Coast Watchers* is a new three year project and a partnership between us here at The Rabbit Patch, Michael Lusty (a PhD student at Lancaster University) and the engineering team at Wyre Council.
Pull your wellingtons on and get involved with Coast Watchers
The purpose of it is to use your real-life observations along with information from different sources to enable us all to properly understand what’s happening on our section of shoreline.
We're lucky here on the Fylde Coast - the vast majority of our sea defences are man-made, most of them new or well maintained. Other areas of the UK coast aren't so lucky.
For example, cliff top homes in Hemsby, on the Norfolk coast, were at the point of collapsing into the sea after high winds and waves eroded the sand dunes in March 2018.
Seeing this brings it home just how vulnerable we could be as a coastal community and why we should always respect the sea.
Lots of us enjoy finding out about the life of the beach. We like to know about the weather (good and bad!), the storms, the tides, the moon, the sand levels, the animals which come and go and the rubbish that gets left behind. In fact some of us like to know about everything that makes up the marine environment.
If you’re one of those people then you’ll also want to know all about this new Coast Watchers project. It's for the Wyre coastline from Cleveleys to Knott End – find out how you can be part of it.
Most people ask the same types of questions.
Things like ‘why is there a channel in a particular spot on the beach.’ You should always take care not to get cut off on sandbanks on the beach.
Another really popular question is ‘why is the shingle island off Fleetwood getting so big?’ It’s always been there but why is it out of the water at high tide, when it wasn’t before?
Those of us who love the coast know that the beach moves about every day.
One day there might be a sandbank, the next day a carved out channel. These are ephemeral changes and it takes a longer period of time to measure an actual trend.
Between lots of us we might be able to work out the answer to bigger questions. For example ‘is an 8m tide still reaching the same point on the beach now that it did 5 years ago’. Or maybe, what's an 8m tide!
We want to know what you want to know – we want to be able to answer your questions.
You might already enjoy watching our own beach-cam (when it’s not misted up with salt!). There are other interesting websites that can help you to identify ships at sea and for plane tracking and such like.
We don’t miss a lot here at Visit Fylde Coast, but we were surprised to find out just how many more measuring devices are operating around our shoreline.
We already provide a daily weather forecast and tide tables. We'll be adding to that feeds from weather stations, tide gauges, wave buoys, radar and satellites.
What information would you find interesting and we can try to include it?
Another one of our questions is ‘which exact spots on our coast line would you like to monitor?’
Along with all this weird and wonderful information, we’re also looking at new ways to record things. For example, how the photos that you take at the coast could be translated into a meaningful record of measurement.
This is the whizzy bit so it might take a bit of working out. One thing is for sure, whether you’re a complete amateur photographer or a pro, we will certainly be asking you to take photos!
Rossall Beach Residents & Community Group is one of the community partners in the project.
Come along to beach clean-ups and meetings for a chat and an update. If there’s demand for it, a sub-group could be formed to work on this project.
We’ll be building an online portal here on Visit Fylde Coast where you’ll be able to see lots of fascinating information and share your records.
Regular readers of Visit Fylde Coast will know that we always like to have a conversation WITH our readers, and we’ll be providing you with lots of exciting opportunities to join in.
It’s all very exciting. I wonder what we’ll have come up with at the end of the 3 years?
Stick with us and be part of it!
*Coast Watchers is our working name for now – we might think of something more appropriate and have a name change at a later date!
Like to know more, or tell us your answers to our questions?
Get in touch. Email jane@theRabbitPatch.co.uk
Have a look at our Coast Watchers Twitter list
Meanwhile, make sure that you've signed up for the weekly Visit Fylde Coast enews. Not only will you get updates about this project, you'll get lots of other interesting information every week too.
Why do beach levels fall and rise? Where does the beach material go?
Why don't you Sign Up to Keep Up?
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