Shoreham Beach Local Nature Reserve

I visited Shoreham-on-Sea last Saturday, situated on the Sussex coast, and had a lovely walk along the Shoreham Beach Nature Reserve. It is a shingle spit naturally created over many hundreds of years, that runs adjacent to the River Adur estuary. It consists of mainly flint pebbles, washed down after the last ice age. The pebbles were moved along the coast by long-shore drift, and then combined with the action of the river at its mouth, piled up to form the shingle spit.
In among the pebbles grow surprisingly large clumps of vegetation, creating a striking display of shape and colour. On our visit we saw purple Mallow, bright pink Valerian, little spiky balls of pale pink Thrift, and white Sea Kale, with foliage that looks just like cabbage. Almost 90 different plant species have been recorded on the beach. In 2006, Shoreham Beach was unsurprisingly designated a nature reserve, in order to help preserve and protect this area of unique vegetated shingle, and the wildlife it encourages.
Unfortunately Saturday was very windy, and we didn’t see the variety of birds and butterflies that frequent the area, although there were plenty of seagulls overhead, and a few bees buzzing around the flowers. Despite the wind that made my ears ache, it was an interesting and enjoyable visit, and to be thoroughly recommended.

Shoreham Nature Reserve

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