The subject of marine conservation is a huge one, and for places like Lytham that live hand-in-hand with the seas, it’s a subject that many people pay heed to and get involved with.
Lytham has miles of golden beach which stretches around the coast from nearby St Annes into the estuary of the River Ribble, with views across the water to Southport.
Local authorities, utility companies, local community groups and members of the public work together and do their best to protect this natural environment.
Three active Lytham based community groups look after the shoreline of this area.
Friends of the Estuary look after the Lytham seashore, Fairhaven Coastal Care group look after the stretch from Fairhaven to St Annes and the St Annes BeachCare group looks after the seafront from the Pier heading northwards.
St Annes BeachCare group welcome new volunteers to their litter picks on a Tuesday morning. You can come along when you can or regularly depending on your availability. The clean-ups start at 10am and last about an hour and a half – depending on how much rubbish there is to pick up.
With winds as strong as they can be on this coast, litter dropped on shore gets blown into the water and onto the beaches and river. Some litter is dropped by the general public, some is accidentally windblown, but by any means most of it is washed inland from the sea.
A litter pick collects all manner of material, including the oddest of things like toilet seats, car tyres, and even Christmas trees. By far and away the most common things are drinking straws, bottle tops, the little plastic sticks off cotton buds, sanitary products and disposable lighters. Strangely, different beaches seem to attract their own ‘typical’ types of litter.
Of course beach care and conservation doesn’t start and stop at litter and what the beach looks like. There are practical reasons why it should be removed too.
For example, the string from balloon releases, rope and fishing line gets tangled around birds legs, wings and around fish and mammals, who then can’t feed themselves, starve and die. Plastic never disappears – it just gets ground down into smaller pieces which are eaten by animals of different sizes.
Floating in the water, plastic bags look like jellyfish to fish, mammals and birds, who eat it and collect a stomach full of plastic which means they then starve to death.
Our shoreline and beach is a wonderful and precious resource that we should all look after and then enjoy. Take a look around this section and find out more.
Lytham estuary against Fairhaven Lake
Beach cleaning and litter