Past Events

Talk on Fylde’s history and wildlife

Posted on: September 25th, 2011 by admin

The Fylde Coast – some aspects of its history and wildlife: a talk by well known local historian Peter Shakeshaft.


Peter Shakeshaft entertaining the Friends at a previous event

Born in St. Annes, Peter Shakeshaft has had a lifelong interest in history, and has published two books covering the history of Freckleton and St. Annes.

Peter is a regular and popular speaker at Friends events, and his latest talk on Fylde’s history and wildlife, on 22 September, was a sell-out.

Peter and his wife Maureen are keen birdwatchers and have taken part in the Wetland Bird Survey for the last 40 years. Peter emphasised the importance of the Ribble Estuary as a site of international importance for identifying population sizes, and determining trends in numbers and distribution.

Peter also spoke about the importance of the area’s sand dune system and, in particular, marram grass. Such is the importance of the grass for providing structure for the dunes that there were (and maybe still are) laws preventing locals from taking the grass for thatch, etc.

We also heard about how eighteenth century practices relating to common pasture land are still in operation today. Owners still allocate ‘cow/common gates’ on the Freckleton and Newton marshes.

FoSAL would like to thank Peter and Maureen for providing a fascinating insight into Fylde’s wildlife and its historical importance.