Tag Archives: Early Sand grass

North Merseyside Biodiversity Action Plan Early Sand-grass

Early Sand-grass is confined to the Sefton Coast in north Merseyside. It was first discovered by D.P. Earl and J. Buckley-Earl in April 1996, growing in a small area of dunes on the west side of Southport Marine Lake. The plant’s distribution was mapped by P.H. Smith on 12th April 1999 when it was found to be dominant in many patches over a distance of about 100m, some of the patches being up to 10m in diameter but many much smaller. Most of the population was associated with the south to south-east facing slope of a low (3m-high) dune ridge. Some small patches were also found on a plateau area to the west of the ridge. All patches of Early Sandgrass were in poorly vegetated areas with a high proportion of bare sand, often on the
fringes of sandy, informal footpaths. The most abundant of 16 associated plants were Kidney Vetch, Little Mouse-ear and Common Whitlow-grass. A repeat survey in 2004 showed the plant’s area had increased by 47% to 2158m2. Regular visits from 2005 to 2007 suggest the grass is doing well and continuing to spread.