A massive thank you to Tim and Rupert, from Christie Estates, for an excellent day in the Burrows.

Class 4 walked through Braunton Burrows today via Saunton Beach, the dunes, Matilda the Tank, used in the 50s as target practice; through Partridge Slack and finished by running and rolling around Flagpole Dune.  We found many things of interest on our route exploring the different types of dune and the many habitats in between.

We found lots of bugs, beetles and caterpillars and we saw the odd Burnet Moth fly past too.  Oddly, in the troughs of the army vehicle tracks, we also saw some Water Germanders in their own little micro-climates.  At Partridge Slack Pond, we caught a couple of frogs and Mrs Turner caught a newt too!  Several girls saw a grass snake, the boys picked up tens of bugs from a bush and we heard moorhens and saw lots of dragonflies!

At lunchtime the children were challenged to pick up 30 pieces of plastic each, which was done extremely easily!  We also found a single-use shampoo sachet from before decimalisation in 1971… it’s as old as Mr Thomas!

There are 120 cows (Devon Reds) in total but they’d like to have about 300 or so to help keep plants like the Sea Buckthorn at bay, however unleashed dogs create a bit of a problem for the landowners.  Devon Reds are like deer and leave their calves hidden for hours at a time, which is a problem if they are then spooked away by a passing dog, never to be found by its mum again.   Dogs have also heavily reduced the number of Ringed Plover from the burrows as, just like the Skylark, another ground-nesting bird, its parents are frightened away or the chicks are eaten!

Hopefully everyone learnt a little bit about the diversity of wildlife to be found in this amazing area, the most diverse parish in the UK apparently, and we were left with many questions, such as whether or not Sea Buckthorn is a welcome plant species?!
If you’ve not been there recently, it’s definitely worth a visit!