Turning Tides partnership launches LOVEmyBEACH Active Coast programmePublished Tuesday, 12 June 2018
The LOVEmyBEACH Active Coast campaign was launched at locations across the Fylde coast yesterday to showcase the upcoming programme of sports and activities taking place throughout the summer.
The programme launched on 11 June with activities taking place at Fleetwood beach and boating lake, St Annes beach and Blackpool central beach.
Walking, beach volleyball, wheelchair accessible cycling, cricket, kayaking and yoga were all showcased on the day highlighting the variety of beach and coastal activities available for different ages and abilities.
In 2012, a range of organisations came together to form the Turning Tides Partnership with a shared vision of reducing pollution in the regions rivers, lakes and sea. At this time, 18 of the regions bathing waters were predicted to fail the stricter EU standards for water quality which were scheduled to take effect from 2015.
Through collaborative working, in just four years, the partnership turned the tide on the North West coast.
In 2016 and 2017 the partnership celebrated the fact that all 30 bathing water locations passed the stricter EU standards for water quality. The collaborative effort also resulted in Blackpool Council obtaining the Blue Flag award, the international standard for the best beaches in the world, at Blackpool South which it has now held for the past 3 years.
As part of the bathing water improvements project Turning Tides partners created LOVEmyBEACH in 2013; a campaign which inspires people to make changes to the way they live in order to drive environmental change. Through region wide campaigns and on-the-ground officers working in the community LOVEmyBEACH has been a great success, engaging thousands of people to take action.
With these bathing water improvements (all 8 bathing waters on the Fylde coast rated Good or Excellent for water quality in 2017) the Turning Tides board asked; what next? Board members felt that there was an opportunity that this clean and safe space could now be used to help improve resident’s health and wellbeing. With this in mind, Dr Arif Rajpura, Director of Public Health at Blackpool, was invited to join the board.
Dr Arif Rajpura shared their vision stating:
“It’s time to change perceptions about the coast. The beach shouldn’t just be seen as a place for visitors; it’s a clean and safe environment where a healthy lifestyle can be enjoyed year round.
“We want to promote the environmental improvements achieved by the Turning Tides partnership and showcase what activities can be enjoyed here; from a game of cricket on the beach to a simple stroll along the sea wall.”
Bringing together Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre council as well as support from the CCG’s and other leisure partners such as the YMCA, Healthier Fleetwood and Blackpool Football Club Community Trust work began on developing a coastal programme.
Councillor Lynne Bowen, Portfolio Holder for Leisure, Health and Community Engagement at Wyre Council was in attendance at the Fleetwood event and added:
“We are incredibly proud of our coast in Wyre and the Active Coast is a great way to showcase the quality of our beaches.
“Ferry Beach and Marine Beach in Fleetwood have recently received Seaside Awards, as well as Jubilee Beach and Rossall Beach in Cleveleys, distinguishing them as amongst the best beaches in the country.
“Our beaches are a great place to take part in the range of activities we have to offer and to get active, so make sure you pay a visit and try something new!”
Ashley Hackett, Chief Executive of Blackpool FC Community Trust was in attendance at Blackpool beach overseeing walking football for men aged 50+ and football with a group of Year 6 students from St Johns Primary School. He added:
“Blackpool FC Community Trust provides a range of health and wellbeing benefits for the local and wider Blackpool community for people of all ages. As a town, Blackpool are fortunate to have a fantastic beach along the promenade where thousands of people attend each year, The Trust in partnership with LOVEmyBEACH Active Coast, hope to inspire people to enjoy the local beach.”
For organisations or individuals who are interested in running activities on the beach they are advised to contact the following:
For Fylde - Ian Brookes, Sports Officer on firstname.lastname@example.org
For Blackpool - Email email@example.com
For Wyre - Carol Southern, Active Lives and Community Engagement Manager on Carol.Southern@wyre.gov.uk
Events and activities for the summer can be found at www.facebook.com/LmBActiveCoast