Rossall Beach Information Boards

Rossall Beach Information Boards

The Rossall Beach Information Boards have been provided by Rossall Beach Residents and Community Group. They tell you all about the beach, the plants and animals and the views. Five new ones tell you even more about the marine environment, pollution and how you can help by doing your bit.

New Rossall Beach Information Boards, 2018

Rossall Beach Residents and Community Group at Cleveleys unveiled five new information boards for the seafront on Friday 18 May 2018, thanks to two grants which they recently secured. Have a look at the photo album from the afternoon –

Paul Maynard MP, Councillors, representatives from United Utilities, Lancashire Environmental Fund and Wyre Council joined members of the group for a short unveiling event on the promenade. Refreshments were served at The Venue. Everyone shared a lovely afternoon celebrating another achievement, as the group approaches their 10th anniversary this summer.

The five new information boards join the five original ones, leading people in a trail along Rossall Beach. They stretch from the end of the new sea defences at Cleveleys to the Five Bar Gate near Rossall School.

The first set of five boards were installed in 2012 and it’s amazing how many people still stop every day to read their information. Knowing how people love to learn about the world around them the group felt that they should share more of the story of the beach environment.

Understanding Beaches and Bathing Waters

The new boards explain various aspects of the beach environment. One is about bathing waters and the work which is being done to make the sea cleaner, and another is about the damage which plastic does in a marine environment. Another explains why the pebbles are an important part of the sea defences, the fourth shows just some of the creatures which live here. The fifth introduces the Rossall Beach Group and also explains how you can do your bit to help – at home and on the beach.

The first successful grant award was thanks to funding from United Utilities managed by the Community Foundation for Lancashire. An additional grant was awarded by the Lancashire Environmental Fund following a separate successful application.

New Rossall Beach Information Boards - bathing waters
One of the new Rossall Beach Information Boards – this one is about bathing waters

Members of the group were involved in deciding what should be included and researching the new information.

Planning for new Rossall Beach Information Boards
Planning for new Rossall Beach Information Boards

Next time you visit have a look – see what’s around you and go down onto the beach to explore!

Original Rossall Beach Information Boards, 2012

The first five Rossall Beach information boards were installed on the seafront in September 2012.

Explaining what’s around you on the beach and the views beyond, these first boards were sited between the cafe and the Five Bar Gate. They were created and provided by Rossall Beach Residents & Community Group.

Rossall Beach (as it’s known) is the shingle beach at Cleveleys, the last bit of North Promenade and Rossall Promenade . At a glance it looks like a quite inhospitable place full of pebbles. It’s actually an important natural habitat, with lots of interesting things once you start to look.

The first board to be installed welcomes you to the beach. It gives you an idea of what you might expect to find, and what to look out for.

Rossall Beach Information Boards

The second board is more or less at the end of Thornton Gate. It tells you all about the views across the sea and the installation of the submarine electricity cable to the Walney Offshore Windfarm.

Rossall Beach Information Boards

Head north towards the seafront parking area to find the next board. It’s all about the birds which come to these shores, and some of the things that live on the beach that they might feed on. Rossall Beach, along with the whole of Morecambe Bay, is a hugely important place for migratory birds. Thousands of them visit during the year as they fly from one side of the world to the other. You’ll often see birds in flocks, dipping and diving along the water’s edge.

Rossall Beach Information Boards

Near to the Rossall Beach notice board is the board about seaweed and plants. The nature of the beach constantly changes and dune and marine plants often start to take hold. Previously there have been important plants growing here and some fairly rare ones too, including sea holly. Then, usually in winter storms, beach levels change again and the plants get swept away. They often start to grow again, from their specially adapted, long root systems.

You can also find out more about seaweed from this board too.

Rossall Beach Information Boards

The last board, as you approach the five bar gate to continue towards Rossall School and Fleetwood beyond, is the one about pebbles and shells. Identify what you find and understand where they have come from and how old the pebbles are. Please remember, the pebbles are an important part of the natural sea defences, so don’t take carrier bags full of them home with you.

Rossall Beach Information Boards

Making the first set of Rossall Beach Information Boards

Rossall Beach Residents and Community Group applied for a grant from the Big Lottery to pay for three of the first set of boards.

DONG Energy, who installed the Walney Offshore Windfarm in 2011, generously contributed the cost of the two additional panels.

Information boards at Rossall Beach
Information boards at Rossall Beach – some of the members who had been involved in the project

Members of the group researched what should go on the panels and gathered all of the information that you see on them. All the photographs are taken on the beach or, in the case of the stones and shells, have been found here. Visit Cleveleys produced the designs and artwork.

From their very first installation up to current day, the boards have been very popular. They’re still well used every day by walkers and visitors to the beach, as they find out all about Rossall Beach and the environment around them.

Trouble with Storms

The Rossall Beach Group thought they had been very careful and very thorough in researching what to buy and specify – materials wise – when they made the first set of information boards. You can imagine that they were devastated when four of them were washed away in the horrendous high tides on December 5th 2013.

Take a look at this video clip below taken during the storm and you’ll see why! To be fair, this was a 1 in 200 year storm event, so it was extreme.

1 in 200 year storm and overtopping of the sea at Cleveleys, December 2013

The information boards were so popular that the group just had to replace them. So they successfully applied for a second Big Lottery grant, much to the pleasure of the public with whom they were so very popular.

Jane Littlewood, Chair of the Group says “It’s fair to say that we could all have cried after the damage. We’d purposely researched what we thought was a weather-proof product. Although the boards proved to be robust, clearly the frames were no match for the power of the sea and the stones and rubble which it carries.”

The new installation uses the same artwork for the boards and installed on their sand coloured frames they look very similar to the originals but these are a reinforced design.

There have been twists and turns in the story. Two of the lost boards came back to shore and incredibly were rescued and returned. Unfortunately this one was broken on one corner, but as you can see, otherwise undamaged.

The other one was actually in good enough condition to be reused, even after its spin in the Irish Sea. It also came back to us still connected to some of the frame!

You can find the Rossall Beach Information Boards on Cleveleys seafront between The Venue and the Five Bar Gate near to Rossall School. This is the area which the Rossall Beach Group looks after.

Find out More

Have a look at the Visit Cleveleys website homepage for more of the latest updates.

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