This area was notified for its geology and wonderful maritime plants and includes species rich calcareous grassland as well as the dunes immediately behind the beach. 

Natural England are concerned the site has been declining due to the spread of scrub and invasive species such as Sea Buckthorn and Rosa Rugosa. These have been smothering some of our uncommon plants such as Pyramidal Orchid, Sea Holly and the nationally rare Portland Spurge. Whilst the dunes are ‘fixed’ by a sea of Marram they also contain other interesting grasses and the notable Dune fescue and Yellow Horned poppy.

The contractors are currently on site and the work has been carefully designed following a summer survey. This took into account other biodiversity including reptile’s invertebrates and birds. Results from last winter are promising and Natural England are encouraged by the results to date. 


On the Golf Clubs dune system we have a small population of the Sand Lizard Lacerta agilis which is one of Britain’s rarest terrestrial reptiles and is found mainly in southern England in the counties of Dorset, Hampshire, and Surrey. There is a small surviving population in Lancashire (Sefton Coast) and there have been a number of introductions in coastal regions including Wales, Devon and at Constantine Bay.

As an endangered species the Sand Lizard is protected by both National and International legislation and numbers have been declining in the UK due to a range of factors. On sand dune systems this includes the gradual ‘scrubbing’ of the environment and the loss of open sandy hollows suitable for this species.

Sand lizards hibernate during winter below ground before emerging in mid-March and remaining active through to October. They mate in April / May with males actively fighting to defend their females who lay 4-18 eggs in short burrows in open sand. Hatchlings then emerge in late August – September. As a species they prefer a varied topography, but mainly with a south facing aspect, a diverse vegetation structure and open, bare sand for egg laying. Such areas of optimal habitat create “foci” that are of particular importance to Sand Lizard conservation.

Constantine is also home to the Common Lizard Zootoca vivipara which is widespread throughout Britain and is also found in Ireland. Unusually it gives birth to live young as opposed to laying eggs and can be easily mistaken for a Sand Lizard although they are generally smaller. Males have a bright yellow or orange underside densely covered in black spots whereas females have a yellow, grey or greenish underside with few spots. Adults hibernate in burrows and emerge in late February / March and mate during April / May with the young are born in July.

At the seaward side of the dune system strandline colonising vegetation includes Sea Rocket Cakile maritima and Frosted Orache Atriplex laciniata, a species of very local distribution in Cornwall. The stable dunes are dominated by Marram Grass Amnophila arenaria with abundant Sea Bindweed Calystegia soldanella, Wild Carrot Daucus carota and Kidney Vetch Anthyllis vulneraria and occasionally LadyÕs Bedstraw Galium verum. Uncommon species such as Pyramidal Orchid Anacamptis pyramidalis and Sea Holly Eryngium maritimum are present together with the nationally rare Portland Spurge Euphorbia portlandica.

The dune grassland supports a very rich flora with some notable rarities. The sward is dominated by Red Fescue Festuca rubra, with Ferngrass Desmazeria rigida, and Sea Ferngrass D. marina. Thyme Thymus drucei, Eyebright Euphrasia offinalis agg., and Hairy BirdÕs-foot-trefoil Lotus hispidus, are common as is the parasitic Dodder, Cuscuta epithymum. Of great importance is the presence of a thriving population of the rare Hairyfruited Cornsalad Valerianella eriocarpa. The Dune Fescue Vulpia membranacea, a national rarity, occurs here as does the locally distributed Yellow Horned Poppy Glaucium flavum.

Red Fescue dominates the maritime grassland bordering the cliffs of Dinas Head. Thrift Armeria maritima, Rock Samphire Crithmum maritimum, Betony Stachys officinalis and the prostrate form of DyerÕs Greenweed Genista tinctoria are among an outstanding flora.

The cliffs support the national rarities Rock Sea-Lavender Limonium binervosum, Tree Mallow Laverta arborea and Golden Samphire Inula crithmoides. Of particular interest is the presence of strong colonies of the rare Wild Asparagus Asparagus officinalis and Shore Dock Rumex rupestris.

We are currently working with Natural England to improve the quality of our own section of the Trevose Head and Constantine Bay Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

See below for more information on the planned works…


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