Dynamic Dunescapes is an exciting and 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 sand dunes have become covered by grass and scrub which have stabilised the sand too much, 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.
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News and Blogs
Find out about the latest exciting news from the dunes and read about our conservation actions in our blog.
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.
Sand Dunes and Sea Rocket: discover a coastal cabbage and its importance in dune creation and conservation
On beaches all around the British Isles from the Isles of Scilly to the Moray Firth and beyond, and even across Europe, from the shores of the Mediterranean up to the Baltic, if you take a closer look the dunes, just above the high tide line, you’ll see more than just marram grass; you’ve a good chance of finding a beautiful plant called sea rocket (Cakile maritima).
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…
It’s been an unusual start to the Dynamic Dunescapes project due to the unprecedented current circumstances. Engagement Officer for Devon, Bev, shares her experiences.