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  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas

Flower Beach Part 1

Originally published on Photoblog by Gethin Thomas JUNE. 02, 2021

Here is the flower series from my recent beach trip. I have tried to identify them and I think I have most correct.

Coastal vegetated shingle is a relatively rare habitat. Worldwide, shingle (sediment of size ranging from 2-200mm) is almost exclusive to Northwest Europe, Japan and New Zealand but in the UK as much as 30% of the coastline is shingle. In most cases, this takes the form of shingle beaches but in some cases, like Start Bay, the shingle is extensive and undisturbed enough that it becomes colonised by vegetation. This vegetated coastal shingle is fairly rare, even in the UK, and so the plants and insects that characterise the habitat are of high conservation importance.

The beach is the most inhospitable environment as it is closest to the sea and regularly pummelled by waves; this fact in itself would not preclude the development of vegetation as there are many so-called ‘pioneer’ species of plant that specialise in this kind of habitat, however, the intense use of the beach for recreation means that in order to see this vegetation you have to go to the lesser-used areas such as Strete Gate. Here you will find the best examples of shingle vegetation, such as Yellow Horned-Poppy and Sea Kale. (

Below- Valerian

Below-Sea Campion

Below- Early Forget-me-not

Below- Sea Kale (white)

Below- Yellow horned poppy.

Below- Bird's-foot trefoil (right)

Below- Scarlet Pimpernel (top)

They seek him here

They seek him there

Those Frenchies seek him everywhere

Is he in heaven

or is he in hell

That dashed elusive pimpernel

( Baroness Emma Orczy )

Below- Poppy bud

Below- Sea Kale

Below- Foxglove or Digitalis

When my father was a schoolboy in Rural Wales during the war, the authorities paid good money for children to go out collecting digitalis. It was used for the war effort to manufacture drugs.

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