Salt marsh

Saltmarsh forms a lush silvery green carpet of vegetation and is interspersed with winding creeks. The type of vegetation that grows here depends on how high the land is above sea level, and how often it is covered by the sea. Glasswort is the first plant to colonise lower down the habitat, whilst higher up are found plants such as sea aster and sea purslane. All these plants are very salt tolerant and are adapted in some way to retain fresh water e.g. sea aster has fleshy leaves, whilst others may have hairy or waxy leaves.

Red Glasswort
Red Glasswort
Glasswort
Glasswort

Saltmarsh has a very high conservation value for the communities it supports. It is rich in invertebrates and is especially good for birds. It provides a high tide roost for waders which feed on adjacent areas of exposed mud, ducks and geese graze on the vegetation and songbirds feed on the seeds. It also provides a nesting habitat for waders, gulls and terns.

Skylarks and meadows pipits nest in the fields behind the flood bank, but whereas the skylark sings as it rises into the sky, the meadow pipit sings as it descends in a parachute-like flight. Redshank nest among the tussocky grass and feed in nearby shallow water.

Seven Sisters Country Park