Coastal Conversations: Dynamic Dunes on the Solway Coast

Event date


Event time

18:30 - 20:00

Event cost


Find out about the wonderful projects managing and restoring the sand dune systems across for Solway Firth.

Sand dunes are one of the most important habitats in Europe, and under huge threat from damage, destruction and loss of wildlife. This FREE online session will look at how these special places are being managed across the Solway Firth, discussing case studies from Silloth and Mersehead.

The Solway Coast AONB are working on the Dynamic Dunescapes project alongside Cumbria Wildlife Trust. It is an ambitious multi partnership project restoring sand dunes across England, funded by EU Life Programme and National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Eve Mulholland, Dynamic Dunescapes Engagement Officer, will introduce the wider threats dunes face, the importance of these delicate habitats for specialist dunes species and the innovative approach to managing sand dunes across Cumbria.

In detail, this will include:

  • Brief intro to Dynamic Dunescapes nationally and in Cumbria
  • How sand dunes form and their natural dynamic processes
  • The stabilisation of sand dunes and contributing factors (showing historic aerial images of sites in Cumbria)
  • Loss of dune habitat types and consequential effects on a variety of specialist species
  • Overview of management approaches in Cumbria to de-stabilize dunes (turf stripping, notch creating, scrub clearance, citizen science)

Chris Spencer, Deputy Manager Solway Coast AONB, and Colin Bartholomew, Site Manager at RSPB Scotland Mersehead Nature Reserve, will discuss the work being carried out at sites on both sides of the Solway Firth - Mawbray Banks and Wolsty Banks, England and Mersehead, Scotland.

Major nature recovery projects are currently underway to improve the conservation value of the dunes at these sites; improving habitat quality and removing invasive species.

In detail this will include:

  • Brief intro to the roles the Solway Coast AONB and the RSPB Mersehead play in nature recovery
  • Why the sites are important
  • The conservation plan for dunes and the work being carried out
  • Why certain methods such as grazing has been chosen
  • Balancing conservation and public access

The talk will last for approximately 40mins with 15mins of questions. A link to the event will be sent in your confirmation email.

Meet the speakers

Colin Bartholomew

Colin is the Site Manager at RSPB Scotland Mersehead Nature Reserve

Chris Spencer

  • Chris Spencer is the Deputy Manager of the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Chris has been leading on a nature recovery project on Mawbray Banks Nature Reserve working to improve the health of the dune habitat
  • Chris loves the diversity of the Solway Coast landscape and heritage

Eve Mulholland

  • Eve Mulholland is the Engagement Officer for Dynamic Dunescapes Cumbria, working for Cumbria Wildlife Trust
  • She specialises in linking coastal communities with their natural environment
  • She is particularly interested in specialist dune species and sustainable dune management by ensuring local people are at the heart of any project