Image showing size of small seashells in shell sand from Herm in the Channel Islands

The sand on the Island of Herm, which is one of the Channel Islands, is mostly made of shells and shell fragments. A good place to examine the sand is Belvoir Bay where waves and currents wash shells ashore and break them up. The small cove lies at the foot of modest cliffs of Herm Granodiorite with xenoliths; and eroding rocky outcrops strew the shore at the base of the cliffs. Hollows and crevices in these rocks are filled with coarse shell sand containing many intact little shells of both bivalve and gastropod molluscs. Even minute sea urchin tests survive. I took a handful of the sand home to photograph against a scale, and compare them with some mature-size shells from the same beach and nearby Shell Beach. I have fond memories of visiting the island and collecting shells there forty years ago.

6 Replies to “Shell Sand on Herm”

  1. I have never been to sark but it is on my list of places to visit. I chose to go to Herm this time because it is a shorter boat ride to Herm than Sark and I am prone to sea sickness.

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