Posted in Environment, Travel, places to visit, mini-adventures, Walks

A Day on the Dunes

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Saltfleetby-Theddlethorpe Dunes, near Louth in Lincolnshire, is a very peaceful seaside spot. Instead of sandcastles, ice cream and sunbathers, there are mudflats and ponds, salt marshes, wildflowers and sand dunes.

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Natural England manages the 556-hectare National Nature Reserve section, while Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust manages the remainder of the area.

When we first entered the reserve, we walked along a path through wildflower-rich grassland, encountering ponds en route. This walkway took us to the dunes and saltmarsh.

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It is an important site for wildlife. We didn’t see any Natterjack toads but did come across many insects, including grasshoppers, butterflies and dragonflies.

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By holding out a stragically placed stick, Simon rescued a struggling dragonfly who was in danger of drowning in one of the ponds.

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We also came across two discarded dragonfly larval cases – they weren’t dead, they were skins of two nymphs (juvenile). Once the juvenile is ready to become an adult, they cast off their old skin. They are well prepared for this life-changing event, with a new skin underneath.

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As well as nature’s dramas, the remnants of military history can be found on this reserve, in particular the beach… Today we can still see a corroded Comet tank and a ruined pillbox, dating from the Second World War.

 

The Air Ministry bought the site in the 1930s and old vehicles, that had been driven onto the beach, were used as targets. The dunes were mined and pillbox built during the Second World War as an anti-invasion defence.

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Being here reveals how the landscape changes over time. It is thought that the dunes began forming in the 1200s after large storms blew sand and shingle and, even now, the tides and wind is changing the landscape slowly but surely. New saltmarsh and dunes are still being created today and Simon told me he saw a difference from the last time he was there.

At certain times of the year, seals can be found with their pups along the coast. The adult seals don’t look as cute as you might think, being big and clumsy and even a little violent with each other (the males at least). The babies are very cute but, of course, it is advisable not to go near and disturb them.

In July though, there are no seals but we did come across this poignant sight… A seal’s skull.

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A purple orchid

It is a lovely quiet area, I even came across a comment on an internet beach forum saying it was an ideal place to go for a naked walk and skinny dipping!

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For more information on The Wildlife Trusts, visit http://wildlifetrusts.org

Author:

Interested in environmental issues, wildlife, spirituality, gardening, self-sufficiency and mini-adventures. There are two blogs, one is https://mysabbatical2014.wordpress.com/ and the other, more recent one, is - https://cosycottageandthequestforthegoodlife.wordpress.com/ ☺️

11 thoughts on “A Day on the Dunes

  1. This looks like a lovely and peaceful day out in the dunes, Clare. Well done for rescuing the dragonfly – I love them. You clearly picked a great place for a variety of plants and wildlife, but for me naked walkers and skinny dippers would be a species too far! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds like a really nice place to hike Clare and I would enjoy being here. How nice that Simon was able to rescue the dragonfly – too bad he was not able to help the poor seal.

    I had one place that looked similar on my trek bucket list and here in Michigan we have issues with the EEE mosquito virus. Three people have died and so I have stopped all trips to woodsy or swampy areas until we have a hard freeze. We had so much rain in the Spring that this is what has caused all the extra mosquitoes – it is very scary.

    Here is a story if you’re not hearing about in the UK – hopefully you can open the link:
    https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/deadly-mosquito-virus-has-michigan-urging-people-stay-indoors-n1055806

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a lovely place, very peaceful. I’m sorry to hear about the mosquito virus. That sounds terrible. We have a tick in certain wooded areas here and it can cause Lyme disease. Walkers are advised to wear long trousers etc

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes and I do think I’ll return this weekend – it may be out last very warm weekend this year (unless climate change makes wacky weather down the line). It is worrisome indeed … people who are completely healthy and then one tiny bite.

        A fellow blogger is an avid runner as is her husband – she and her husband are both retired and my age (63) and they travel all over visiting grandchildren, running 5Ks and traveling as well. They are not walkers but are participating in a fun event in Spain. They are there now and walk 13 miles per day on the portion they are walking and it is very rustic and they carry snacks and rain gear every day – anything else is carried from town to town by the travel company they booked with. She is going to be posting in October – I am looking forward to reading about it. She mentioned the travel plans in a recent post:
        ********
        We leave for Spain next week to follow one of the oldest pilgrimage routes in the Christian world, the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. We will be walking the Way of Saint James from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela, ending at the shrine to the Apostle Saint James the Great.

        Due to the nature of the walk, we will be unplugging from cell phones, laptops, and all electronic devices. I will not be publishing a blog post or responding to comments (after Monday) until the beginning of October.

        At that time, I will probably have lots of vacation photos and stories to bore you with and I look forward to doing so.

        Until then, I plan to set out, into the freedom and the wandering.

        Liked by 1 person

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