Decorative coastal footpath for nature reserve

Fleetwood, Lancashire



Wyre Council & Balfour Beatty


Balfour Beatty

Location type

Sea Wall/Nature Reserve


May 2018

The challenge

The £63 million Rossall Coastal Defence Improvement Scheme was commissioned by Wyre Council in partnership with the Environment Agency. It has replaced and upgraded two kilometres of sea defences in order to protect 7,500 properties in nearby Fleetwood from flooding. As part of this project, a new ecology park, Larkholme Grasslands, was being created on a 1.5 km strip of land to the landward side of the sea defence. This would require a durable, all-weather footpath. The site was exposed to wind and heavy rain from the Irish Sea. The path had originally been specified as a standard asphalt with a resin bonded surface. However concerns had been raised over the cost of this solution and the impact of seasonal weather on the finish on this exposed site. 

Our solution

ULTICOLOUR, Tarmac’s coloured asphalt had been used nearby on the scheme to upgrade the sea wall and promenade at Morecambe and also on Blackpool’s famous promenade. The customer and client visited both sites and were impressed with the finish. ULTICOLOUR uses a clear polymer modified binder, pigment and colour matched aggregates to provide deeper colours that resist surface wear. As it is laid like a standard asphalt, it would also be less susceptible to poor weather during installation than a resin bonded surfacing. After viewing a number of weathered samples and seeing the finished product in-situat Morecambe,the client chose the ULTICOLOUR Buff Gravel colour to complement the surrounding coastal environment. 

Results and benefits

Around 240 tonnes of ULTICOLOUR asphalt was supplied to the site from Tarmac’s Kevin plant and successfully laid over an area of around 3,600m2. The client was impressed with the quality of the finish. The new footpath provided an all-weather, trip-free surface that offered accessibility to the wide range of people expected to use the new ecology park. It helped to transform an important coastal defence scheme into a valuable community space for local people. On the basis of its performance at other locations on this coastline, ULTICOLOUR was expected to provide a long service life with minimal requirement for ongoing maintenance.

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Additional info

Natural appearance

The buff coloured asphalt in a light sandy colour, was the ideal fit for this coastal ecology park.

Accessible, all weather surface

ULTICOLOUR can be laid quickly over large areas in a shorter time than other types of decorative paving.

Safe, accessible surface

Safe, even, trip free surface with improved accessibility for users of wheelchairs and pushchairs.

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