Welcome to the blog
From the latest news on the project to feature articles on wildlife or conservation from fantastic guest writers, explore the Dynamic Dunescapes blog. Use the options below to find articles from your local site.
Lost in the Dunes
Julia Galbenu asks, ‘How often do you walk and return home with little recollection of what you saw, smelt, heard or felt?’ This is a story about how in some cases, like at Studland Bay, wandering away from the marked path can be a good thing; for you and for wildlife.
What is changing at Studland Bay?
Julia Galbenu, Dynamic Dunescapes Engagement Officer for Dorset, shares an update on what’s happening in the historic dunes at Studland Bay.
Discover the A – Z of Dynamic Dunescapes
Meet the special and rare creatures that live in shifting sand, explore the range of habitat types that can be found in a sand dune system, and find out what Dynamic Dunescapes is doing to bring biodiversity back to these beautiful landscapes.
How a modelmaking student is helping dune restoration in Studland
How can modelmaking help a conservation project? Find out how James Taberner is working with Dynamic Dunescapes in Dorset, to produce a model of the dune system that will help visitors understand how a dune system works, and explore the different habitats that a healthy dune system should have.
Top Half-Term Activities for Families in the Sand Dunes
This October half term, we’ve chosen some of our favourite family activities for you and the kids, from exploring the dunes in search of some of the fantastic autumn plants and fungi that are growing right now, to downloading some of our sand dune wildlife spotter activity sheets!
Meet the Sefton NNR Team
Our work on the Sefton Coast covers over 4,500 hectares of sand dunes, including at Ainsdale Sand Dunes NNR (led by Natural England) and Formby (led by National Trust). Meet the team behind the project here!
Photographing Butterflies in North Wales – An Annual Obsession
Richard Glynne Jones explores the threats that our butterflies face with a changing climate and increased habitat loss, and shares his passion for identifying and photographing the species he spots in North Wales.
Sefton’s Viking Coast
This is a coast of sand dunes and saltmarsh with meres and mosses of peat behind. Look at a map of this coast and a hidden heritage is revealed – a Viking heritage.
Paint with wild blackberries
Blog All around the UK, wild hedgerows are heaving under the weight of September’s most iconic fruit; the humble blackberry. Delicious eaten straight off the bramble and fantastic in a crumble, these sweet berries can also be squeezed to produce a natural purple ink – perfect for nature-inspired art! Natalie Coffey, Engagement Officer for Dynamic…
Footprints in the Sand – A jewellery journey
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.
Journey to Dynamic Dunescapes: Tim Braund, Engagement Manager
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.
Glow Patrol: on the hunt for Cornwall’s amazing glow worms!
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!
Northern dune tiger beetle: The fastest beetle in the world?
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!
Shifting sands: How a single piece of legislation changed the future of Lincolnshire’s sand dunes
This piece of legislation, along with the creation of Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve, was pioneering and far-sighted in encouraging both sand dune access and protection.
The Devon dune history lessons I didn’t get at school
I write this as I have recently had the pleasure of meeting a gentleman named Julian Venner. Julian is the son of James Venner, who I discovered to have been the first Nature Conservancy Council (now English Nature) Warden of Braunton Burrows from 1969-79.
Painting dunes: art inspired by Studland
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…
Cumbrian Images: A Lockdown Photography Story
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…
What’s new at Saltfleetby-Theddlethorpe NNR
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.
Braunton Burrow’s important role in the Second World War D-Day Landings
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”.