Join coastal ranger Nic on his autumn beachcoming walks

A visit to a beach in autumn gives us an opportunity to take a closer look at the natural and manmade objects thrown up on our shores.

Taking place during the Wild Autumn Festival a series of short beachcombing walks across Dumfries and Galloway are being led by Coastal Ranger Nic Coombey.

Replenished with debris twice a day, the strandline marks the turning point of the last high tide and provides endless material for the curious beachcomber.

Beachcombing Walks - Monday, 28th October - Powfoot Grid ref NY149657

Meet at 12.15pm at small car park adjacent to bridge in village.

Booking essential contact the making the Most of the Coast Office: 01387 251991 or email Alison @solwayfirthpartnership.co.uk

Tuesday, 29th October - Carsethorn Grid ref NX994598

Find out about ancient forests, epic journeys and plastic ducks – and anything else we can find on the strandline.

Meet at 1.30 pm at small car park adjacent to bus shelter in village.

Wednesday, 30th October - Monrieth Grid ref NX364395

Find out about fossils from tropical seas and the sources of plastic litter – and anything else we can find on the strandline.

Meet at 14.45pm at car park at Back Bay next to golf course.

Thursday, 31st October

Find out about mermaid’s purses, floating seeds and elephants – and anything else we can find on the strandline.

Meet at 15.00pm at The Wig car park near Kirkcolm.

Friday, 1st November

Find out about Chinaman’s hat, Japanese seaweed and warming seas – and anything else we can find on the strandline.

Meet at 15.00pm at car park at end of track to Ardwell bay.

Find out about folded rocks, cowries and invasive seaweeds – and anything else we can find on the strandline.

A free Making the Most of the Coast “Strandline” exhibition is taking place at the Mill on the Fleet, Gatehouse during October 2013.

Windy autumn weather means more natural treasures as well as litter washed up on the Solway seashore. An unwelcome find in Galloway is wireweed, an invasive seaweed which was first found in Loch Ryan in 2004 and is spreading around our coast.

Competing with native seaweeds the fast growing wireweed floats in large clumps and may become a hazard to boats by getting entangled in propellers or blocking engine cooling systems. The making the ‘Most of the Coast’ project funded jointly by Dumfries & Galloway LEADER, Dumfries and Galloway Council, The Crown Estate and The Robertson Trust is interested in hearing from anyone who finds the olive-brown wireweed which can be identified by the long main branch with side branches which hang like a washing line and have lots of small grape-like bladders.

Replenished with debris twice a day, the strandline marks the turning point of the last high tide and provides endless material for the curious beachcomber. A visit to a beach in autumn gives us an opportunity to take a closer look at the natural and manmade objects thrown up on our shores and is the subject of a series of Wild Autumn Festival beachcombing walks led by Coastal Ranger Nic Coombey.

Nic explained: “As the Coastal Ranger, the strandline is a great resource to use: a window to look

at the wildlife lurking beneath the waves as well as draw attention to some of the problems caused

by invasive species arriving on our amazing beaches”.