22 January 2011

Llangennith Burrows under threat

Sea Buckthorn scrub
Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) is non-native on the west coast of Britain and is highly invasive, spreading rapidly once established. It is clearly very well established in parts of Llangennith Burrows and poses a significant threat to the open rabbit-grazed dune vegetation. Unfortunately control measures are expensive and with the limited resources available in the current economic climate it's quite likely the spread will continue.

Native open dune vegetation dominated by bright green mats of Sand-hill Screw-moss (Syntrichia ruralis var. ruraliformis).


Anonymous said...

Sea Buckthorn may be an issue on the westcoast but may be the saviour of the east coast as its long nitrogen fixing tap roots could hold up the crumbling clay cliffs together

Barry Stewart said...

If you visit Pembrey dunes, you can see how big an issue it is. Unfortunately without investment, the loss of further species-rich, open dune habitats as illustrated above will continue. However, even with a lot of investment, I think sea Buckthorn is here to stay and it's a case of damage limitation.

Although I'm not up on east coast erosion issues, I imagine the sea will win at the end of the day. Being a natural process, perhaps this isn't necessarily a bad thing - unless your house is on the clifftop of course!

Anonymous said...

I think I have just discovered a Sea Buckthorn bush on the Loughor Estuary (near the path by the car park, east of the bridge).

It seems to be spreading further up the Gower.