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A survey of the invertebrates of five dunes in Northumberland (ENRR046)

The aim of this work was to describe the important groups of invertebrates (excluding Lepidoptera); assess how the fauna responded to grazing by cattle, sheep, horses and rabbits; and to assess Bamburgh and Newbiggin Moor for notification as SSSIs. The fauna of Newbiggin Moor was not of SSSI quality but was still of interest and should be included in the assessment. The fauna of Bamburgh dunes was of SSSI quality, as was that of the other three sites: Alnmouth dunes, Newton Links and Cheswick Links. Of the habitats surveyed, long ungrazed grass supported the least scarce species and specialists of dry habitats although its overall species richness and the richness of specialists of damp and wet habitats was higher. Fore dune, grey dune and marram-dominated vegetation supported high numbers of specialists of dry habitats and more nationally scarce species than did tall ungrazed or cattle-grazed grassland. No firm conclusions could be drawn about the effects of grazing of the three domestic herbivores. Rabbits had the beneficial effects of creating patches of bare sand and areas of very short turf adjacent to longer grass although these conclusions were based on only anecdotal evidence. EFU Project No 129

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