An Interview with a Sand Dune

Dynamic Dunescapes

During a creative writing exercise, staff from across the Dynamic Dunescapes project were asked to reflect on the kind of conversation you might have with a sand dune, were it able to respond to your questions. In ‘An Interview with a Sand Dune,’ we’ve compiled some of our favourite responses. Here, our team give a voice to the shifting sands we work hard to restore.


An Interview with a Sand Dune


Sand Dune, how old are you?

I am as old as the rocks and shells that made me, but as young as the storms that brought me and shaped me.


Where do you start and end?

Before the sand leaves the waves and till it is locked in the trees…


Where did you come from?

I forget as I’ve been moving for as long as I remember. I ebb and flow, grain by grain, sometimes resting, sometimes travelling. The sea is my home, the tides, waves and winds my companions, the land my momentary pause.


Do people come to visit you?

Me?! I fear they barely know me; they pass through as they visit the beach, the sea. Do they not know that is the start of me?


Do you like people?

People make me laugh. Their footsteps tickle, their delight in running down my slopes is infectious. People allow me to breathe. They take away the overgrowing plants, they let my sand play in the wind.

Gwithian Towans Emma Brisdion

What was here before you, Sand Dune?

I feel buildings within me, castles and churches, I did not mean to swallow them up, but the wind took me and brought me here. That was a very long time ago when men used long bows and hunted with dogs.


How have you changed over the years?

I’ve become still, tall grass grows and less wildlife calls me home. Once upon a time you planted trees, now you remove their leaves. I can move again.


What makes you happy?

I am at my happiest when I feel the wind catch my grains and shape me, moving me, allowing me to stretch and breathe. I am happy when I can provide shelter to the curious creatures who take sanctuary in my patchwork quilt of marram and sand and water. I am happy when I hear the skylark sing.


Do you ever feel sad, Sand Dune?

Often, I feel sad that I can’t move about freely like I used to. The wind and I would play and dance and when the wind had had enough, I would stop and settle my grains and wait until the wind wanted to play again. Across so much of me I used to feel the vibrations of the hard-working mining bees and the gentle creep of caterpillars. Rabbits scratching and burrowing into me made me feel alive. But now, I just feel the tight embrace of roots between my grains. The wind still comes to play with me, and I feel sad that I am stuck.


Do you wish more people came to visit?

Oh yes! There is (and will be) so much to see. From bees to butterflies, flowers, reptiles and amphibians. When the dunes come alive, there is no where else you would rather be