These hills of sand topped with spiky grass are an incredibly important habitat, especially so because we have so little of it left. Many creatures and plants you find in sand dunes are rare, living nowhere else. The most important part of the sand dune system is that it is ever-changing, opening new space for species, called pioneer species, that help develop it as a place in which life can live. This system thrives on natural disturbance and keeping these areas in good condition means producing as little human-made disturbance as we can.
Sand dunes are dynamic habitats. Although this mobility is required to maintain the habitat, it can be detrimental if too much erosion is caused. Damage caused by vehicles can result in lasting damage, the best way to experience sand dunes is on foot.
Rubbish left on dunes can be blown into the sea or even kill small animals. Please take you litter home with you, making sure you leave no trace of your visit.
Fires and BBQs can seriously damage dune vegetation killing areas for many years. During dry times the marram grass can easily catch fire.
When left to decay in the sand dunes, dog poo can kill plants and change the habitat. Please clean up after your dog and take the bag to the nearest rubbish bin.
Sand lizards, our largest lizard with beautiful green show-off males, are called this as here in the UK they tend to like living in sand dunes. In some parts of Europe, they can be found in public, town-centre parks.
In some areas without rocky areas close by animal colonies (such as hydroids and hornwrack) washed up on shore which helps to collect the sand that may form into a dune
Dune the word originates from the middle Dutch (dune) and related to old English (dūn) meaning down.
There are five different types of dune based on their shape. The shape is based on the level of wind and type of sand.
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