Sand accumulation which persists above the high
tide line of normal tides may be suitable for colonisation by the first
perennial plants in dune succession which are specialised grasses.
The most common is
Sand Couch Elytrigia juncea.
This species differs from Marram (see mobile
dunes) in being smaller and less stiff and sharp. The ligule
is very short (see a grass identification guide for explanation
of this characteristic).
Lyme grass Leymus arenarius
is also widespread on the Sefton Coast. It is another large
grass and is easily distinguished by having a very broad blue-green
Sand Couch starting to form embryo
at the top of the beach
Both of these grasses are able to grow
upwards through accumulating wind-blown sand and as a result low,
hummocky dunes are formed. The substrate is still extremely inhospitable
to plant growth (see vegetation and soil data relating to Quadrat
Line of embryo dunes at Ainsdale
Local Nature Reserve
For more information about this project email email@example.com
at Liverpool Hope University.
Liverpool Hope University worked with English
Nature and the Sefton Coast Partnership to implement the Sands of Time project.