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Sandscale Haws

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Sandscale Haws Physical Structure Sandscale haws are a large scale dune ecosystem in the United Kingdom. The dune ecosystem is built up of many types of dunes, I will now describe the structure of Sandscale haws and how it was created. For dunes to form there are a set of preconditions that must be readily available- firstly a large supply of medium grain sand., this is important as lighter sand will drift too fast and heavy sand cannot be moved by the winds, fortunately the duddon estuary provides this at Sandscale haws. Secondly there must be a prevailing wind that has enough strength and consistency to form dunes. Lastly there must already be some sort of obstruction e.g. rocks or drift wood from which the dunes can be built up around. Sandscale haws are built upon a pebble beach that has been covered with sand by the wind that has collected sand particles form the estuary at low tide. The first dunes that are found are embryo dunes, these are dunes that have just been created and will eventually become larger until they become yellow dunes "primary-dunes". These embryo dunes are created when a small object such as a stone or shell obstructs the flow of the movement of sand with the wind. As this happens the object eventually becomes covered with sand. ...read more.


The natural ph of the sand is approximately 9-10 ph. This is highly alkali and is due to the high composition of salt and sand; both of these contain sodium and calcium which are highly alkali. Therefore as we move inland the acidic organic material increases and therefore alters the ph causing it to neutralise and eventually turn slightly acidic. With this process the soils therefore turn from acidic on fore dune stop neutral on the dune scrub and finally to ph 5.5 on the dune meadow which is acidic. The soil colour also follows a similar pattern. Starting off a yellow grey colour due to a high sand content the soil turns a deeper brown and into a thick black soil as it becomes more acidic and water logged. Vegetation cover There are various stages of vegetation cover on Sandscale haws. Initial habitation is done by pioneer species; these are found of embryo dunes(98% cover) and the yellow dune ridge(80% cover) with an extent weakening into the grey dunes (90% cover). A good example of this type of species is Marram grass or Sand twitch. These plants are very hardy and have root systems that can hold together the substrate below them. Succession is the next step and with this comes new plant species such as rushes and lichens that are capable of growing on still alkali but damp soils; Marram grass is still very common in areas where succession is taking place. ...read more.


So now badgers stoats and weasels take care of any problems. Small areas have also been fenced off to provide protection from mammals including rabbits. - very hard to dig through loose sand with a burrow. Amphibians have also received management in the form of conservation. Fresh water lakes have been fenced off and built up to provide protection from surging tides as well as damage that can be caused by infilling with sand and destruction by visitors. This management has worked well and has significantly increased the number of natterjack toads in the area. Significant threats Significant threats Strategies for limiting damage Erosion by wind Replace footpaths with wooden boardwalks to stop channelling. Ban some areas completely for all users grazing Erect more electric fences to protect specialist areas. Limit further the amount of livestock than can enter an area. Roads and motor sports Allow a limited number of secure parking spaces and patrol the area. Emplace yellow lines along all adjoining roads with heavy fines. Ban all motor sports on the dunes. litter Litter bins should be regularly emptied and frequently placed. A patrol officer could be hired to stop any unlawful dumping. Large amounts of people Issue pre booked groups only to visit the area . increase the toll to visit the area. Have a limit on the number of people that can enter. Any over this limit are simply turned away. 1 ...read more.

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