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Funds for nature tourism will help coastal wildlife

Girl playing on beach Published Thursday, 08 November 2018

A £71,000 treasure chest will send visitors on a voyage of discovery to the Fylde coast.

The Coastal Communities Fund has awarded the money to The Lancashire Wildlife Trust to help transform coastal communities on the Fylde by bringing them closer to nature on the coast. It is one of only two projects in Lancashire, and 16 across the UK, to be awarded funds from the scheme. 

Over the next two years, the project will encourage regeneration and nature tourism on the Fylde Coast from Fleetwood down to Lytham. It will inspire people to appreciate some of the special wildlife and wild spaces on offer in the area – from the fish and bird life on the estuaries to the creatures that live in Blackpool’s sea wall.

 Project Manager and Senior Marine Conservation Officer, Emily Baxter said: “There is a great diversity of wildlife along the coast and we want to inspire people to enjoy and protect it. We aim to work with local community groups and businesses to further develop the nature tourism offer.

“We want to work with local businesses along the Fylde Coast, and we are particularly keen to engage with holiday parks. We will also support community groups to take an active role in championing their coast and provide volunteering opportunities and placements with training such as helping with surveys, wildlife watching, and events.”

In August, the Lancashire Wildlife Trust launched a fundraising appeal, which will help to provide the match funding for this project. The Lancashire’s Living Seas project will include a wide range of initiatives including events, workshops and trails. 

A series of trail leaflets will encourage people to explore the key coastal areas and learn about nature on the coast. This will include leaflets for adults to use for self-guided exploration or organised guided walks, and story walks for families and school groups, with a mixture of myths and fun facts.

It is hoped that a mobile interactive display will also be used in community centres to inspire people about the Fylde Coast. 

The Lancashire Wildlife Trust developed the project with the support of Blackpool, Fleetwood and Cleveleys Coastal Community Teams and in partnership with Wyre Council and Fylde Council.

Businesses interested in getting involved in the project should contact Sally Tapp, Marine Community Engagement Officer for the project at stapp@lancswt.org.uk

The Coastal Communities Fund was established to support coastal projects in the UK deliver sustainable growth and jobs.

Since 2012, the Coastal Communities Fund has awarded grants to 295 projects across the UK, totalling over £173 million. This has so far helped to start almost 500 new businesses and create more than 7,000 jobs – with these figures set to more than double once the projects that are already underway are completed.

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