The sand and shingle beach beyond the new sea defences at Cleveleys is known as Rossall Beach
Rossall Beach is a wilder, more natural landscape, where the top section of beach is shingle and there’s always a dry section against the wall – on all but the roughest of stormy days.
Looking over Rossall Beach from the end of the new sea defences at Cleveleys
This clip is taken from the car parking area a little further north, on Rossall Promenade
Natural Sea Defence
These natural sea defences are considered to be the most stable of the Wyre coastline. The natural high sandy, shingle beach is the best possible form of sea defence and dissipates the energy of the sea beautifully.
In the photo above you can see how in moderately rough weather the waves taper to nothing on the shingle of the beach, yet they bounce into the air against the concrete defences in front of Rossall School.
This is why you are asked not to take the pebbles off the beach, because in doing so you remove the sea defences. You’d be surprised how, if left unchecked, people will take near industrial quantities of them – not just an odd one or two. If everyone did that there’d be no beach left and the area would flood.
Although the sea walls at Rossall Beach are old and somewhat shabby when compared to the newer sections, because of the protection afforded by the beach, the man-made defences aren’t in line to be replaced in the near future, although their long term maintenance is part of the council’s ongoing Shoreline Management Plan.
As the coastline gently curves inwards, the very high top sections of the beach stay dry at high tide in all but the worst of the high tides.
The beach material is naturally graded by the sea with the biggest of the pebbles in the higher reaches of beach, filtering down to smaller ones as you approach the golden sand that lays beyond.
At a glance it looks like quite an inhospitable environment, but it’s actually a rich resource for wildlife, and supports many sea birds all through the year – indeed many seabirds use this beach to refuel when they stop off on their migratory flight paths around the world.
Oystercatchers on Rossall Beach Cleveleys
Flotsam and Jetsam
The beach here gets lots of flotsam and jetsam washed up by the tide, where it’s deposited along the strandline. A number of interesting things can be found here, particularly after a high tide and strong winds, including natural debris like mermaids purses, shells, and small creatures, plus of course the ever present plastic waste.
Watch this clip of the sea and beach on a lovely sunny day in December.
Rossall Beach is a popular spot with visitors because you can park right against the sea wall and sit and watch the world go by, and enjoy all the fabulous views and sunsets, whatever the weather.
There are plenty of seafront benches, with Danfo public toilets a little further south at the cafe – so it’s like home from home!
It’s a fabulous spot to come for a walk, or potter about on the beach, and of course it’s all for free.
Cleveleys Sea Foam
Have you seen the foam at Cleveleys?
It builds up during rough weather and is actually caused by entirely harmess and natural decomposing algae.
It can happen at any time during the year – this video was filmed on 2 June in 2015. A combination of wind blowing in the right direction and conditions in the water agitates the froth into a wobbly mass which blows off the beach.
The video below was taken in December – from the warmth of the car. In the worst weather the foam can actually build up to several feet in depth when it blows off the beach onto the road.
As a testament to how clean the water is, seals are often seen, their black heads bobbing along, but binoculars are usually needed to pick them out them from a swimming gull, and you need to be quick! Occassionally an odd one ends up on the beach too.
Particularly at the northern end of the beach, around the Rossall Promenade car parking area and heading further north to Fleetwood, you’ll find many interesting things on the strandline (the highest point where the tide turns).
It’s a rich environment for wild life with the invertebrates that are found on the beach providing an ideal menu for sea birds.
Sanderlings, Turnstones and Knot can often be seen in large numbers, along with flocks of Oystercatchers with their distinctive long bright orange beaks and legs.
Don’t forget the resident population of gulls, who stand facing into the wind, peeping with their plaintive cries and waiting for anyone to feed them!
Looking after the Beach
Rossall Beach Residents & Community Group look after this area of beach.
They hold monthly community beach cleans for members and the general public to join in with. There are full details on their website – anyone is welcome to join the group and join in.
The Waterfront Rangers at Wyre Council have worked with this group to Adopt the Beach through the Marine Conservation Society (MCS). Part of the MCS work is to monitor what is washed up by the tide, and petition utility companies and manufacturers to change their practices and stop the rubbish getting into the sea in the first place.
Watersports and things to Watch
Rossall Beach is a popular destination througout the year for watersports like kitesurfing, paddleboarding, fishing and such like.
Watch them kitesurfing in this short clip
You’ll see people swimming in the warmer weather of summer, and the beach is a popular destination for horse riding too. That’s before we mention dog walking – so there’s always something to watch!
Find out More
Rossall Promenade – where you can park against the sea wall