A glorious sunny June day and a dozen Coastwise members took a 3 hour stroll around Crow, a long time to go a short distance but there was much to see and say.
Crow Point is one of those estuary mouth spits of sand whose significance, like its own 200 hundred year life, has fluctuated. The visit allowed members to share their knowledge of its history and natural history in the light of challenges such as climate change, dune conservation proposals, and proposed wind-farm developments.
All gone or going? Crow and its attendant dunes probably resulted from a long gone 18th century fish-weir. The dunes succumb to wind and waves from time to time, as will the Point eventually, their fate considered no longer crucial to the estuary. Little remains of the nearby lighthouse, manned until 1940s. Instead a modest navigation light clings on to the upstream shoreline. The 19th century lifeboat station, its boats launched by Braunton men on Braunton horses but manned by the Appledore crew is unsurprisingly gone without trace.
Our walk down the shore took us past a good selection of shingle plants and insects before entering the Burrows to look at the impact of the Dynamic Dunescape project’s ambitious work so far. With MoD help some 65ha of slacks and surroundings have had the scrub & surface plants scraped off. This presented a startling sight to those used to the botanically rich slacks of summer. Even understanding something of the ecological principles at play we found the small untouched slack nearby provided a very welcome contrast and a good place to reflect on our reactions.
We returned along the sands coincidentally meeting Dave Edgcombe of the AONB, who has since invited a Coastwise representative to a Dunescapes guided visit to the Burrows in August. Hopefully this will be useful in developing our understanding.