Dunes at Oxwich 2 – Taking a closer look at the sand dune grassland habitat. The dunes at Oxwich Bay on Gower in South Wales during June 2021 were carpeted with flowers. One of the most common was the Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor) which is semi-parasitic on the roots of other plants. It likes to grow in undisturbed meadows and stabilised dunes. Its name comes from the inflated brown capsules inside which the seeds rattle.
This is one of several categories of dune habitat depending on their location, degree of stabilisation, and other factors. Each type of dune habitat is characterised by a different set of associated plant species. In the Common Standards Monitoring Guidance for Sand Dune Habitats these plant assemblages are noted, and the habitats described, together with the ways in which the habitats should be recorded and monitored.