Wednesday 30 July 2008

Durham Coast

Had a visit to the Durham Heritage Coast with work today, kinda an exchange thing we do. The Durham Heritage Coast is an amazing place, spoiled totally (literally) by over 100 years of tipping of colliery spoil from the coal mines along the coast. Once the mines were closed, the beaches were left covered in millions of tonnes of acidic toxic mine waste, not somewhere you would want to go for a picnic. So about 12 years ago a project called turning the tide was developed to attempt to reclaim the beaches. They are getting there and the sea is doing a good job on the spoil on that couldn't be carted away, there is still lots of it about, including big pieces of sandstone being eaten away by the acidic shale that they are cemented into. A very strange, but nonetheless, interesting place.

Blast Beach on the Durham Heritage Coast

The magnesium limestone grasslands behind are very interesting, though we didn't have too much time today to look at them and it is a bit late for the best flowers. After doing Blast Beach and Noses Point we went to Hawthorn and Castle Eden Denes then onto Crimdon to see the little tern colony. The little terns here, unlike those at the Nanny, are doing OK and despite some predation, productivity is over 2. The wardens reckon they are bringing in plenty of food this year.

The top meadow brown was caught in a spiders web, the spider can be seen killing it.

1 comment:

abbey meadows said...

How dare you venture south of the tyne! Blast beach of all must have a soft spot for those makems. Actually I need to head south and catch up with some of their unique flora and fauna some time.