Saturday 21 May 2011

Teaching children about the vegetated shingle on Shoreham Beach

Hi all

While I have been here in the UK I have been helping out on the Shoreham Beach Local Nature Reserve.
As you know, my local beach is part of the nature reserve. One of my favourite plants, Sea Kale, is now in flower.
This plant is called bitter sweet. This is a small plant, they grow much bigger. This plant is also called woody nightshade, related to deadly night shade.
The berries are poisonous.

Today we worked with a school group who were learning about the nature reserve. They did a transect survey of the shingle plant communities.
This means they measured a straight line from the top of the beach down to the high tide mark. They then divided this straight line into 1 metre squares and recorded the different plants they found.
They used special identification sheets so that they could recognise the different plants.

Later we recorded the different animals that we could see.

I saw this herring gull trying to break open a seashell. It kept flying up into the sky and then dropping the seashell to break it so the gull could eat the animal inside.

We saw birds visiting the plants as well. We also saw lots of lizards that were enjoying the sunshine.

My buddy Steve has been studying the bees that visit the special vegetated shingle plants. The bees pollinate the flowers so they are very important. The children helped to record the bees we saw.
This is a two banded bumble bee on the sea kale flowers.

This is a honey bee on the sea kale

This is a red tailed bumble bee visiting a yellow horned poppy flower.

This red tailed bumble bee is visiting the thrift

There many other insects on the plants
This woolly caterpillar will grow into a beautiful garden tiger moth

We saw these two beetles as well.

There were also many spiders, some in webs others like this zebra spider runs along the ground. It is a type of jumping spider which can also jump from plant to plant.

We saw lots of different animals and of course the most important thing about the vegetated shingle is that it is a rare habitat both in the UK and worldwide. I am really lucky to live near such as special beach.

Bye for now

Ed the Bear

No comments:

Post a Comment