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Natterjack Toad

Sand Dunes

Inland from the Sand and Mud Flats along the southern stretch of the Solway Coast AONB you reach the unbroken belt of Sand dunes. This coastline habitat has, over many years, been modified by man for grazing pasture and leisure activities such as golf courses and the provision of car parking. However, much still survives as pristine habitat and as such is being designated as nature reserves.

The surviving sand dunes are really four habitats; we have dune heath, where heathers dominate the plant species, there are dune slacks, where mosses and grasses are prolific, and there are the mobile dunes. The mobility refers to the shifting wind-blown sands that are at the heart of a sand dune.

At the seaward edge of the dunes the sands are trapped by the grasses - these are the embryo dunes. Further inland larger dunes grow and are called yellow dunes. These higher dunes support a wide range of grasses and herbs.

Many species of birds, butterflies, mammals and the rare natterjack toad make the dunes their home.

The dunes are extremely fragile and are prone to irreparable damage from such things as the indiscriminate use of motor vehicles and fire.

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