National Trust Purbeck Wildlife

Dunes in June

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sea bindweed 2The sand loving marram grass is by far the dominant plant in the Studland dunes. Generations of school pupils have got to know it as a brilliant example of environmental adaptation with a crucial role in the coastal processes that have shaped the peninsula. But get in amongst those big tussocks and you’ll find some superb plants making their way in the gaps and hollows. Today, the dunes at Shell Bay were brightly coloured with the blue pin-cushion flowers of sheep’s bit, the proud, upright red flowers of common centaury and the extravagant trumpets of sea bindweed.
Less showy but having the tenacity to grow in the bare sand in front of the marram is the resilient sea rocket and the mini cactus-like prickly sandwort. But beware if you’re barefoot, or even barenaked, as this sandwort has fine but sharp spines.

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Author: Kevin Rideout

National Trust Visitor Experience Officer based at Studland

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