Offshore Shingle Island

Offshore Shingle Island

This growing, offshore shingle island is located off North of Fleetwood, 1.6 Miles (2.6 Km) from the coastline. Thanks to Christopher Verity for the photo above.

It’s currently made of pebbles and shingle, rather than sand. At the moment the bank stands over 10m tall and is still visible even at a normal high tide.

Take a look at these amazing photos of it, taken by and with thanks to Christopher Verity. Click/swipe from left/right to view gallery

Offshore Shingle Island forming at Fleetwood. Photo: Christopher Verity
Offshore Shingle Island forming at Fleetwood. Photo: Christopher Verity
Offshore Shingle Island forming at Fleetwood. Photo: Christopher Verity
Offshore Shingle Island forming at Fleetwood. Photo: Christopher Verity
Offshore shingle island forming at Fleetwood. Photo: Christopher Verity
Offshore Shingle Island forming at Fleetwood. Photo: Christopher Verity
Offshore Shingle Island forming at Fleetwood. Photo: Christopher Verity
Offshore Shingle Island forming at Fleetwood. Photo: Christopher Verity
Offshore Shingle Island forming at Fleetwood. Photo: Christopher Verity

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It’s clearly visible from the shoreline at Marine Beach behind the Marine Hall at Fleetwood seafront. The photo below was taken from the top of The Mount, you can just see the island as a grey stripe in the water. If you visit, take your binoculars!

Offshore Shingle Island forming behind the Marine Hall at Fleetwood
Offshore Shingle Island forming behind the Marine Hall at Fleetwood

**HEALTH AND SAFETY WARNING** While this is all quite fascinating, please do not attempt to visit the offshore shingle island.

Film of the Offshore Shingle Island

Local drone photography company Vision-Air were taken out to see the island by Paul Ashworth from Fleetwood RNLI.

They made this stunning film at 10am on 23 April 2016, when the tide was at approx 5.5 m. It sparked widespread interest in the new land mass when they published their film online.

Initially Vision-Air sent the footage to us here at Visit Fleetwood. By the end of the same week it had been picked up from this website by the local and regional media and was a talking point on the Fylde Coast (and it’s not the first time that’s happened!)

Watch the Vision-Air film here:

Offshore shingle island at Fleetwood

More Details about the Offshore Shingle Island

Island Stats:

The Vision-Air survey in 2016 revealed that the island was:

  • 638 metres long,
  • 10.2 metres high
  • 3.4 hectares square and
  • between 10-15 metres wide.

It tapers to a sandbank at the south side and drops off to water at the north side – where the seabed falls down to the 60ft drop of Lune Deep.

Island Theory:

Various theories exist as to why it is growing.

  • Probably the favourite one is that the channel of the River Wyre is no longer dredged by ABP, since the Stena ferries stopped using the Port some years ago.
  • Another well discussed theory is that the stones are connected to a long lost Roman Fort in the area which are resurfacing.
  • And it could be a consequence of the new sea defence works along the coast at Cleveleys and Rossall.

Can we find out why?

The offshore shingle island is one of the things that the new Coast Watchers project would like to find the reason for. It’s aim is to make us all into Citizen Scientists who record and track the movement of our beaches and shoreline.

Find out more about Coast Watchers, and how you can join in, here.

Island Thoughts:

If you spend any length of time here you’ll know that the seabed and beach moves about from day to day with the tides. There have always been sandbanks and beds around the Fleetwood coastline, Wyre estuary channel and Morecambe Bay.

Len Yeadon said on Facebook “This might be a continuation of a phenomenon that was around in my great grandfathers time. People spoke of fishing trips where an island “rose” out of the sea.”

Paul Barker added “Kingscar has been there for many years – it has just been getting a bit bigger recently. It is nothing new.”

Kingscar Bank is a bank which has been shown on Admiralty Charts going back to the 1700’s, but hasn’t been visible before now.

While you’re here…

Have a look at the Visit Fleetwood website homepage for more of the latest updates.

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What do you think? Leave a comment below

 

2 Comments
  1. This island has risen from the sand due to the rebuilding of the sea defence from Cleveleys to Fleetwood. You can’t put thousands of tons of rocks into the water and not expect a reaction and this island is just that. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Dredging has nothing to do with it, I worked on them as did my father and grandfather and in all that time we only dredged to dock and jubilee and tigers tail, up to the North end. William .

  2. Got to agree with you there Bill. Many years ago, not sure of the dates so won’t quote any, there was a shingle bank that ran from Rossall Boulders to Lune Deeps and the water on the east side was deep enough for sailing smacks to fish with beam trawls at any state of tide. At this time the River Wyre ran in it’s original channel across what is now Knott End sea wall and the ferry slip was short and on stilts.
    The river was diverted to the Fleetwood side by training walls on the east side and as Knott End silted up the ferry slip was extended and made solid creating yet more silt to the north of it. I would guess the original sea bed is thirty feet below. A huge storm breached the shingle bar and gradually the rest washed away. All that is happening is that the bay is trying to revert to it’s original state.

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