During the course of this project, we are trialing and implementing a variety of new conservation techniques to rejuvenate our dunes.

As our team find and develop useful resources, we will share them on this page, so that the learnings that arise from this pioneering project can be used to help and support sand dune site managers around the UK and Europe.

Training Resources

We are developing a range of training resources to help you and your team learn more about dune wildlife, habitats, conservation actions and land management techniques. Scroll down to explore training videos, case studies from our team, a management handbook and an online learning course.

Download the Dynamic Dunescapes Sand Dune Manager's Handbook

We have developed a comprehensive handbook discussing the wide range of dune management options available to address the issues faced by coastal sand dune systems, including overstabilisation and invasive species. Management interventions detailed include notches, grazing, turf-stripping and scrub clearance. This handbook is designed to be a useful, in-depth resource for sand dune site managers, and aims to keep our management techniques up to date for the needs of dune conservation in a variety of situations.

How to cite this document:

Jones, L.(1), Rooney, P.(2), Rhymes. J.(2) and Dynamic Dunescapes partners (2021). The Sand Dune Managers Handbook. Version 1, June 2021. Produced for the Dynamic Dunescapes (DuneLIFE) project: LIFE17 NAT/UK/000570; HG-16-086436

If you have any issues downloading the handbook, please email dynamicdunescapes@naturalengland.org.uk to be sent a copy directly.

Produced in collaboration with UKCEH, Liverpool Hope University, the UK Sand, Dune and Shingle Network, and project partners. 

Sand Dune Site Managers E-Learning Online Training Course

Click the link below to work through our interactive, online training sessions designed to boost your skills as a sand dune site manager, detailing the different interventions that can be required to deal with a range of issues on different sand dune habitats.

Identifying dune habitats [how to videos]

Visit our 'Identifying different dune habitats' page to watch our range of videos introducing you to the different habitat types in a dune system and the challenges they face.

Surveying dunes [how to videos]

Visit our 'Surveying Sand Dunes' page to watch our range of 'how to' videos explaining how to conduct a range of different surveys which help us monitor the health of dunes.

Management and Engagement Case Studies

During the course of the project, we are compiling a series of case studies to reflect on the management and engagement interventions that take place. If you manage a sand dune site, feel free to use these resources to help you plan your own interventions. Case studies include UXO removal, invasive species removal, notch and slack creation, working with dog owners, and running community arts projects. Click the button to visit our Case Studies page, where you can download the case study documents.


Over the course of the project we will be producing several reports based on our findings. Please feel free to download our reports by clicking the links below.

A Survey of Rabbit Populations on Sand Dunes at South Walney and Drigg Dunes 2020 and 2023

A survey was commissioned by Natural England to assess rabbit populations in the summers of 2020 and 2023 at two sand dune sites on the west coast of Cumbria: the Cumbria Wildlife Trust reserve at South Walney and the Drigg Coast SSSI units 21, 22, and 23. The South Walney reserve has long held what appeared to be a good rabbit population, though an outbreak of myxomatosis over the 2019/20 winter caused a sharp decline prior to the 2020 survey (Sarah Dalrymple pers. comm.).

Dune management and invasive species in the UK and Ireland: current position and future challenges

John Houston has authored a new review of dune management and invasive species. In it he looks back 50 years or more to the concerns in the 1960s and 1970s about the impacts of non-native conifers and the development of dune scrub, to the present day concerns about invasive native and non-native plant species, and to the future by looking at what recently arrived non-native species, or yet to arrive species, might also become invasive.

Genetic Ancestry of Introduced Populations of Sand Lizard (Lacerta agilis) in Wales

Despite its wide Eurasian range, the sand lizard (Lacerta agilis) is the rarest and most threatened lizard species within the UK, where it is restricted to sandy heathlands and sand dunes in southern and north-western England and North Wales. The aim of this investigation was to use modern genomic approaches to assess the ancestry of the Gower sand lizards to inform conservation decisions on this population, and a preliminary assessment of its genetic health.

GPS Virtual Fencing Trial 2020

Studland dunes is one of many sites where there is a clear ecological need for grazing, but where the creation of conventional fenced paddocks has been undesirable or impractical. It has a very high landscape value and historically introducing stock meant infrastructure in the form of fences and gates which would be intrusive and disruptive. The trial of the use of virtual fencing system is a ground-breaking initiative and the National Trust in Purbeck were the first in the world to use Nofence cattle collars.

Dementia Awareness: Making your site accessible

We have worked with colleagues at Dementia Adventure, to create two toolkits, downloadable as PDFs, to help you ensure that your site is welcoming and accessible to those with Dementia and their carers. One toolkit addresses some of the considerations that should be addressed when ensuring your site is accessible, and one guides you on how to connect with local groups.

Connecting with nature and being able to access interesting, sensory experiences is important for all communities, and in particular we're pleased to work with Dementia Adventure, who work hard in ensuring that the dementia and caring community can access the physical and wellbeing benefits that our beautiful dune landscapes offer.

Dementia Awareness Toolkit: Contacting Local Groups

Dementia Awareness Toolkit: Site Considerations

Recommended Reading

Climate Change Adaptation Manual (NE751) Second Edition - Published 2020

The need for climate change adaptation has become widely recognised in the last 20 years. This Adaptation Manual is a resource to support practical and pragmatic decision-making, by bringing together recent science, experience and case studies. It is intended to be an accessible entry point to a range of available resources & tools.

The report contains a section on Coastal Sand Dunes, which is relevant for sand dune managers in the UK.

Definition of Favourable Conservation Status for Coastal Sand Dunes (RP2942) - Published 2020

Sue Rees, Senior Environmental Specialist Coastal Habitats at Natural England and part of the Dynamic Dunescapes team, has authored a new report published by Natural England, titled Definition of Favourable Conservation Status for Coastal Sand Dunes (RP2942).

This document sets out Natural England’s view on Favourable Conservation Status (FCS) for coastal sand dunes in England.

We have established a forum for Sand Dune Site Managers in our project to support one another and share their advice and experiences

This is a closed forum group, but if you are a Sand Dune Manager at a site not included in the project and would benefit from being a part of this group, you can request to be included.

Please fill out the form below and our team will get in touch with you.

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