I used to live in lots of dune habitats all across the UK, where I was an important part of life in the dunes: my grazing would keep grassland short and by digging my burrows, I would keep patches of sand bare and encourage sand movement through the dunes.
Rabbits used to be a very common sight in the coastal sand dunes of England and Wales, as rabbits are happy grazing and burrowing in the soft sandy soils. In the 1950s a disease called Myxomatosis killed huge numbers of rabbits very quickly, meaning that there were a lot less rabbits in the dunes. These sand dunes have become more and more stable, in part because there are less rabbits grazing and keeping vegetation growth in check. Dynamic Dunescapes is helping to encourage rabbit population numbers to grow again and is even reintroducing rabbits in some areas where they have disappeared, as they are an important part of keeping a sand dune system dynamic and diverse.
By munching on vegetation, rabbits keep plant growth fairly low, which can help some of our rare native plants flourish. By burrowing, they also keep bare sand moving through the dune system.
Rabbits are generally nocturnal, but will come out of their warren in daylight if it’s sunny and there aren’t too many people or dogs around. They can be spotted on the Sefton coast and Cumbrian coast, at Studland in Dorset, and across our sites in Wales at Anglesey and Gwynedd, Carmarthenshire and Swansea.
Dynamic Dunescapes will be conducting rabbit population surveys, creating new areas of bare sand for rabbits to create new burrows in, ensuring that other dune conservation activities stay away from rabbit burrows, and in some places, reintroducing rabbits where populations have disappeared.
Projects protecting Rabbit
Abertawe, Castell-nedd, Port Talbot
Bydd ein gwaith yn yr ardal yn digwydd yn Nhwyni Baglan, Twyni Crymlyn, Twyni Pennard, Twyni Penmaen, Twyni Oxwich a Thwyni Broughton, a chaiff 21 hectar o dwyni tywod eu hadfer neu eu hail-greu yn ystod y prosiect. Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru sy’n arwain ar waith Tywod ar Symud yng Nghymru, gan weithio gyda’r Ymddiriedolaeth Genedlaethol, awdurdodau lleol, Ymddiriedolaethau Natur, Plantlife a thirfeddianwyr preifat.
Our work on the Cumbrian Coast takes place across many different sites; Grune Point, Silloth Dunes, Drigg Dunes, Eskmeals, Haverigg, Roanhead, Sandscale Haws, North Walney including West of Airfield, and South Walney. The project is led in Cumbria by Natural England, working with Cumbria Wildlife Trust and National Trust.
Our work on the Dorset coast is taking place at the beautiful and historic Studland coast, part of the new Purbeck Heaths NNR. The project here is led by National Trust
Môn a Gwynedd
Mae ein gwaith ym Môn a Gwynedd yn cwmpasu 1000 hectar o dwyni a chaiff ei arwain gan Gyfoeth Naturiol Cymru, sy’n gweithio gyda’r Ymddiriedolaeth Genedlaethol, awdurdodau lleol, Ymddiriedolaethau Natur, Plantlife a thirfeddianwyr preifat. Byddwn yn gweithio yng Nghymyran, Tywyn Trewan, Tywyn Llyn, a Thywyn Fferam ym Môn, ac ym Morfa Bychan yng Ngwynedd.
Our work on the protected Sefton Coast takes place across the vast sand dune system, including at Ainsdale Sand Dunes NNR (led by Natural England) and Formby (led by National Trust).
Mae’r ardal hon yn gartref arbennig o bwysig i blanhigion; mae dros 250 o rywogaethau o blanhigion blodeuog, bron i 20% o’r holl rywogaethau o blanhigion sydd i’w cael yng Nghymru, i’w cael yma. Bydd y prosiect hwn yn ailfywiogi 47 hectar o dwyni tywod yng Ngwarchodfa Natur Leol Twyni Tywod Pen-bre. Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru sy’n arwain ar ein gwaith ym Mhen-bre, gan weithio gyda Chyngor Sir Caerfyrddin a Plantlife.