|Preserving the beach deposits (high-water driftlines) and the embryo dunes on the coastline of the North Department (France)|
Lemoine, G.; Faucon, L. (2005). Preserving the beach deposits (high-water driftlines) and the embryo dunes on the coastline of the North Department (France), in: Herrier, J.-L. et al. (Ed.) (2005). Proceedings 'Dunes and Estuaries 2005': International Conference on nature restoration practices in European coastal habitats, Koksijde, Belgium 19-23 September 2005. VLIZ Special Publication, 19: pp. 369-377
In: Herrier, J.-L. et al. (Ed.) (2005). Proceedings 'Dunes and Estuaries 2005': International Conference on nature restoration practices in European coastal habitats, Koksijde, Belgium 19-23 September 2005. VLIZ Special Publication, 19. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. XIV, 685 pp., meer
In: VLIZ Special Publication. Vlaams Instituut voor de Zee (VLIZ): Oostende. ISSN 1377-0950, meer
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The management experiences presented here have been realised since 1994 owing to the ‘Conseil Général’ of the North district on the upper beaches of the Flemish dunes owned by the ‘Conservatoire du Littoral’ situated on the Bray-Dunes and Zuydcoote municipalities (France). This experience aims at the restoration of the habitats on the sea frontline of the border dune. The matter is the space that starts from the annual halo-nitrophilic strip on the upper beach, goes on with the embryo dune and finishes with the quick white dune dominated by the European beachgrass (marram). The requirements of beach cleanness, especially regarding seaside tourism, have led to the destruction of these patrimonial important habitats by the regular and complete mechanical raking of the strand. The first step consisted in limiting this mechanical raking to the rights of sea-side resorts. At the same time, the upper strip of the beach along dunes is managed softly by a selective manual picking up of the biggest trashes. This change of cleaning process rapidly produced the emergence of noticeable habitats that didn’t exist before. It concerns water marks mingled with sand and embryonic dunes with sand couch grass. To a reduced extent, these methods of management lead to a reinforcement of the white dune with marram and sand ryegrass and the white dune which is warmer with marram and sea spurge. Some of these habitats are listed as part of the Guideline ‘Habitat’ and are listed as vulnerable or endangered after the red book of the littoral terrestrial phytocoenoses according to the definitions proposed by the International Union for Nature Preservation. Moreover, the obstacles kept on the upper strip of the beach afford the start of a process of sand accumulation and build the embryonic dune. According to the sedimentary context, this type of operation assists the fertilisation of the upper beach and reduces the retreat phenomenon of the coastline. The cost of operations is much reduced, money is even saved with the reduction of the number of interventions. It was only difficult to convince our partners about modifying their cleaning habits. This successful experience over a 1.5km distance of beach, facing preserved dune massifs, shows the large potentialities of spontaneous restoration of these natural environments. The extreme simplicity of this method and its very small cost, except employment, allow us to envisage and adapt it all along the European coastline.