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As we gradually return to normal, and hopefully a bumper summer for visitors to the Fylde coast, it’s easy to assume that beach and seawater quality is someone else’s concern. 

The Beach Patrol team, Street Cleansing, the RNLI, Coastwatch – all people who would notice such things wouldn’t they?  Well if you are a regular beach user you might be first to pick up on an issue, and LOVEmyBEACH is asking for your help in identifying and reporting signs of coastal pollution.

Concerted efforts by volunteer beach cleaners have helped ensure Blackpool and other north west beaches are cleaner and safer than in the past.  However even at beaches maintained to a high quality pollution incidents can still occur.  So LOVEmyBEACH are asking beach users if they see it, to report it and help prevent it getting worse or reoccurring.

Emily Parr, Fylde Beach Care Officer says: “Major pollution incidents are well reported, enabling swift action to prevent further damage. In comparison, minor pollution incidents often go unreported and have the potential to cause ongoing and significant environmental damage. Regular beach visitors are likely to be the first people to spot these smaller incidents, maybe just by noticing a change to the usual appearance of an area or unusual occurrences.”

To help identify coastal pollution and know how and where to report it, LOVEmyBEACH have created a new leaflet, with information on the different types of pollution and what to do if you see it. This is available for anyone to download for free from the LOVEmyBEACH website – https://lovemybeach.org/resources/

The most common signs of pollution that might be noticed are:

  • Signs of sewage (e.g. sewage solids, pipes discharging dirty water, fungus growing or grey clouds around a pipe). 
  • A significantly large rainbow coloured film or thick sludge, indicating oil
  • Abnormally high levels of litter or dumped waste. Or large quantities of one particular material e.g. a deluge of microplastics
  • The presence of a new substance or material on the beach, e.g. palm oil

If you do see something that you suspect may be a pollution incident please take care to protect yourself.  Don’t handle any items or animals that you think may be pollutants or sick or dead as the result of a pollution incident without using appropriate PPE.  If in doubt leave anything of concern where you found it and contact the appropriate body as set out in the leaflet.

If your organisation would like some printed copies of the leaflet, please contact [email protected].  If you are interested in volunteering for a litter pick on a Fylde beach as these resume post-covid you can find details at https://lovemybeach.org/groups/fylde/.

  • LOVEmyBEACH is a campaign based in the North West focusing on improving bathing water quality in 31 designated bathing waters sites.
  • It supports and runs volunteer beach cleans regularly with 14 groups operating on the Fylde coast.
  • It provides information and resources for improving bathing water quality for a range of groups in the community including; schools, farmers, dog walkers and local businesses.

More information can be found at www.lovemybeach.org

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