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Sand dunes at Oxwich bay

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Introduction

Sand dunes Oxwich bay Oxwich bay is located in the south if Wales, and is one of the many and sand - dune complexes in Wales. Most sand dune areas have a fragile ecosystem so they area generally given special protection rights. Oxwich bay is no exception and it has been made in to a National Nature Reserve. Sand dunes are formed by longshore drift. Oxwich bay I no different from the way it was formed. Originally it was formed as a spit but as the sediment continued to build, dunes were eventually formed. This was not a quick process as it took million of years for the sand dunes to form from the original bay. Even though it did take millions of years for the sand dune to form they are still relatively shallow at only about 10 metres in height. The dune is also only a meagre 3.5 metres wide. This overall does not give a large physical feature. This dune is also in a state of dynamic equilibrium. ...read more.

Middle

As this dune id one of the next stages the ecosystem develops. As the area is still not as stable as it will prove itself to be further down on the sand dune. As it is now only certain types of grass will grow as they are the only ones capable of adapting to the dune. The diagram below gives the grasses. Red fescue Marram grass Sand sedge Sea holly Euphorbia Sealyme Sea bindweed These grasses are especially adapted to this environment as they have long roots so they are able to take up water from lower down. As this area of the dune can get very warm it is useful that the leaves are flat and shiny so they do not loss too much water through evapo-transpiration. The sand dunes face a few problems. While many would like to protect the land there is a large clash with the wish to use the land for recreational uses. One of the main human uses of the sand dune in Oxwich bay is by visitors. ...read more.

Conclusion

This was in the form of different protective ideas. Below is a table describing them. Adding more sand to the coast by creating groyne Shaping the dune by moving material Fencing the area to avoid erosion Controlling the number of visitors Maintaining and encouraging species diversity Education about the dunes Preserving the areas Removing the more rare species Separating the land into clearer regions Creating more nature reserves These are suggestion a to what could be done but personally I would create more restriction rather than modifying the area as I believe it is more important to protect the land than to use it for recreational uses. Perhaps another sand dune could be used a sacrificial site for educational purpose. This would mean that people would not lose out on all the aspect of the dune have to offer but there would also not be o much of a temptation to cause damage to certain areas. Though there may be other side effect such as a loss in tourism in that area and the inconvenience of having to travel further if on of the dunes I not near you, I still believe that the disadvantages are minor compared to the greater benefit. ...read more.

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