Work to begin on bunny-hit barriers

Rabbits are believed to have burrowed into sandbanks and damaged flood defences along the River Wyre
Rabbits are believed to have burrowed into sandbanks and damaged flood defences along the River Wyre

Work to revamp 30-year-old sea defences in a bid to protect a Fylde coast town is set to begin – after wildlife damaged parts of the structures.

Later this month, the Environment Agency will begin rebuilding coastal flood defences at Knott End and along Preesall Sands.

The move comes after animals – believed to be rabbits – burrowed into sand banks.

Chris Davidson, of the Environment Agency, said the work would help to protect several hundred residents and businesses in the town.

He added: “The defences are made from large compacted sand banks and rock armour, a barrier made of boulders.

“In places the defence has been damaged by vermin which have burrowed into the banks.

“This has not reduced the flood protection to the area, but the Environment Agency will be carrying out piling work along the length of the defences, which will strengthen the flood bank.”

The work will see Environment Agency staff driving Z-shaped structures into the banking to help protect the coastline and keep it rigid.

The work follows a £700,000 revamp to the existing concrete post and panel wall defences along the promenade which were reconstructed last year, with new defences built at the ferry slip.

Preesall Coun Vivien Taylor said the rebuild would be a major boost to the area.

She added: “Any sea defence work is welcome to save properties and many homes.

“That is the main thrust of this – protection.

“It is protection for our residents. This is a continuation of work started last year.

“I remember severe flooding in the 1970s and I know what damage can be done with regards flooding.

“More work on defences will be welcome.”

During the rebuild a coastal footpath will be closed between the eastern edge of Knott End and Fluke Hall. This is to ensure the safety of visitors and construction staff.

The maintenance is due to start on February 16 and should be completed by July.