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Life's a Beach #69 - Par

Hidden : 07/05/2017
1.5 out of 5
2 out of 5

Size: Size: other (other)

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Geocache Description:

As you look around Par beach, you should notice the amount of vegetation here. But there is no soil, only sand- the plants here grow on mounds known as sand dunes. They are common along the Devon and Cornwall coast and some can be very extensive, covering the entire width of the beach.

Sand Dunes

A sand dune is "a mound or hill of sand built by wind or the flow of water", beyond the maximum extent of waves. They can occur in different shapes and sizes, dependent on the interaction with the flow of air or water.

They are formed when wind-blown and sea-deposited sand accumulates against an obstruction such as rocks or vegetation. In the case of Par, it is the artificial roads and infrastructure that has been built along the seafront, and is the trigger for the dunes to grow here. However, dunes always grow parallel of the seafront.

There is a constant input of sand from Longshore Drift, a process by which sediment (including sand) is transported in a zig-zag direction along a beach, determined by the wind and wave directions. Swash (water coming in) and prevailing wind pushes sand up the beach, and backwash (water coming out) pushes material down the beach. Longshore Drift transports the sand enough for it to deposit and accumulate onto a dune.

As more sand deposits and accumulates, the dune grows, and forms the uneven mounds you see here. Vegetation can form on dunes (and has here), as sand can absorb water, allowing them to grow. Roots of vegetation bind the sand in the dunes together.
The vegetation has since taken over the dunes here, giving a sight of green along the beach, as far as the eyes can see. This is helped as the dunes give humus (nutrients) to the dunes. This has allowed an ecosystem to thrive here, so where possible, please avoid treading on the plants on the dunes.


To log this EarthCache, please send the answers to the following questions by email or message. Due to owning many EarthCaches I receive numerous emails per day so there is often a delay in replying, therefore feel free to log before awaiting a reply. Only answers that are drastically incorrect or photos that reveal answers will be deleted.

1. Take a handful of sand from the beach. What do you notice about it in terms of grain size, colour, what it is made up of, etc. Also, what is unusual?

2. What difference is there between the sand at the beach and the sand at/around the dunes and what do you think causes this difference? (A comparison between BEACH and DUNES waypoints would be ideal)

3. On a scale of 1 - 10, how fertile are the sand dunes here? (1 being not at all, 10 being the most).

4. TO PROVE YOU VISITED: What is the six-digit 'beach number', beginning with SX, that is shown on the sign in the car park? (Waypointed)


If you would like to add more caches to this series, please feel free to do so!
Please contact heartradio through his profile first so that he can keep track of numbers and avoid duplications. Caches can be any type except Traditionals


As this is a Local Nature Reserve and Biological SSSI, permission has been sought for this EarthCache.

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56 Logged Visits

Found it 53     Write note 2     Publish Listing 1     

View Logbook | View the Image Gallery of 29 images

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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum

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