The Lost Beaches
Lytham & Fairhaven once had beautiful
golden sands and the North Channel passed the coast helping to scour the beaches keeping
West Beach, Lytham
East Beach, Lytham
The Beach at Fairhaven, viewed from the sea
wall of the lake c1918.
Grannies Bay Beach c1905 (opposite the
Mud & grass on Lytham Beach in the
A deep channel
(1890s-1910) was built from the Irish Sea to the Port of Preston. The training walls of the
new channel were marked by posts which can still be seen from Lytham. The result was that the
old North Channel silted up, the beach level rose and mud spread onto the beaches.
In the 1930s Spartina grass (Spartina townsendii)
was planted on the banks of the River Ribble near Preston to reclaim land for farming. This grass
gradually spread along the coast, and to the beaches of Lytham & Fairhaven, which are now
covered by a carpet of grass. The grass is still spreading and now threatens the beach at
East Beach, Lytham circa 1918;
compare this with the similar view below taken in 2009.
West Beach, Lytham in the 1930s; compare
this with the similar view below taken in 2009.
View from Fairhaven Lake towards St.Annes
Fairhaven Beach, looking towards Lytham (2009). Grass (right)
carpets the once golden sands.
Looking from Outer Promenade, St.Annes, towards Fairhaven,
showing how the grass is spreading along the beach (2009).
St.Annes Beach - Too Much Sand!
Brief history of the Port of
Riversway (development of the
Natural England - The Ribble
Report on the evolution of the
Ribble Estuary, with particular reference to the north Sefton coast.
Defend the Dunes
1980 article about sand
winning at St.Annes
Sefton Coastal Process
Monitoring Report 2000-2004
Marine Geology - Long-term
morphological change in the Ribble Estuary.
All these books are difficult to find and expensive
to buy; try Lancashire Library Service.
“The History of the Ribble Navigation” by
Published in 1938, Corporation of Preston
The Last Tide: History
of the Port of Preston by Jack M. Dakres
“When the Boat Comes In” – Lancashire Polytechnic
(Try the Museum at Preston or the
Library Service - there are unrelated books with the same
title available on the internet)