Section Heading Graphic

Northfold Primary School bury a time capsule at Rossall Sea DefencesNorthfold Primary School bury a time capsule at Rossall Sea Defences - July 2016

Aerial view of the Rossall Coastal Defence SchemeAerial view of the Rossall Coastal Defence Scheme - May 2016

View of Rossall Coastal Defence Scheme from the beachView of Rossall Coastal Defence Scheme from the beach - March 16

Pre-cast concrete step units being delivered to Rossall Coastal Defence SchemePre-cast concrete step units being delivered to Rossall Coastal Defence Scheme

Spring 2015

Rossall sea defence worksExcavation of the beach to the required level prior to placing the rocks

Rossall sea defence worksRemoval of one of the existing groynes

Stone fill in place between the existing sea defences and the new sheet steel pile line.Stone fill in place between the existing sea defences and the new sheet steel pile line.

Rock underlayer being placed on top of the geotextile.Rock underlayer being placed on top of the geotextile.

Larger rock being placed on top of a smaller rock foundation which is referred to as the underlayer.

Rock groyne during constructionRock groyne during construction

Engineer checks depth of excavationEngineer checks depth of excavation

Storage area and temporary bridges across concrete channelStorage area and temporary bridges across concrete channel

Sea Defences Prior to Construction Works

Sea Defences at Rossall HospitalSea defences at Rossall Hospital

Sea defences from Rossall HospitalSea defences from Rossall Hospital

Sea defences at Fairway, FleetwoodSea defences at Fairway, Fleetwood

Rossall Coastal Defence Scheme

Site update from the sea defence construction works at Rossall

A time capsule has been buried underneath the new sea defences at Rossall.

Pupils from Northfold Primary School in Thornton Cleveleys were inspired to fill the capsule following a trip to see the defences being built, leaving a lasting legacy for a future generation to discover.

Wyre Council is replacing two kilometres of defences from Rossall Hospital to Rossall Point in a £63m coastal defence scheme that will protect 7,500 properties from the risk of flooding. The capsule was buried below what will be the new promenade, which is due to be completed in November 2017.

Items inside the time capsule include photos and mementos, such as newspapers and currency, to illustrate daily life now alongside facts about the children and messages to the future.

Contents of the time capsule buried under the Rossall Sea Defences by Northfold School
Contents of the time capsule buried under the Rossall Sea Defences by Northfold School

Views about current hot topics such as the EU referendum and climate change were written about and questions have been put to would be future readers.

Air and water-tight, the time capsule is expected to remain buried for at least a hundred years, the lifespan of the new sea defences.

Time Capsule being buried at Rossall Sea Defences
Time Capsule being buried at Rossall Sea Defences

James Rochester, Class 6 teacher at Northfold Primary School, said: "Class 6 have been learning about how coastlines change over time, so visiting Rossall provided amazing first hand insight and the chance to observe the defences gradually taking shape was fascinating.

"Not only have the children benefited from consolidating their class based learning with a real life experience but they've had an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy and footprint about their own lives, as well as Northfold C.P. School and the surrounding area as it is in 2016.

"Their hope is for the capsule to remain buried for a very long time before at last being unearthed for a future generation to muse and ponder over. What an amazing discovery that would surely be!"

325,000 tonnes of rock armour are being used to create the base of the defences, to weather the harsh conditions on this exposed part of the coastline and allow the beach to build up in the area.

Between the rock revetment and the promenade, specially manufactured precast concrete is being used to form a stepped revetment to break the waves. The promenade will look similar in design to Cleveleys.

You might also be interested in... 

A time capsule that was found at Cleveleys, more at this link

Believed to have been buried in 1927 when sea defence work at that time was completed, the remnants of which were found in 2005 when the third phase of the Cleveleys sea defences were started.

Find out More

To find out more call into the information cabin at West Way car park which is open Monday to Friday, 7.30am to 5.30pm


Work continues apace at the sea defence works at Rossall.

(Published June 2016)

Aerial view of Rossall Sea Defence project

A second crane is now on site, installing the precast concrete wave wall units. 

Wave wall units being placed at Rossall Coastal Defence Scheme

These sit at the top of the stepped revetment and reflect waves back to sea during storm conditions. 

The top of them is over 2m higher than the walls which they replace, yet the rear flood wall is only approx 30cm (one foot) higher than the existing. 

Completed section of revetment steps at Rossall Coastal Defence Scheme

Installation of the precast stepped revetment units continues apace. 

Over 360 units are in place, on average 7 are installed each day. 

Each one weighs 15 tonnes, the equivalent of a double decker bus!

Rossall Sea Defences Past the Halfway Mark

(Published April 2016)

Construction of new sea defences at Rossall has reached a major milestone with the installation of the stepped revetments and the project has passed the halfway mark.

Two kilometres of defences from Rossall Hospital to Rossall Point are being replaced in a £63m coastal defence scheme that will protect 7,500 properties from the risk of flooding.

325,000 tonnes of rock armour are being used to create the base of the defences, to weather the harsh conditions on this exposed part of the coastline and allow the beach to build up in the area.

Between the rock revetment and the promenade, specially manufactured precast concrete  is being used to form a stepped revetment to break the waves (similar to the steps at neaby Cleveleys). Each unit, of which there are over 1000 in total, is the weight of around two double decker buses and is placed in position by a vacuum lifter from a crane.

Much of the work for the first two years has been focussed on the importation and placement of rock armour to the lower revetment but now you can see the rest of the defences starting to take shape.

The project is progressing extremely well and on track to be finished by the end of next year (2017).

Of the 2km being replaced, 850m of lower rock revetment and 1185 metres of steel piles are in place, five of eighteen groynes are complete with seven more partly constructed and over 210,000 tonnes of rock have been imported. The promenade will look similar in design to Cleveleys.

Site Update April 2016

A crane and vacuum lifting unit are on site for the placing of precast stepped revetment units.

Use of the lifting unit means that the finished quality of the precast units is not compromised with lifting eyes.

Placement of the units commenced on Thursday 3rd March and on average 8 units are being placed per day. To date a total of 73 units have been placed, comprising of approximately 200 metres of lower row units, 100 metres of middle row units and 20 metres of upper row units.

First stepped revetment being placed at Rossall Sea DefencesFirst precast concrete stepped revetment unit being lifted using vacuum lifting equipment.

Unit being adjusted into its final position.

Works continue to the in-situ concrete blinding of the summer promenade, the placing and compacting structural fill material and the trimming and blinding of the revetment slope and seawall base.

Approximately 120 metres of revetment blinding are prepared ahead of placement of the precast revetment units.

Installation of middle row precast concrete stepped revetment unit alongside previously installed units.Installation of middle row precast concrete stepped revetment unit alongside previously installed units.

Four complete sets of access steps through the rock revetment have now been installed at groynes 4, 5, 6 and 7 and the adjoining rock revetment has been closed up to each set.

In-situ concrete works continue to the beach access steps and groyne crossover ramps. Out of 18, a total of 6 are now complete with work ongoing to an additional 7. Rock placement continues on the revetment. 

Site Update, April 2015

Work has been primarily focussed on the rock revetment over the past few weeks with a total of 140 metres now complete. With only being able to complete a 5 metre strip on a suitable tidal shift, this is a slow process.

All of the upper sea defence structures from the rear of the pile line up to the rear flood wall depend to some extent on the rock revetment being in place prior to them being built.

The construction of the upper precast concrete revetment will be significantly quicker than the lower level. As such there is a delay to this work starting which is why there is currently no construction to the rear of the pile line.

Along with the sea defence works, the land to the rear of the seawall is being developed as an ecology park as part of the project. Lancashire County Council has been employed to develop a design to meet the needs of the local community and stakeholders.

Following a draft design, a number of public consultation meetings were held to discuss and develop the proposals. The design is now in the final stages of development and will be submitted for planning approval in June.

Details can be found in the information cabin at West Way. Other activities include demolition of some of the existing groynes and import of large rock, now totalling 103,000 tonnes.

Find out more at

Site Update, March 2015

Work has continued either side of the first 250 metre section of steel piles over the past couple of weeks. On the landward side of the piles 10,400 tonnes of graded stone has been placed and compacted. This stone will form part of the foundation to the precast concrete blocks which will be placed later. As the placing of the precast concrete sections isn't due to start until September the stone is only being filled up to a level 1.5 metres below the top of the piles at this time.

Completed section of rock revetment.
Completed section of rock revetment.

On the seaward side of the piles, work continues on the construction of the rock revetment with 60 metres being completed so far. Given the amount of rock that is required, only a 5 metre length can be achieved each tidal shift. From the face of the sheet piles the rock revetment is 25 metres wide towards the sea. For every 1 metre strip of this, 64 tonnes of underlayer rock and 100 tonnes of the larger rock is required.

Each tidal shift the beach is excavated to the required profile and covered in a 5 metre wide geotextile mat. The geotextile is a structural fabric and acts as a separation layer between the beach and rock. A 1.8 metre thick layer of underlayer rock is then placed on the geotextile followed by a 2.4 metre thick layer of larger rock on top. Other activities include import of large rock, now totalling 92,500 tonnes.

Site Update, February 2015

The main activities on site in the last month have been the delivery and stockpiling of rocks. The rocks, each weighing between 3t and 7t, are used to construct the rock groynes and the lower half of the sea defence revetment.

The 75 metre long rock groynes will help retain the beach material along the foreshore and also encourage the beach to build up in height. High beach levels help reduce the height of waves that can be generated during a storm.

The sloped rock lower revetment is placed between the beach and mean high water level and is the first line of defence in the new works.

The rocks remove a significant amount of energy from the incoming tide and also deal with the abrasive nature of the sea below high tide. To date, approximately a quarter of the large rock required has been delivered and 5 of the 18 groynes have been constructed. Works to the lower rock revetment started in mid February.

Other activities include repairs to existing defences damaged during recent storms and site investigation works to the grassland at the rear of the sea wall.

Construction activities are increasing so an additional storage area is required for plant and materials. Within the lagoon an area of land seaward of the concrete drainage channel, between the Larkholme Parade access path and the site compound, has been topsoil stripped and covered in recycled material to act as a haul road and storage area. Two piped bridges have been constructed across the concrete channel to allow vehicles to turn around.

Early plans for the Rossall Ecology Zone (29.1.15)

Want to find out what's being done to make the most of Rossall's rich and diverse wildlife?

Draft plans are being unveiled for a new ecology zone on the landward side of the new sea defences.

Storm channel and grassland on Rossall seafront at Fleetwood

The strip of grassland (above), from West Way to Fairway, is already classed as a Biological Heritage Site (BHS) because of the rarer species of flora and fauna that grow there. BHSs are wildlife sites that are of county-wide importance and are a material consideration in the development planning process. This site was designated for its valuable coastal grassland.

The linear strip of grassland between the back of the sea wall and the road at Fairway is an integral part of the sea defence, trapping overtopping spray during storms. Whilst the area is to be retained as a water storage area it has the capability to become much more. The ongoing sea defence works provide an opportunity to create an attractive and visually interesting site, publicly accessible and rich in wildlife.

Now as part of the sea defence works and Wyre Council's Five For Fleetwood seafront improvement scheme, the area is being re-designed to create a much more attractive feature and to let people get up close and personal with nature.

Early proposals have been drawn up by environmental design experts from Lancashire County Council. These will be on public display from 4 to 11 February inside the sea defences information cabin on West Way car park.

However, for anyone wanting to give feedback to or find out more information from officers involved in the project, the exhibition will be manned between 3 and 6pm on Wednesday 4 February.

A similar session will be held on Wednesday 11 February at Larkholme Community Centre, Cartmel Avenue from 3.30 to 6.30pm.

Plans will also be available online shortly at, alongside details of the other projects that make up the wider improvement scheme.

Contact for more information

Promenade Closure (22.8.14)

Rossall promenade will close to the public between West Way and Rossall Point on 1 September to allow the building of new sea defences to progress.

The closure is necessary for safety reasons as the promenade will be used for construction and the movement of plant and equipment, however diversions are in place.

Councillor Roger Berry, Cabinet member with responsibility for sea defences at Wyre Council, said: “It is a priority for us to keep disruption to residents and visitors to a minimum throughout this work however it is necessary to close the prom for safety, as it is essentially a construction site.

“We’ve carried out some work to improve the alternative routes and accommodate as many users of the prom as possible. The new sea defences will protect 7,500 homes from flooding and the long term benefits will be felt for the next 100 years. I ask people to bear with us as we carry out this absolutely vital work.”

A new pathway has been created alongside the site compound at West Way (opposite Rossall Hospital) to allow southward access to the promenade. Cyclists and horseriders are able to use the path but must dismount. Those travelling northwards from Cleveleys must leave the seawall at this point and can continue north along Fairway and Princes Way, rejoining the promenade at Rossall Point car park and picnic area.

From the north, the promenade closes just south of Rossall Point Observation Tower, which remains open, however there is no through route southwards. The alternative route is along Princes Way and Fairway from Rossall Point car park, rejoining the promenade at West Way.

A concessionary bridleway which runs alongside the promenade from Rossall Point to Chatsworth Avenue (next to Fleetwood Golf Course), remains open to walkers and horse riders. This route does however cross uneven ground and sand dunes.

It is strongly recommended that people stay off the beach next to the promenade closure, as it forms part of the construction site and may be unsafe during incoming tides.

To find out more call into the information cabin at West Way Monday to Friday, 7.30am - 5.30pm, or on Thursdays 9am - 12pm to speak to someone in person, or Rossall Point Observation Tower, which is open to the public Wednesday to Sunday, 11am - 4pm and bank holidays.

The promenade will remain closed until the new sea defences are completed in 2017.

For more information visit 

Opening of Information Cabin (13.5.14)

Residents interested in the £86m sea defence constructions at Anchorsholme and Rossall will soon be able to find out more about both projects.

Balfour Beatty will open public information cabins at both sites this week.

The two cabins will be open Monday to Friday between 7.30am and 5.30pm and will both be manned for half a day a week. The Anchorsholme cabin will be open later on Monday evenings until 7.30pm.

The cabin at Anchorsholme, situated on the corner of Princes Way and Queens Promenade, will be manned every Tuesday morning between 9am and 12noon with the cabin at Rossall, located on West Way, manned on Thursday mornings at the same time.

Inside the cabins, people will be able to find out specific information on the project and its background, as well as updated photos and details of the two sites as work progresses. Summaries of daily noise and vibrations will also be available to see.

A slip for people to leave comments or ask questions about the project will also be on hand for people to use. Residents can also call into Rossall Point Observation Tower to find out more.

People unable to visit the cabins will also be able to find out more about the scheme at the project’s new website. Latest news about the site, as well as updated pictures and background to the scheme will be available to view at

Work on the two sea defence projects began in April, with construction of Anchorsholme expected to finish in autumn 2015 and work at Rossall to be completed by the end of 2017.

Approval of Plans for Rossall Sea Defence Scheme (Oct 13)

Defra and the Environment Agency have formally approved £86million of funding and given the green light for work to start on a series of major new coastal defences at Anchorsholme and Rossall, one of the largest flood defence programmes in the UK.

Blackpool and Wyre Councils are working in partnership to improve and replace sea defences between Rossall Hospital and Rossall Point and from Kingsway to Little Bispham at Anchorsholme, protecting 12,000 properties from the risk of coastal flooding.

Councillor Roger Berry, Cabinet member with responsibility for sea defences at Wyre Council, said: “This news is the culmination of a tremendous amount of work by all involved and I'm delighted that we can now get started with making vital improvements to our seawall.

"Although Rossall and Anchorsholme are two different schemes in terms of the type of defences required, Wyre and Blackpool Councils along with the Environment Agency have formed a very fruitful collaboration to ensure the future protection of the Fylde Coast.

Councillor Fred Jackson, Cabinet member for Urban Regeneration at Blackpool Council, said: “We are ecstatic the grant approval letters have arrived for the Anchorsholme Coast Protection Scheme and the work to improve our coastal defences can commence.

“The reconstruction of the seawall is of huge importance and will protect the community of Anchorsholme, their homes, local businesses and highways from flooding and coastal erosion, whilst improving access to the beach.

"The huge programme of work is expected to be complete in 2015."

Councillor Derek Antrobus, Chair of the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, said: “We are committed to reducing the risk of flooding to as many homes and businesses in the North West as possible with the money available.

"The Rossall and Anchorsholme flood defence scheme is one of the biggest currently planned in the UK, which is fantastic for our region and a really positive step towards making communities living on our coastline as resilient to flooding as possible."

Construction is due to start at both sites in the new year.

More about the Project

The Fylde Peninsular Coastal Programme has secured £86m of funding from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) - £64m for Rossall and £22m for Anchorsholme.

A £17m bid for Fairhaven Lake and Church Scar is currently underway.

The flood defences are old and could fail during a major storm, resulting in significant flooding to low lying properties in the area.

The most recent major flood events occurred in 1927, which resulted in the deaths of six people, and 1977 when over 1,800 properties flooded following a breach of the sea defences. 

The sea defences at Rossall protect 7500 very low lying properties and have been recognised nationally as one of the highest risk and most important areas for improvement in England.

The area is subjected to some of the highest waves and currents on the Fylde Coast.

Due to this part of the coastline being very exposed to the harsh environment, with a shingle beach, the seawall suffers frequent damage. A lower rock revetment has proven to be the most suitable option. The upper part of the seawall, outside of the damage zone, will be concrete.

Tremendous support has been received from the local community for the scheme; over 1500 residents signed pledges of support, businesses including Regenda housing association, which manages 900 properties in the area, and Fleetwood Town Football Club made financial contributions, and Fleetwood Town Council increased its annual precept to support the scheme.

Following consultation with members of the angling community, the original design has been adapted to reduce the quantity of rock and provide a lower level promenade, which will allow angling to continue along this stretch of coastline.

Work is due to start on Rossall and Anchorsholme schemes in winter 2013/14 and be completed in 2016/17.

Planning application 13/00501/LMAJ

At the above link you can find all the detailed information which has been submitted as part of this planning application.

The Rossall Scheme will protect 7497 properties and vital infrastructure from flooding. The existing sea defences are considered to be past their lifespan and progressively failing to the point that ongoing maintenance isn't practical - the front wall was built in the 1930's and the rear flood wall in the 1970's after the last significant floods.

The new scheme will cover a 2km stretch from Westway to the start of the golf course. It follows the line of the existing defences with no changes to alignment and the width of it ranges from 100 to 130m from the seawall to Fairway, and it's 0.5m higher than the existing.

The existing defences will be overlaid with the new, with rock armour revetment and a two tier promenade incorporating intermediate and rear sea walls with landscaping behind.

Landscaping cross section new Rossall Sea Defences
Landscaping cross section new Rossall Sea Defences

Landscaping is being used along the existing green lawned area to soften the impact of the height increase, by creating a biodiverse ecological park with native plants, which you'll be able to enjoy along a series of paths and walkways.

Cross section of the new Rossall Sea defences to be built at Fleetwood
Cross section of the new Rossall Sea defences to be built at Fleetwood

Hydraulic modelling has been used to understand the effect of wave-overtopping and scour, the effects on the waves and the movement of sediment, and along with a desk study this information has been used to design the cross section.

Terminal groynes in the new Rossall Sea defences to be built at Fleetwood
Terminal groynes in the new Rossall Sea defences to be built at Fleetwood

Two terminal groynes will be included in the design to encourage beach accretion. The existing timber groynes will be rebuilt in timber and rock on the same alignment. New slades, beach access ramps, an increased number of steps and access from the upper and lower promenades will all be incorporated in the new design. The promenade will be cast in dark grey concrete, and there will be no lighting.  

The sea defences along our coastline are replaced according to the risk of flooding.

The ingenuity and flair of designers and engineers has given us a promenade and public space at Cleveleys that has won awards and is a space to be proud of, while protecting over 8,700 properties and 219 industrial units from flooding to a 1 in 200 year standard.

The beach at North/Rossall Promenade at Cleveleys isn’t considered to be at risk of flooding, and as such is unlikely to be rebuilt for at least another 10 to 15 years.

However, the area around the coast in the Rossall stretch around Fairway is getting to the end of its useful life and is the section to which this funding relates for a major engineering construction project.

The section scheduled for replacement is the area from Rossall Hospital at the end of Fairway through to Fleetwood Golf Club/Rossall Point, which is a long length of coastline of about 1.9km. New sea defences would protect 7,495 properties from flooding including businesses and a number of public buildings, including the NHS Pensions office, Fleetwood High School, Rossall Hospital and many more besides.

The approved strategy was put to the Environment Agency National Project Board in December 2011. A Business Case was then put together and submitted back to the same board in Feb/March 2012. Local residents were asked to show their backing for the Shoreline Strategy Plan, so that a formal grant application could be made in February 2013, upon which the positive decision was made to grant funding.

The existing sea defences at Rossall have been estimated as having a potential effective lifespan left of less than five years.

Works will also include the prom on Princes Way at Anchorsholme as one package, and Birse Coastal secured the contract against tenders which went out for the contract in early 2012 (you can read about the Anchorsholme Sea Defence scheme here). Blackpool and Wyre Council have worked together to draw down the funds and manage the project as one team, to deliver better value for money by combining the contracts and make better use of expertise and resources.

The highly successful Cleveleys scheme finishes at the Blackpool boundary at Kingsway, where the promenade at Anchorsholme continues as Princes Way. Blackpool's engineers have determined that the sea wall on Princes Way is in a progressive mode of failure.

The new scheme will involve the reconstruction of 1km of defences at Anchorsholme as a concrete sea wall and promenade to match Cleveleys, with landscaping details.

The works are expected to take 84 months to complete.

The proposed work at Rossall will include the replacement of the revetments, seawall, promenade and rear wall, along with works to the grassed lagoon area and floodwater channel on the landward side. This section of coastline takes an enormous amount of battering from the elements and is hammered by the tides. Along a changing coastline, the depth of the sea defences is also greater here than at other parts of Cleveleys, is wide from front to back, and has a high wall to the rear, which means that there is a greater volume of construction materials required, at a much greater cost.

It’s also a totally different landscape to the formality of the promenade in the centre of Cleveleys – a more natural and almost wild place which is ideal for solitude and walking and natural history. These physical characteristics are being incorporated into the design, which also takes into account the results of a full public consultation which was carried out in early 2010. Beach users and residents were consulted about how they would like to see the design of the sea defences take shape, and what pastimes the area and beach was used for.

The final design will be capable of dispersing the energy of the waves as they crash against the shore, and will stand the constant battering. The top section and promenade is likely to be ‘Cleveleys-esque’ in its construction, with a walkway and top stepped section in cast concrete to create a pleasant environment that links the coastline to Cleveleys and Fleetwood and develops the public open space of the Wyre coastline as a resource that people want to use and enjoy.

The storm channel area at the road side of the sea defences along Fairway will also get a complete facelift, with landscaping works and re-modelling to create an improved green open space.


Why don't you Sign Up to Keep Up?
Register for weekly email updates from Visit Fleetwood and keep up to date with what's happening, what's new on this site, offers and news.

footnote   The content of this page is subject to The Rabbit Patch Copyright Terms and Conditions ©