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shifting 2

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.

Braunton Burrows. Image: Matt Pitts

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…

Photo 7 blog (Stonechat)

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…

Cuckoo. Image: Owen Beaumont

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.

Training at the Bazooka wall, Butts Slack, Braunton Burrows

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”.

The piece found in Sefton. Image: Nick Wotherspoon

WW2 Aircraft Artifact Found in the Sefton Coast Sand Dunes

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.

Walney geranium

A Day in the Life of a Reserve Warden; Jim Turner, North Walney NNR

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.

Dune Mushroom

Mushrooms: A Photographer’s Guide to Finding the Unexpected in the Dunes

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.

Fen orchid

Fen Orchid: A Dune Conservation Success Story

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.

Lincs Fences 1

New fences protect toads and help cattle in Lincolnshire

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…

sea rocket image 1 credit Kate Petty

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).

Dynamic Dunescapes in Devon, so far

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.

Queen Buff tailed bumblebee – Photo: Bev Phillips

The Queen of Drones: Bee Surveys in the Dunes

It is never a bad thing when, during your very first week in a new job, you are asked if you want to accompany the Area Ranger on a bumblebee survey.