Studland Bay- Part I

Over a million people visit the Studland Bay area yearly. Visitors on peak days are often greeted with signs saying that Studland Bay is full. These visitors mean a good management system is needed.

Studland Bay is protected by the National Trust and English Nature.

The Bay has a variety of habitats including a sea grass meadow off shore with seahorse breeding grounds and a SSSI around a lake near the dunes. In the system are many rare birds, meaning their habitats have to be maintained. All five native British species of reptiles can be found at Studland Bay. The habitats of these species, especially the sand lizard are carefully monitored.

To maintain the dune system, non native plants like birch scrub are removed on inner dune ridges to encourage more open growth of plants such as heather.There is a pattern of cutting down invading Scots Pine trees. Sallow Carr is cut in wetlands to encourage the growth of more moisture-loving plants.

Meanwhile, plants such as marram grass are being planted on the dunes to help stabilise them. This should reduce the impact of erosion upon the site.

Old dunes stretched to Redend Point at the very start of the Bay, but have been eroded away and the access road to the beach is now under threat of erosion. Gabions and steel pilings are being used to strengthen the beach front. Timber palisades are used further up the beach in a similar way.

Damage to the dunes was heightened during WWII as it was used as a practice site for military exercises; it thus has many bomb craters across the site. The effect of tourists is far greater than this, even.

Amenities at the site are very important. A suite of buildings were produced in the 1980s including a gift shop and cafe to accomodate for visitors.

Marked nature trails allow tourists to view the dunes without causing more damage to them. Zoning has had to occur on the shoreline to prevent clashes between activities.


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