The beach at Thorpeness, Suffolk, comprises an extensive expanse of shingle stretching from Dunwich in the north to Aldeburgh (the birthplace of the composer, Benjamin Britten) in the south. The shingle shelves quite steeply in places. A narrow band of sand emerges at the water’s edge at low tide.
Known as vegetated shingle, this is a rare and fragile habitat. Plants that grow on the shingle have adapted to windy, salty conditions and very little water. They grow mostly in small, isolated mounds scattered around the high water line.
Plants commonly found at Thorpeness include the yellow horn poppy, sea spurge, sea pea, sea kale, sea holly, sea campion and the rugosa rose. Numerous other varieties that have escaped from nearby gardens have also acclimatized themselves to the conditions Collectively they contribute interest, colour and beauty to what might otherwise be an uninspiring landscape
Below are a few examples of plants photographed on a recent visit. More will inclded in the next post.