First World Sand Dune Day to be held 25 June 2021

The first World Sand Dune Day will be marked in June this year to highlight the importance of conserving these vital coastal habitats around the world.

The day of celebration will take place on 25 June 2021 and has been established by the Sands of LIFE and Dynamic Dunescapes projects - two initiatives dedicated to protecting sand dunes in England and Wales and the wildlife that depend upon them.

Healthy dunes provide habitats for a wealth of rare and specialised wildlife. These include a range of wildflowers, bryophytes, invertebrates and insects which require bare sand habitat to survive.

Coastal sand dunes and the surrounding landscapes also provide important recreational spaces for communities through connection with nature and providing links to cultural heritage and celebrated historic sites.

Over the last 80 years, open sand has largely disappeared from sand dunes, replaced by dense grass and scrub. This change has been caused by factors such as the introduction of non-native plants, lower levels of grazing, climate change and air pollution. As the dunes have become more stable and overgrown, rare wildlife has declined.

To mark the first-ever World Sand Dune Day both projects hope to be able to take part in several small-scale events, lead guided walks and deliver talks on this special habitat. All events and content will be announced in due course. Please keep an eye on both projects’ Twitter accounts @TwyniByw and @DynamicDunes for further updates.

Sands of LIFE is a major conservation project to revitalise sand dunes across Wales. It will recreate natural movement in the dunes and rejuvenate habitats which are home to some of our rarest wildlife. The project, led by Natural Resources Wales (NRW), will restore over 2400 hectares of sand dunes, across four Special Areas of Conservation, on 10 separate Welsh sites.

Dynamic Dunescapes is a partnership project rejuvenating sand dunes in England and Wales. Project partners are Natural England, Plantlife, Natural Resources Wales, National Trust and The Wildlife Trusts.

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