Rossall Beach Residents & Community Group are delighted to welcome back new information boards to the seafront at Cleveleys, after the original ones were washed away in the storms of December 2013.
It had taken the group a considerable amount of research and effort and a Big Lottery grant to install the first set of boards right against the edge of the beach, so 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!
The information boards were so popular that they just couldn’t accept defeat, so they successfully applied for a second Big Lottery grant, and the new boards have been installed much to the pleasure of the public with who 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, but and 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, thanks to local company Bailey Engineering who have helped the group out.
There have been twists and turns in the story. Two of the lost boards came back to shore and incredibly were rescued and returned, and although one had broken the other one was actually in good enough condition to be reused, even after its spin in the Irish Sea. Then the first engineering company contracted to make the frames which hold the boards in place went out of business, leaving a potential funding shortfall.
Jane added “I’m so grateful to Tom and Ken at Bailey Engineering, who offered to produce the new frames for the cost which we’d allocated, which has really helped us out. And not only that they’ve also redesigned the shape to be more robust – so fingers crossed!”
The boards have been hugely popular since they were first installed, telling the public all about the views, the local plants and wildlife, and even where the stones on the beach come from.
Even while they were being fitted people were stopping to look at them so no doubt they will be very well used once again.
You can find them on Cleveleys seafront between The Venue and the Five Bar Gate near to Rossall School, which is the beach which the group looks after. You can find out more at www.rossallbeach.org.uk or follow them on Facebook at Rossall Beach Buddies.
Information Boards, Mark 1…
Head past the end of the new sea defences on Cleveleys seafront, travelling north and with the sea on your left, and you’ll find some new panels along the edge of the sea wall.
Explaining what’s around you on the beach and the views beyond, there are five new panels between the cafe and the Five Bar Gate – or interpretation boards as they are known – created by Rossall Beach Residents & Community Group.
Next time you visit have a look – see what’s around you and go down onto the beach to explore!
The area takes in the last bit of North Promenade and Rossall Promenade, and is known as Rossall Beach. At a glance it looks like a quite inhospitable place full of pebbles and a moving strandline, but it’s actually an important natural habitat with lots of interesting things once you start to look.
Passing the cafe, the first board welcomes you to the beach and gives you an idea of what you might expect to find, and what to look out for.
The second board, about at the end of Thornton Gate, is also where you’ll find a new telescope – a perfect partner to the board which tells you all about the views across the sea and the installation of the submarine cable to the Walney Offshore Windfarm.
Heading towards the parking area, the next board is 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 and thousands of them visit during the year as they fly from one side of the world to the other. You’ll see the birds in flocks, dipping and diving along the waters edge.
Near to the Rossall Beach notice board is the board about seaweed and plants. As the nature of the beach has changed, dune and marine plants are starting to take hold – there are some important plants growing here and some fairly rare ones too, including sea holly. You can also find out more about seaweed too.
As you approach the Gate to continue your walk towards Rossall School and Fleetwood beyond, is the board about pebbles and shells. Identify what you find and understand where they have come from and how old the pebbles are – but remember, the pebbles are an important part of the natural sea defences so don’t take carrier bags of them home with you.
The three wildlife interpretation boards have been funded by the Big Lottery, and Rossall Beach Residents & Community Group applied for the grant to carry out the project.
DONG Energy, who installed the Walney Offshore Windfarm, generously contributed the cost of the two additional panels after installing the cable in 2011.
Some of the members who had been involved in the project
Members of the group have researched what should go on the panels and found out all the information that you see there. 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.
Having only been in place for a few weeks, the boards have already been hugely popular, and are well used every day by walkers and visitors to the beach, who are enjoying finding out all about Rossall Beach and the environment around them.
Information boards being fitted on Rossall Promenade at Cleveleys
Come and explore Rossall Beach at Cleveleys