Vegetated shingle is a rare habitat globally

Lydd Ranges are situated on the reclaimed land of the historic Romney Marsh and part of the cuspate foreland at Dungeness, estimated to be between 3,000 and 5,000 years old. Around 30% of our coastline is fringed by shingle, but much of this is simple fringing beach, insufficiently stable to support perennial vegetation. Dungeness is by far the largest site in the UK, with over 2000 ha of shingle. The habitats here are of international importance and are part of the Dungeness Special Area of Conservation.

The ranges have been used for military training for over 150 years. Lydd Ranges are used for live firing with a danger area extending out to sea. Red flags are flown in periods of live firing during which access is prohibited along the foreshore and Galloway’s Road. When there is no live firing access is possible along a permissive path that runs along the coast. We always seek permission from the MoD to carry out our surveys.

We aim to survey here four times a year. This is an important site, as it is is relatively inaccessible to beach visitors and therefore the rubbish we find here gives a truer picture of what is being washed up or blown in.

Our surveys involve a 40-minute walk along the shingle from the car park, a survey of our regular 100-metre stretch, and then we pick up whatever we can carry on the walk back. For these events, it is important we stay together and follow the safety rules. You can see the results of some of our past Dungeness events by clicking on the buttons below. Note that these only record what we found in our 100-metre survey.

Note there are many more surveys – this page is a work in progress!