Native Grasses Providing Protection for Tyrella

Native Grasses Providing Protection for Tyrella

Tyrella Beach

Tyrella Beach is a beautiful stretch of coastline located in County Down, Northern Ireland. Known for its long sandy beach, dunes, and stunning views it is the perfect spot for swimming, surfing, or simply enjoying a peaceful stroll. The beach is home to a variety of plant life and wildlife, making it an excellent destination for nature lovers.

One of the unique features of Tyrella Beach is its sand dunes. The dunes are not only visually stunning, but they also play a crucial role in protecting the coastline from erosion caused by the sea. The dunes are also home to various species of plants and animals making it a unique and precious ecosystem. On Tuesday 4th April 2023 we teamed up with Strangford and Lecale AONB, and a group of volunteers to plant out. After raising plants from seed, it was very rewarding to see them planted onto the beach where the seed was originally collected.

The Project

Our efforts began in 2022, with permissions, collecting seed from three different species of grasses growing on Tyrella Beach. The grasses included Marram Grass, Lyme Grass, and Couch Grass, all of which make up the dune habitat. The seed was then taken back to the True Harvest Seeds nursery, where it was carefully grown into strong plants. The following year, we returned to the beach, and with the help of volunteers, planted out the grasses. While some volunteers learnt how to plant for the first time, other seasoned gardeners all busied planting out grasses. Once these plants establish they will grow into banks of grasses that protect the sand dunes. Native grasses are an essential part of this ecosystem, providing habitats for wildlife and supporting biodiversity. By growing these grasses from seed and planting them out, they provide sustainable protection from coastal erosion.

Collaborating for the Future

The collaboration between True Harvest Seeds, Strangford and Lecale AONB, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council was a great success. This initiative is an excellent example of how simple actions can have a significant impact. By growing native grasses from locally collected seed, we have helped protect the sand dunes on Tyrella Beach. The grasses will help reduce coastal erosion, preserving this beautiful coastline for future generations. Work on this project will continue in 2023 and 2024 and we have already begun sowing seed. You can read an interview with Debbie on the BBC News Website and listen in on Your Place And Mine

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