Coastal Nature Lab project gave presentation at Our Future Coast Design Committee – Silverdale on 28 February 2024. Organised by Lancaster City Council as part of DEFRA funded Our Future Coast project. There were presentations from Ray Lawrenson from Siskin Asset Management, alongside Serena Pollastri and Suzi Ilic, researchers from Lancaster University, all experts in Nature Based Solutions along the coastline. The participants then used a selection of current images, maps and historic maps to discuss options and what the community would like to see at the site.

About 8-10 participants, mostly local residents, primarily with interest in coastal futures. Impact: broadened network

Our Future Coast


In 2021 DEFRA allocated £150 million to 25 projects across the country under the Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Fund (FCRIP). One of those projects was Our Future Coast, led by Wyre Council, which encompasses 14 sites along the North West Coast. Hest Bank and Jenny Browns Point are two of those sites, and they are being managed by Lancaster City Council, with assistance from Morecambe Bay Partnership. This is a 5-6 year project ending in 2027.

Our Future Coast want to research and test new, and innovative, methods of using soft engineering techniques to improve the resilience of local communities against coastal erosion and flooding risk. We will be encouraging salt marsh to regenerate where it once existed and by asking the community to help us design techniques to do this. We are looking for more ecologically sound and sustainable flood resilience techniques, as opposed to concrete flood defence walls which require a lot of carbon and finance to build and maintain.

What are soft engineering techniques?

Soft engineering methods take a sustainable and natural approach to coastal management. A key focus of the project is to test innovative methods to encourage salt marsh regeneration and protect against coastal erosion, forming natural ‘buffer strips’ between the land and sea. Such methods could include brushwood mattresses, or coconut matting, and we would have the ability to remove them if they had a detrimental effect on the surrounding areas.​

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