Shingle on the Cusp




Vegetated shingle is an incredible habitat which tells the story of how nature battles the elements to create fantastic diversity in the harshest of settings. From yellow horned poppies to Sussex emerald moths, it is home to a range of highly specialised and in many cases extremely rare plants and animals some of which are found on Dungeness and nowhere else in the world! The key threat to this habitat is disturbance. Simply walking across the stones can disturb the fragile root systems of plants or nesting burrows of invertebrates. So things such as visitor pressure, machinery movements, military exercises during WWII and since, gravel extraction and beach replenishment activities all have significant impacts on this rare and valuable habitat. To combat these pressures the project is focussing in three separate areas; Firstly, trial vegetation restoration plots, secondly, invasive species control and finally education.

Shingle on the Cusp contributes to Restore project theme.


There are currently no volunteering opportunities within this project.

Visit the volunteering page to find out more about getting involved with Fifth Continent projects.

Nov 2018

Survey of shingle species completed

Pellenes tripunctatus Tony Witts_opt

After a whole summer and autumn of surveying, 164 invertebrate species have been recorded including: one entirely new species for Kent Anotylus clypeonitens which is an absolutely tiny beetle;  a rare species of dung beetle that was thought extinct until a couple of years ago called Rhyssemus Germans; and a very rare spider which is a Dungeness speciality called Pellenes tripunctatus (See photo above taken by Tony Witts). This data, as well as being important in its own right, will also serve as a baseline against which we can measure the effect of the brash piles over time.

Sep 2018

Survey of shingle species – update

Preliminary data gathered looks promising. Raw data will not be processed until we have completed the data gathering for this year.

Sep 2018

Information leaflet

Leaflet content on shingle plants and controlling invasive species is currently going through a design review process.

May 2018

Survey of shingle species commenced

Consent granted by Natural England & RSPB for invertebrate surveys to be undertaken at Dungeness, starting on 22 May. This will involve putting in 30 pitfall traps which will capture ground dwelling insects. Baseline surveys will be ongoing throughout the summer, with the traps being visited fortnightly.

Apr 2018

Information leaflet

Putting together a leaflet on shingle plants and controlling invasive species.

Apr 2018

Trial vegetation restoration plots

Trial vegetation restoration plots are all out at Lydd to match the ones at RSPB Dungeness. Many thanks to the MoD for taking part in our unusual experiment, and huge thanks to the volunteers!

Feb 2018

Installing the experimental plots at RSPB Dungeness

We recently had our first day out installing the experimental plots at RSPB Dungeness. Check out the Blog!  We are talking with the Ministry of Defence about when we can also do this at Lydd Ranges (they have agreed in principle). We are currently designing a leaflet to go out to all Dungeness residents about the importance of the shingle habitat and the need to control invasive species.


Visit our Blog & News page.


It is planned to create a number of short films about Romney Marsh during the life of the scheme and this will include recording the progress of the projects. Go to the film footage page to get details of the films we have produced so far.


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To find out more including how to get involved contact the project team.