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Plantlife‘s work through Dynamic Dunescapes is supporting conservation action in England and Wales to improve the condition of sand dunes.
Read on to catch up with the Dynamic Dunescapes conference, and how to support sand dune conservation as we look to the future.
Sand dunes are wild, iconic landscapes. They are homes for wildlife, where carpets of orchids survive alongside songbirds, butterflies and an array of endangered insects. Picnics in a sheltered hollow, hide and seek… sand dunes are a natural and familiar playground but as a society we have forgotten the mystery of sand dunes.
They are more than just sand and less well-known is their role as a sanctuary for endangered plants and animals, like the fen orchid and sand lizard. Sand dunes in the UK look very different today than they did even just 100 years ago. Gone are many of the open sandy features which are homes for rare and special creatures, because bare sand has been replaced with dense vegetation and scrub.
Broughton – Gower (credit: Dynamic Dunescapes)
Dynamic Dunescapes is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the European LIFE fund. The project is a partnership between Natural England, Plantlife, National Trust, Natural Resources Wales and The Wildlife Trusts. Beginning in 2020 the project set out with the aim to:
Plantlife works in both Wales and Devon and our Dynamic Dunescapes will continue to the end of 2023.
During the project we have been working at:
Dynamic Dunescapes also collaborates closely with Plantlife project Green Links Bridgend at Kenfig National Nature Reserve.
In addition to our work in Wales we are undertaking conservation management work in Braunton Burrows – Devon, working closely with National Trust, Christie Estates and the MOD.
Our coastal sand dunes are under threat. In fact, they are listed as one of the most at risk habitats in Europe for biodiversity loss.
One of the key problems is that many dunes are becoming more densely covered by vegetation and scrub and there is less bare open sand. A lack of bare mobile sand is having negative impacts on many rare dune-specialised species that need areas of open sand to thrive. Healthy sand dunes need to move and be dynamic.
Marram grass on the dunes (credit: Dynamic Dunescapes – Ian J Lee Photography)
Since work began in 2020 we have been working with communities in both North and South Wales to support people to explore and learn about the dunes of Wales. Our work has also supported the conservation activities of our partner organisations in Wales.
We have been:
Citizen Science training survey skills training day with Swansea University Sustainability team (Credit: Dynamic Dunescapes)
Yes! There are plenty of opportunities to get involved with events and volunteering or citizen science opportunities, so you can help bring our sand dunes back to health either with us or our partner organisations. You can also follow the project’s progress on their heir website, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook or sign up to the Dynamic Dunescapes mailing list to keep updated on our progress.
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