scheme.