Dynamic Dunescapes is an ambitious project, rejuvenating some of England & Wales' most important sand dunes for people, communities and wildlife.
Many of us know and love sand dunes as beautiful coastal landscapes, but they are also important biodiversity hotspots. These dunes are a sanctuary for rare species which are perfectly adapted to live in sand. At a healthy dune, you could find orchids, toads, birds and lizards thriving!
But these special creatures are at risk. Over time, many dunes have become covered by grass and scrub which have over-stabilised the sand, and invasive species have overtaken native ones. We now know that a dune environment needs areas of freely-moving sand, healthy sheltered dune slacks and areas with low vegetation to support its diverse wildlife. We’re using pioneering conservation techniques to rejuvenate the dunes and make their shifting sands the perfect home for our threatened wildlife again.
Get our e-newsletter
Get our e-newsletter
News and Blogs
Find out about the latest exciting news from the dunes and read about our conservation actions in our blog.
There is something about sand and sand dunes that has always captured my imagination. The way sand flows through your fingertips, the mesmerising way it falls through an egg-timer and how the invisible wind can create huge, graceful yet fickle dunes.
What I had not appreciated was how rare, vulnerable and at risk these ‘unseen’ landscape gems are, the most at-risk habitat in Europe; over-stabilised and with reducing areas of bare and moving sand with associated losses in biodiversity and some species barely holding on as a result. The chance to be part of an ambitious large-scale project was too good an opportunity to miss.
I had heard that there were glow worms on The Towans sand dunes, but had never seen them myself. So when West Cornwall Reserves Manager Nick Marriott put me in touch with a local glow worm enthusiast, I decided I needed to find out more!
Did you know that here on the Sefton Coast, we have possibly one of the World’s fastest beetles? Around 2cm long, with colourful reddish wing cases with three pale bands and iridescent green underneath, its the northern dune tiger beetle Cicindela hybrida!
Blog I grew up in North Devon so the dunes have been part of my life for many years. Firstly with Braunton Burrows and then Woolacombe, both magical places. My childhood summers are memories around picnics in the dunes and long balmy evenings watching the sun go down with friends. The hillocks of dunes topped…
Blog In February this year if you’d asked my wife Carol and me what we’d be doing with our spare time in June, “photographing nature” and starting a new venture would have been a long way down the list of activities! With me working full-time in the Barrow shipyard, evenings normally consisted of watching TV…
North Devon, in common with various other coastal locations of the UK, was used to train soldiers for the D-Day Landings. The expansive four square miles of sand dunes at Braunton Burrows became the “Assault Training Center”.
I’ve walked up the Eastern side of the National Nature Reserve which forms one edge of the channel between Walney and the mainland. Calm water here allows sediments to deposit and form an excellent saltmarsh with distinct zones of vegetation. Today it is awash with painted lady butterflies nectaring on the sea lavender.
As a landscape photographer, I often like to take the big picture and encompass as much of what’s around me as possible. I also like to look for the unexpected, surprising and also patterns in nature. I feel these are the ingredients that make interesting pictures.
The tiny yellow flowers of the fen orchid once added bright splashes of colour to the sand dunes across the coast of south Wales, giving the dune slacks which they carpeted a floral sunny hue in June. But, as Wales’ dune habitats have fragmented and become overcrowded with thick vegetation, this delicate little specialist species has been forced out of the landscape.
In the spring of 2020, the progress of Dynamic Dunescapes project work in Lincolnshire has of course been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s an update on what we have been able to do at Saltfleetby-Theedlethorpe NNR.
As we celebrate 75 years since the end of the Second World War in 2020, one of the Dynamic Dunescapes project sites offered up a previously unearthed piece of wartime history, buried in the dunes for over three quarters of a century.
In February this year our Lincolnshire team installed a series of new fences in carefully-chosen sites across the dunes at Saltfleetby-Theedlethorpe. The purpose of these new fences is to protect certain areas, including some of the pools that are used as key breeding areas for the dunes’ population of rare natterjack toads. The fences are…